Trekking in Sucre…

1 Aug

From the white city of Sucre..there is actually a law here that the buildings have to be whitewashed each year…I did a fab 3 day trek with Condor trekking, a non-profit organisation run with local guides and volunteers…along an Inca trail and through local villages including a village built within a volcanic crater. This trek was truly off the beaten track. Some of these villages were truly in the middle of nowhere.  Medical help for the villagers is many hours away.  I wonder if that explains why infant mortality is 10 times the rate in Bolivia than it is in the UK?

We met some cool local kids along the way who were delighted to receive some fruit or even bread.  They seemed so different from kids at home who all seem to have the latest ipods, video games and the like.  They all wear shoes made from recycled tyres which they sell in all the markets here.  This was truly another world…and humbling.

Our guide, Henri seemed to have a total affinity with the local people.  He gave them whatever he could, including details of a child medical centre to a mother whose young boy was ill.  He told us that Bolivia has many troubles.  The president has recently bought a plane (which was destined for Manchester United football club) which cost 38.7 million dollars.  This has not been well received by Bolivians, many of whom live in abject poverty.  The local news contains cartoons about this…and questions what the President might buy next………the life in many of the villages we passed was truly of another age…one village only recently got electricity, some don’t have running water at all…one of the rivers which might provide water is undrinkable because of contaminants from the Potosi mines…so while the mines are a lifeline for those who need work in Potosi they are a death sentence for others…

It was wonderful to have such a knowledgable and entertaining guide with us for the trip.  I joked around the camp fire one night that he might play us a tune..out came his pan pipes (or zampona) and he played us some beautiful Bolivian folk music.  He also pointed out the stars to us…amazing…and told us much about respect for Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the beliefs of the local people.  The local people do not like to have their photos taken as they believe that it takes the spirit away…so my photos are only of the sights I saw along the way and Henri, our amazing guide…


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