Trekking in the Cordillera Real, Condoriri Trail

18 Aug

It’s important to take a break from learning now and then so I decided to trek the Condoriri trail which is in the Cordillera Real range, not far from La Paz.  This is a wonderful trek.  The whole trek is situated above 4,000 metres so I was literally about 3,000 metres above Scotland the whole time and nearer the clouds than anything else! Breathing at this altitude can be hard so my four weeks in La Paz paid off in getting me acclimatised to the altitude.

The trek starts in Tuni which is a small hamlet with not much to it but where you can hire mules for the trek if you want.  I didn’t hire a mule deciding to be one myself and carry my stuff.  For some reason, (maybe four weeks of only eating meat and rice several times a day in La Paz) I decided to make my rucksack into a health food shop filling it with avocados, tomatoes, fruit (even kiwis!), nuts and the like.  This made it heavy but good training I suppose!

The hike is along a nice clear path where we met a woman who tried to get us to come to her house that night for trout and chips which she said she caught in a local lake…there is something about hiking in South America..people just appear in the strangest places wearing the thinest clothes in the world and flip flop like shoes while Westerners are gore texed up to the hilt wearing stiff boots…makes me wonder whether all the gear makes a difference?

Night one was spent beside Lago Condoriri which is truly stunning with a view of all the 13 peaks which make up the Condoriri massif.  The little woman couldn’t accommodate us in her house for trout and chips so it was a tasty meal of pasta cooked on the gas stove.

The hills round here are huge and require ice axes and crampons (and courage to climb!).  Thankfully left my ice axe back home so escaped with just a nice (though hard trek).  Had a fab night in the tent playing with an app (google sky map) on a mate’s phone.  This app is point your phone at the sky and it picks out all the stars and constellations…wonderful!  As we were so far out of the city the sky was full of stars..

Next day had a nice trek up, up and up….made it to just above 5,ooo metres and felt as if I was towering above Europe..

Second night camped down in the Valley..lots of clouds so no star gazing…

Then walked to Zongo the next day, a little village at the bottom of the valley where they use hydro power to generate electricity. Waited a few hours for the local bus to take us on the frankly scary trip back to La Paz…they just don’t believe in crash barriers here and with a 1,000 foot drop on the side and a rickety old bus I was lucky to make it back to La Paz in time for more Spanish and charango lessons!


2 Responses to “Trekking in the Cordillera Real, Condoriri Trail”

  1. Gina Cowan August 26, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Just had a look at your article. What a great experience. Airdrie can’t compete with that.
    Enjoy whatever is ahead.
    Best wishes

    • angiemain August 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

      Hey Gina!
      I do hope that all is well with you. Are you still writing for the Raddle? I am well. Really enjoying seeing the world and doing my blog! It’s so much fun! Hope the family are all doing well. Angie

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