Santa Rosa to Guanay
I was glad to leave Santa Rosa this morning. We had a very short day, only 71 miles, but we had two major river crossings to do. Maurice was not sure if the rivers were even passable. A town that we rode through:
One insect we haven’t seen the entire trip: butterflies!
The first river had a very strong current, with lots of rocks under the water. Maurice decided against us riding across. After considering various options, he said that we would push the bikes across. The first bike, with Maurice, Rene, Hugo and David pushing:
After three bikes had been pushed across, this white pick-up truck appeared, and the driver agreed to let Maurice load the remaining bikes in the back of the truck to be carried across:
By the time all of the bikes were on the other side of the river, it was lunchtime. We had a picnic lunch and then rode onward.
We quickly reached the second river, which was much wider than the first:
There was a small village on the edge of the river, and our dilemma of how to get across provided some entertainment for quite a few of the children (and adults too).
After a while, this red pick-up came along and agreed to carry us and the bikes across the river:
(I was thinking that pick-up truck owners must be very popular people during the rainy season.) While waiting for the bikes to be loaded, the heat was sweltering. I was reminiscing fondly about needing to wear my long johns in the cold altiplano air. I told Ben that I was imagining our next hotel with air conditioning. He said, “This is Bolivia.” And I said, “Hey, don’t ruin my dream!”
The rest of the ride passed fairly quickly. We were steadily descending in elevation, with continued wonderful scenery to enjoy:
Another view (we are definitely not in the altiplano):
The town of Guanay was nestled in the green hills:
I loved this town! First we checked into our hotel:
Our room had its own bath, with hot water, and . . . drum roll please . . . there was a ceiling fan!!!! Even better than air conditioning (no loud machine noise). I felt like I had won the lottery!
As we pulled up to the hotel on our bikes, there was a little girl outside the hotel who stopped to watch. We chatted with her briefly—she was very smart; her name was Joanna, and she was 7 years old and in the third grade. When Ben and I came out of the hotel to take a stroll through town, Joanna was waiting for us with a children’s book that was written in English. It was a simple book about colors. Her grandmother had bought the book for her at the market for 2 Bolivianos ($.30), but they hadn’t been able to read many of the words. We knelt down with the book and went through the pages carefully, translating the English words into Spanish for her. Then she walked with us a bit until we reached her house.
Ben and I walked to the village plaza:
There, we found a tiny café with several outdoor tables. The owner was very welcoming. Ben and I enjoyed a drink and some small pastries together, watching the activities of the people around us. When it was time for us to pay, the owner said that the pastries were his gift, and he wouldn’t accept a tip for the drink either.
We had a good dinner of meat and rice in town. I got the opportunity to eat tripe for the first time—it was chewy like calamari but tasted “beefy”. From left to right: William, Marc, Hugo, Rene, David, Olivier, Ben and Maurice:
We had a solid night’s sleep . . . with the ceiling fan wafting air down on me all night long.
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