|On the road to Chulumani.|
|Out and about in Chulumani.|
|Alex and Javier ... "nos prestamos plata".|
central plaza and lots of unpaved dusty roads. Had we just hit the Wild West? It instantly had that homely, 'welcome home' vibe about it. We asked around for accommodation (the places to stay can be counted on half a hand and struggling) and ended up at Country House.
|The way to chill out at Countryhouse Chulumani.|
|A house with a (breathtaking!) view.|
|Chill out time.|
|Rural town life.|
|This is the way you dry your coca leaves.|
|Being invited into the home of some locals.|
|Alex showing Lupita how to make patacones.|
Lupita is a truly talented young lady and is part of the Chulumani Symphonic Orchestra, a group of young and talented musicians who gather weekly and practice. Despite the fact that the teacher comes all the way from La Paz weekly and that the local council has tried to make their existence difficult (I will not get into the politics here) they all continue to get together and play their instruments. Alex and I went to visit the group and chatted to them about the importance of believing in themselves and following their dreams. Dreams only come true when you believe in them! There is nothing quite like inspiring young people to be positive, to try and achieve their best and most of all push forward with vigour in the face of adversity. It was great to spend a couple of hours with them. This culminated in a 'performance' for us that simply blew us away! We were touched to tears! I hope that in years to come these kids will look back and think ... we met two people who believed in us!
|Some kids from the orchestra.|
|With the Chulumani Symphonic Orchestra.|
|With the Chulumani Symphonic Orchestra; Lupita far left.|
|With Lupita and Javier.|
As we walked away from the hostel, I looked back at the waving Javier and Lupita and, with teras in my eyes, blew them kisses. This is why I travel ... THIS is why I travel!
|With Javier, Lupita and Vaughn (the only other tourist we saw in the week).|
|I will miss you Javier!|
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." – Marcel Proust
Dedication: To our 'charming gardeners'. Javier and Lupita' you are the charming gardeners who allowed our souls to blossom. You made us happy and you became our friends! We will never forget you both and this spectacular part of our journey. Friends forever! You are always welcome to visit us and stay with us in Australia. When our journey is done and dusted, it is people like you that leave a footprint on our hearts. Those footprints will always remain! We thank you profoundly!
Dedicatoria: A nuestros 'jardineros encantadores'. Javier y Lupita ustedes son los jardineros encantadores que permitieron que nuestras almas florezcan. Nos hiciste feliz y se convirtieron en nuestros amigos! Nunca olvidaremos a los dos y esta parte espectacular de nuestro viaje. Amigos para siempre! Siempre estarán bienvenidos visitarnos y quedarse con nosotros en Australia. Cuando el viaje esta terminado es la gente como usted que dejan una huella en nuestros corazones. Estas huellas permaneceran siempre! Te agradecemos profundamente!
Next: Copacabana and Lake Titicaca.
|A local on her walk.|
|Walks in off-the-beaten-track places.|
|Out and about.|
|Everyone deserves some rest time.|
|Ahhh, the tranquility.|
|Beauty ... and no beast in sight!|
|"Long live the holy leaf". (Coca)|
|Yin and Yang ... cultivation coca leaf style.|
|Farmers cultivating coca leaves.|
|The colours of Mother Nature.|
|Beauty and the Beast!|
|The Countryhouse dogs saying goodbye as we leave.|
|Chulumani ... butterfly wonderland.|
|Drying coca leaves.|