I have to confess that I made a trip back to England for 5 weeks in June and July, leaving Ed to run the build, take care of the animals and feed me wonderful photos of progress at Sky Hacienda so that I could maintain the blog.
He decided to drive from Sucre to Santa Cruz on my return to Bolivia as we needed to pick up applicances, a journey mostly on dirt roads that saw him and our trusty minibus arrive 18 hours later covered in dust. He swore he would not return on the same road, and we were assured that there was a longer route, but paved, back to Sucre.
Well, two thirds of the road was paved, but when we turned west towards Sucre we realized we were on la Ruta de Che, the road used by Che Guevara as he was hunted down and eventually killed by the Bolivian police.
It was in equal parts terrible and beautiful. The dusty rubble road limited our speed to around 20 k an hour but we drove up into the mountains passing through rain forest with breathtaking views. On occasions it was a little too breathtaking, especially when we were driving around a narrow stretch of mountain road and encountered not one but two massive trucks carrying excavating machines. Of course they were on the inside, so Ed had to gingerly drive to the edge to allow them to pass, with me whimpering with fear in the passenger seat. Memories of our near death bus ride from Lima to Cusco in Peru came flooding back as I sat over the crumbly edge of the road. But we survived!
24 hours later we arrived back in Sucre, having been forced to sleep in our minibus in freezing temperatures when all service stations had run out of diesel until we managed to buy fuel at three times the price from a very happy local.