"El Choro Trek" Arianamichael's photos around La Paz, Bolivia (bolivia amir[port)
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Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010
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Entry from: La Paz, Bolivia
Entry Title: "El Choro Trek"
"The El Choro Trek starts about 30 minutes outside of La Paz at about 15,000ft. We were able to meet up with Carmel and Amir (from the jeep tour) to do the 3 day hike, which made for great trail company. It had rained very hard the night before in La Paz, which meant there was a fresh layer of snow at the start of the hike. Our first challenge was getting up to the pass at about 16,000ft and then the rest of the trail plunged down into a valley. We started early in the morning to see the views from the pass before the daily clouds rolled into the valley. It was spectacular descending into the valley, where the llamas and sheep were grazing freely. There were small stone houses with thatched roofs, looking like specs compared to the steeply sloped mountains surrounding. Parts of the trail were an old Inca road connecting the pueblos to La Paz. Locals still use it as a means of getting to La Paz (all on foot). The first day we passed through 3 pueblos, staying in the 3rd one the first night. The next day we continued to plunge in altitude and the landscape began to tranform into dense vegetation and the humidity began to show its face. We enjoyed a nice lunch along the river before heading up a steep climb in the afternoon sun. Definitely a workout! We stayed along a ridge overlooking the valley and surrounding mountains. It was beautiful, such an overwhelming amount of lush green vegetation. The camp areas are actually on some ones land and you pay them a small amount to camp. Even better they have a small supply of snacks and drinks, including beer. Both nights we enjoyed a 'refreshing beverage' with dinner. The third day we woke very early to avoid the afternoon heat and hopefully catch a ride out with some other hikers (reducing the cost). We had the trail to ours the entire morning and were able to enjoy the birds singing in the morning. The scenery was much the same as the say before, but with many more waterfalls along the trail. The sun did get intense and so did the bugs as we were now low enough in altitude that the environment was very tropical. Such a change from day 1. Mike had a comical 5 minute series on a water break we took along side a river on the second day. He was helping me leap between two rocks and as he regained his balance, he didn't quite do it and ended up with one foot in the water. He removed his shoe, laying out the insole and sock while we pumped water. While pumping water he managed to get stung in the arm by a bee. And shortly after that he accidently knocked his insole into the gushing river. He yelled to me to get it since he just had one shoe on, but I was too afraid to make the large leap across the rock unassisted. So he then hopped across with one shoe on and chased the insole down river. It luckily got caught up in some rocks and he was able to retrieve it. We left the river after that, taking it as a sign. The only disappointing part of the hike for me was the number of people on the trek. I thought that it was going to be tranquilo, however we just happen to set out on a day with two large groups (1 of 32 people and 1 of 15 people), plus small individual groups. After traveling for so long, sometimes you get selfish and want to experience it without other tourists, unfortunately that didn't happen for us on this adventure."
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Photos from this trip:
1. "- Nice warm morning to start the El Choro Trek"
2. "- The Group (Mike, Amir, Ariana and Carmel)"
3. "- Trekker with Amir and Carmel"
4. "- We're going down there"
5. "- Locals heading to market in La Paz"
6. "- Inca roads on the El Choro Trek"
7. "- Old Incan rest stop"
8. "- Heading into the valley"
9. "- Heading below the snow"
10. "- Resting stop"
11. "- Valley Homesteads"
12. "- The Three Amigos"
13. "- Checking-In and paying for trail maintenance"
14. "- First town - Chucura"
15. "- Follow the Inca Road"
16. "- A donde van?"
17. "- Stone foot bridge"
18. "- Challapampa (1st Camp)"
19. "- Morning in Challapampa"
20. "- Bridge to Challapampa's other side"
21. "- The river valley"
22. "- Hiking the trail & Amir playing the recorder"
23. "- Nearing El Choro (the pueblo)"
24. "- Lunch with the Horde"
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