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La Paz ~ Takesi-trail

© V. DE MEERLEER
-- The last preparations for the Takesi trail. --

Text from travelogue

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
La Paz ~ Takesi-trail

We have breakfast in the Rosario hotel. At 8.00 everybody is ready: one group for Takesi, the other for Coroico.
We drive via the south side of La Paz (the rich neighborhood, i.e. ambassadors) to the moon valley and then further to Ventilla. As a result of roadwork we must detour over the lower road in the valley to reach the start point of the walk. This valley is however the most beautiful part of the ride, with a short walk in the Canyon the Paco (with Devils tooth). I'm reckoning that the last part of the road to the departure point (4250m) is not intended for vans. We are shaken back and forth on a extremely small path, with on the left side a rock partition and on the right side a deep gap.
When our four donkeys arrive, and all our luggage is loaded, we can start walking: 11 Baobabbers, 1 guide, 1 cook, 3 carrier and 4 donkeys/horses with 2 drivers... almost a circus parade. The first part of the path is the most difficult: climbing to 4650m. Everybody walk at his own tempo. Near the top, it's rather chilly and there are even some heaps of snow.
The other side of the pass is covered by fog. From here we will only descend (3 days) in the direction of the cloud forest, an extension of the rain forest. From time to time we see some stretches of the gigantic landscape. And in the meantime our guide travels between the head runners and the end of the group.
After a couple of kilometers of the descent we halt near a small lake for lunch: chicken + vegetables. Over a (camouflaged) potato field and pré-Inca paths we walk further until the camp-site, just beyond the Takesi village. When we arrive, the tents already standing and a little while later dinner is ready: soup and spaghetti.
The foggy sunset is witnessed in candle light. And when it starts raining (8 pm) everyone dives into his tent. It will be a wet night.

© V. DE MEERLEER
-- A new altitude record for both of us : 4600m. --

© V. DE MEERLER
-- From now on, it's only downhill. --

© V. DE MEERLEER
-- Almost arriving at our first camp site : the villag eof Takesi. --


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