Sunday, March 07, 2010

Drinking locally grown coffee in Coroico

Drinking local coffeeWe just sat down for some locally grown coffee in Coroico. The town sits on a slope above a river, and to get to it, we took the new road from La Paz over the mountains (not the 'Death Road'). Once we climbed past the ever-sprawling city, we soon reached a point above which even eucalyptus didn't grow. Soon we were skirting barren rock - above the point at which even grasses grow. Then, at the headwaters of rivers (one going to La Paz, the other to the Amazon) we started again downhill, this time toward the humid lands in which sits Coroico. Soon we had traded sparse grasslands for scant cropland clinging to steep slopes, then - as we descended further - cloud forests, mist rising to the peaks, up from the valley floor. Our microbus sprinted along quite gamely, overtaking trucks and slower buses.

Biking down the roadWe passed biking groups who were speeding down the same slopes we were going in our micro - a short shoulder all that separated them between the quick and the dead.

Getting onto the Death RoadFinally, after many switchbacks (and land-slide-covered stretches of road) we ended up near the river, and the turn-off for Coroico... and getting onto a remnant of what was the Death Road (luckily, though, the heights to fall were far less perilous).

After climbing back up Coroico's hill - along switchback dirt roads and occasional cobblestone), we reached the town on a very warm and sunny subtropical montaine day, just in time for some lunch - and a post-almuerzo cafe.

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