Bolivia: La Paz to San Juan del Rosario – rain and salt
Leaving La Paz takes a couple of days longer than we’d thought while dropping into the valley that it occupies. Two has crept in to our routine as a ‘proper rest’; and I’d asked for two more to try and work some. Days crept on – rain set in heavily and persistently every afternoon, sometimes earlier. Jobs were done and friendships commenced.
The ever-present prospect of the climb out of La Paz doesn’t help either. Cristian has ideas for cunning dirt tracks further down the valley, but doesn’t know exactly how they connect – volunteers are sought! We slump on the ‘normal’ autopista exit – keen to get to the Salar (de Uyuni) that has been my shining, brilliant goal in Bolivia ever since I saw pictures of the Riding the Spine boys – years ago now.
The next morning Sarah sets off ahead, and is gone before I start. As I catch up, I’m drawn toward (what seems) the only other presence in the midst of nothingness. There’s also a strange reluctance to lose the solitude and profound stillness with the contact. We meet and grin – a reminder, if I needed it why we are we.
The purity of the experience somehow muddied – we head on south. The sun comes at us from all directions – burning unexpected skin despite intended prudence. At lunch we tent to gain shade. There is a vulnerability out here – to rain, vastness and thoughts.