I said goodbye to my friends, Ka and Astro, on Isla del Sol and I am travelling now with my friend, Michael for this next leg of the journey. We are on a similar schedule with the same itinerary and it has been great to have the company!
The boat ride back from Isla del Sol first thing in the morning went pretty smooth, we arrived in Copacabana and booked our bus tickets to Sorata for that afternoon, put our bags in storage and headed out for a late breakfast. When we got to the restaurant, i headed to the washroom and realized that my ostomy pouch had detached, then I realized that I had left my emergency supplies that I normally always carry with me back in storage a few blocks away! I cleaned myself up as best I could, held back the tears and walked back to get my Ostomy supplies. I was grateful that the bathrooms at the restaurant were clean, relatively private, with running water and paper towels, such a rare luxury in this country! I am also grateful that I had shared my situation with my friend, Michael, whose Mom has an ostomy. In the end, it worked out okay…I guess it always does!
The second half of the journey to Sorata was a bit crazy as well, but for different reasons. We took a bus, got to a port, got off the bus, boarded a little motor boat, watched our bus get loaded onto a barge, then boarded back on the bus on the other side. An hour later we had to get off in this little town and wait on the side of the road for a van that was heading to Sorata. After about 10 minutes waiting on the side of the road, wondering whether I had made a wise choice in going to this small town in the hills of Bolivia, a van full of Bolivians pulled over for us. What an incredible cultural experience, I sat in the back of this van which had 15 people in it, plus 3 small children on their parents laps! The next 2 hours we weaved up mountains into the clouds where it was completely white with no visability. I had a Bolivian man asleep beside me who kept leaning into me and a little girl vomiting in a bag behind me. I was definitely getting an authentic experience for what these people endure when traveling in between towns around this country! This is how most people live, it is very rare for people to own their own vehicles here. As we descended into Sorata, a beautiful town nestled amongst these breathtaking lush green mountains, the sun broke through. I smiled to myself as I thought about what i experienced today to get here…it was terrifying, exhausting and exhilarating!