25-May-2007 -- May 25th, 2007, it is the anniversary of the Chuquisaca department. Since all celebration activities took place yesterday, today was a holiday for all habitants. At 9 o’clock I drove away on my motorbike, accompanied by my 7 year old son Kamiel.
First 20 km was a known road. After some 8 km a fox crossed the road, and further on an eagle flew above us, looking for a tree to rest. The road winded along the San Lucas river, bending every now and then, until reaching La Palca village. I asked the local people for the road to Torojchi.
To my surprise, they told me that nowadays there exists a road to reach the community, so that made the trip a lot easier. After 1 km trough the almost dry river bed, the new road entered into the mountains. We started our 5 km climb, gaining some 500 meters in altitude. Then we continued another 5 km over a new winding road until we reached the Torojchi community, hidden in a dry and barren area.
My GPS showed that I had to continue, so I followed the road a bit more out of the community. On the way we passed a drunken guy, who shouted something to us. When I found out that I drove too far, we turned around and somewhere along the road we stopped to start our walk. This didn’t seem to please the drunken guy, and he came running towards us. Kamiel shouted to me “the drunken guy is coming”. Knowing the behaviour of the drunken people, we mounted the motorbike as quickly as possible and could just escape from this crazy man.
We headed the way back down to the community, leaving the drunken guy behind, who started throwing stones to us from above. Back in the community I stopped the motor and checked the GPS. Maybe it would be better to start walking from here.
Trying to find a place to store the motorbike and our coats, I entered a house which seemed to be the community house where some 20 men and women were gathered to get their alphabetization classes. Although I had never been here, some of them knew me.
There are not living many western people in San Lucas, so for them it’s easy to recognize you. It made it easy for me to explain the reason of my visit to the community. It was no problem that I walked around their mountains, so we started our walk. Climbing a hill, going down on the other side and there was our spot. It was a flat area, near a gully and even near another small footpath that headed back to the community. Kamiel was tired of walking, but he made it.
The area was all scattered with small stones, and a rocky soil. Some scrubs. The altitude showed 3204 meters, so it gets cold in this time of year at night time. It took just some 10 minutes to get back to the community, where they were just starting their afternoon classes. I left them with the compromise to give them some of the pictures I took of them.
The return trip of 30 km took just 1 hour and 15 minutes, since we didn’t have to find our way anymore, getting home by 2.30 pm. As I enjoyed my day, I hope everyone will enjoy the pictures.