The next day we arrived early at the guide office as we had been warned the previous evening that while the office would definitely be open, they couldn’t guarantee that enough or even any of the guides would show up. The advantage of being self employed is deciding when you work, I guess. Luckily for us, there were enough guides and we set out to discover the dinosaur prints, the canyon and the local waterfall.
We had an absolutely amazing guide called Diego, who freely admitted that he was still in training. However, since he was still in training he was very motivated and wanted to show us every detail about the country side. We learned about many medicinal plants (including one that should be able to cure my luckily already healing carpal tunnel issues), the stone compositions and the different places locals seek out. He also told us much about the Bolivian history and the bloody battles going on in the surrounding mountains. This has been by far the most engaged and informative guide I’ve had so far.
He also, of course, showed us the dinosaur tracks. They are fascinating in the sense that the stone looks just like wet mud someone walked through.. Only that it’s now rock solid and has been for about a 100 million years. This being said, if you’d told me that someone dropped a stone there, I would’ve believed it as well.
From the dinosaur tracks we went on to the canyon. The canyon was absolutely spectacular and we enjoyed learning that it’s over 300m deep until we figured out that the waterfalls were at the bottom of said canyon. For a very short second we considered skipping the waterfalls to not have to walk back up. But, of course, we didn’t.
We bravely ventured into the canyon, quietly counting the number of stairs we’d need to take back up at the end of the trip. As we reached the bottom the vegetation suddenly grew green and we got some shade from actual trees which was highly enjoyable. The hike was totally worth it, The waterfall was absolutely not what I expected, but the small falls feeding the green moss and the water dripping down the roots, made for a very pretty scene. There is even a small pond in front of the waterfall, where the bravest one go to swim. The water, however, is absolutely freezing.
If I could change anything, I would probably have started a little later as the sun only seems to reach the water pools around 1pm, at which point my sunburn and our lack of lunch really made us want to return back into town. The hike back up wasn’t half as bad as we feared and within half an hour we were back on the almost flat trail into town, where we said good bye to Diego and set out to score some lunch at the unreasonably late hour of half past one which was much harder than expected. In the end we found one place which still had some rice and sauce left to feed us before we set out on the four hour drive back into Cochabamba.