Sol y Luna, a low-key hillside resort in Coroico, Bolivia, with winding paths, exotic blossoms, tranquil pools, Japanese-style yoga rooms, and killer mountain views, was our home for more days than we’d expected. Our goal was to get to the jungle in Rurrenabaque. Options included backtracking to La Paz to catch a flight (I do not like backtracking, Sam I am) , or 8+ hours of overland travel on primitive roads. Without internet, we couldn’t book our flights or even check availability, so we chose the overland route and hired a driver with a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. The price was high, however, so we sought out other travelers to share the cost. Two Swedish physicists, Frieda and Miriam, decided to join us – but only if we’d delay our departure. Arg! If there had been internet, both Elise and I would have eagerly welcomed the downtime. The misty grounds and our spacious corner room with its large, old-style windows had a magical vibe. On sunny days, the scent of lilacs wafted in, and during tropical rainstorms the air turned cool and damp as the rain drummed on the tin rooftops.
So we made the best of it. Elise drew in her diary and played board games on the open-air terrace with the Swedes while I read “Cloud Road: A Journey Through the Inca Heartland” by travel writer John Harrison. The book was the perfect escape and brought to life the history of the Incas. Harrison’s portrayal of the capture of the Inca Emperor by the Spanish was brilliant. The book also put our “hardships”, eg unaesthetic hotel rooms, long bus rides, diarrhea – and no internet, into perspective. As he walked the Inca Road from Quito to Cuzco, Harrison pitched his tent in the pouring rain, slept in grimy rooms, got attacked, got lost, and was trapped by floods.
Maybe being trapped in tropical paradise wasn’t actually so bad, after all.