Written by Neon
When we got back to Ananea after a few days of rest, we were grateful that the weather had also shifted. It wasn’t as windy or rainy as we walked out of town. We took our time walking out of Ananea and through the town-sized mine along the outskirts. We camped that night in a ditch at the edge of the dirt piles that signified the mine. After the mine, the land opened to nothingness, and we made our way along the dirt road. The barren landscape spread before us, and we walked through the boring day, trying to find the mountains we had left behind in Bolivia. Late in the afternoon, we found them. Well, technically we found a really cool trail at the end of the dirt road that led down into a valley filled with brush and farming plots, but it wasn’t boring. The way to get into the valley was a mix of trail and washed out areas, and it was overgrown at the bottom. In the valley, surrounded by farmland with a river running through it, was a small town. We ended up in the small town for the night in a modest hotel along the main street.
As we made our way out of town along the peotonal, or walking path, we ran into many people. They were on their way to work or school, and were very curious as to how we had found their valley haven. Many of them also wanted to get photos with us. They were also kind in answering the questions Fidgit and I had for them. These people explained the tiered sides of the valley as ‘andenes’ and also explained why not all of them were in use for farming- the land needed to rest for a certain period to produce properly. It’s amazing the things you learn when you ask.
We wound our way around and through a couple of valleys and towns in the next days. Fidgit and I were in a cloud for most of it, but the views were exceptional when we did have them. We also ended up following an older local man up and over a pass, taking the walking path instead of following the winding switch backs of the dirt road.
After a couple of days walking through a cloud, we crossed a pass and burst free from the dampness, as the valley sprawled out before us. We made our way down the valley, and found ourselves back in the desert atmosphere that Fidgit and I had become so familiar with. We went from high rain forest into the desert simply by crossing from one side of the mountain range to the other. Rain shadows became a more real thing to me that day.
Since we had made it back to the desert, we walked along that day until we found water near the small regional capital of Crucero. We walked into town the next day, with some of the local well wishers (aka dogs) following along behind. From Crucero, we followed the valley’s river out and across to be able to go up another valley. The next wide valley we made our way up had a mine part way up it. So we were being passed by many mine vehicles until we reached its entrance, and then the valley fell silent as we made our way towards the town of Macusani. Two more days of walking and we were there, walking into the edges of Macusani along its stream. Fidgit and I were both ailing by that point, so we took some time off in the small town. We were very grateful to have a private bathroom during that time. We did take the opportunity of a town without internet to relax more and take care of ourselves, which was nice.