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Sucre and Baxter

A story about the middle of nowhere and a faithful dog

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Leaving Potósi we headed north to the (constitutional) capital of Bolivia; Sucre. This was a lovely chilled out, colonial style city that unlike Potósi showed no sign of falling apart. After a day relaxing, me and Helen decided it was time for bit more of an adventure.

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We had heard (via Helen´s not so secret source; the Lonely Planet guide) that there was some nice trekking to be had not far out of Sucre. We rose at 6, walked to a bus stop and got on a bus. After initially lying to us about where the bus was going the bus driver then told us to get off a good couple of miles out of town, a good couple of miles from where we wanted to be. So we got another bus in the opposite direction and a little kid told us where to get off. Cheers lad. This was where we were due to get another bus to take us to a village in the hills where we would start out walk. Initially told the bus was at 10 we found it didn´t leave ´til 12 so I took it upon myself to buy me and Helen a couple of slingshots to pass the time. Helen didn´t seem overly grateful.

We eventually got to our destination and starting point, the village of Chaunaca. Expecting to find some basic restaurant or shop all we came across was a lady with some biscuits, a goat and a couple of bottles of Coke. We bought the biscuits and coke (though later I would regret not trying to get the goat as well) and sat down to lunch of chocolate and biscuits. While we were eating a dog turned up. After eating we headed off. The scenery was stunning, in some parts almost Mediterranean. The dog followed. Two hours later we came across a farm and a farm dog. The farm dog didn´t like our dog and a stand-off ensued. Believing that would be the last we saw of our tag-along we continued walking, but as we started climing the hill opposite the farm I glanced back to see our adopted dog running at full speed across a field above, and out of sight of, the farm dog. Jumping back down to the round behind the farm dog, leaving it oblivious, our dog ran and caught us up. The dog was christened Baxter.

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As the sun began to set and with Baxter still in tow we came across a little village where according to Helen´s guidebook we would find food and somewhere to sleep. All we found was an 'Alojamiento' with broken windows, a few adobe buildings, spanish pop music playing to a yard of chickens and not a person in sight. After worrying that we would have to resort to sleeping in the barn of some crazy old widow we met up the road who just wanted us to sit down all the time a couple of fellow tourists and a guide turned up and we eventually managed to get a bed and have dinner served to us by a local woman. There was even a couple of potatoes spare for Baxter.

The next day we walked with our new Belgian friends and Baxter (who had slept outside that night, waiting for us) to a village where a truck would be passing through to take us back to Sucre. In the village was a shop, with beer, and donkeys. After a few casual pints at half 10 in the morning and a bit of banter with the local donkeys the truck turned up. It was rammed with Bolivians and I mean rammed. I will never moan about the London tube again. For 2 and a half hours I had to essentially hold myself up, as I was unable to put my feet down, while dust was incessantly blown in my face. Back in Sucre I had never felt so grateful for a good shower and good food in all my life.

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Posted by Monsk 11:02 Archived in Bolivia

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