I honestly don’t know how I can be trusted to make my own decisions. Somehow I managed to convince myself doing an all day hike was a good idea and so at 8am I was sat in the back of a Landrover on my way to 3,670m above sea level.
First stop, the Bolivian Inca trail. 2 hours of walking. Downhill mostly, which I was eternally grateful for as I definitely noticed the altitude when walking….I sounded like I was constantly running a marathon! The views made all the panting worth it.
You could see for miles! You could see the Andes in all their glory and the Bolivian jungles all the way in the other direction. Our guide gave us a good history of the path and made sure to point out some interesting plants along the way. By the end of the hike, my hoody was stripped off quicker than you could say “sweaty Betty” and I drank more water than a camel about to start it’s desert tour.
We hopped back in the Landrover to be driven another 45 minutes to the crater to enjoy a little lunch. The crater is the only one of its kind in South America. It is formed entirely tectonically and is naturally round in shape. It is it’s own little (well, not so much) miracle.
After some food, we were off to see the dinosaur tracks! This was some offroad hiking for me which was pushing my ankle, but I troopered on. The landscape was startling. It changed so rapidly. You could see each sediment layer of the tectonic plates and the colours varied so vastly. I found it hard as I walked there to remember this had once been under the sea.
2 hours hiking (sadly not downhill!) and we made it to the dinosaur footprints. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you I have never really had much of an interest for things like that but being there and sitting in one of the herbivores footprints, you couldn’t help but be in awe of the reality that these creatures were here 65 million years ago.
The tracks were around for miles so we walked to a few different points to look at the different types of dinosaur prints, stopping for the cheesy tourist pictures every now and again….
My ankle was starting to get sore after so much walking on lose rocks and sand etc so everyone kindly agreed to start heading back. It was all going so well…Of course something had to happen!
So there I was, at the back of the line heading back to our trusty steed, plodding along and day dreaming away in the sunshine when I felt my foot slip, desperate to not jar my ankle I tried to come to my own rescue and managed to trip over a large lose rock, catapulting myself head first over the edge of the path and into a bush! I landed hard on my butt (thank goodness there is plenty of padding) and felt a sharp pain in my ankle. I must have let out a yell as the group was suddenly there watching me climb up the edge and try and pull myself on to the path again. It was something out of a comedy sketch – I’m not sure how my ego is ever going to recover!
After a minute or two I was back on the path, being given ibuprofen and being escorted carefully along the trail. About 45 painful minutes later we were back to the Landrover.
Our final stop to make was at a traditional village to see some weaving. Due to me now being a slight invalid, the trip was short. I hobbled into the courtyard and perched down on a rock to sit completely mesmerised by the skill and talent of this weaver. I couldn’t even begin to follow all the steps she was performing!
2 hours in the car back to the hotel and some coca leaves later (so hard not to I swallow them and the numbing sensation is weirdddd), I hit my room and this is where I have stayed since with my foot elevated and a bag of ice. Good job we have a trusty physio in the group!