Sorata Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 15 › view all entries

Friday morning, Chris, Griff, and Melissa woke up early to embark on a 7 hour, high-altitude hike ... led by a guide, they would climb the surrounding mountains to a hidden lake, Lake Chilata.  They will have to write more about this trip.  Sounds amazing, though unfortunately foggy, they said.  And really tough physically due to steepness and altitude - they took a taxi back up to the trailhead which was at 11,000 feet or something.

As for me, I woke up with them, ate breakfast, though was still feeling miserable.  My headache and fever were gone, but my gurgle was still going.  I began to think maybe it wasn't altitude related, but maybe a typical cold, chest congestion thing... or maybe bronchitis?  If I can finish this blog quick, I will do some self diagnosis online.   So anyway, I stayed behind, foregoing the hike, and crawled back into bed. 

I woke up at 2pm. (I know because I went downstairs and asked someone.)

I strolled out onto the neat little plaza of Sorata....but the town was DEAD.  Shops closed, and people were walking up the hill. I followed.

Turns out they were forming some sort of parade or march.  Again, I followed.

We marched through the streets and then they entered some kind of enclosed courtyard just off the main plaza.   I now noticed that there were speakers mounted on one of the buildings in the plaza, and a man was periodically making announcements.  I tried to listen and understand...something about Agua.  I stayed outside the courtyard, but sat in the plaza and listened.  Soon, the speakers were turned off, the doors closed, and SOMETHING was going on inside.  Virtually everyone from town was in there.

I headed back to the hostel and did some reading.  Chris brought a cool book called 'In Bolivia' so I started reading that - a bit in my room and a bit in the square. 

Eventually Chris, Griff, and Melissa came back and we met in the hostel.  They cleaned up and we headed out to happy hour, card game, and dinner.  Along the way, I asked a few people about the closure of town and the 'assemblia'. 

Apparently, there was some kind of water crisis in Sorata last week.  No running water?  So the town was meeting to figure out what happened, or what to do.  Not sure.  Was difficult for me to understand but people were very emotional and animated about telling me.

Fortunately, the water was working fine now, though.  More or less.  Shower temperature was a bit unpredictable.   

We ate at another fixed menu place...this time fried chicken and rice for a whopping 42 bolivianos total.  About $6, again, thats the total bill.

We then meandered down the road and found a Karaoke bar!  Well, it's not really a bar....'Gustavo' opened up his courtyard for us, revealing a massive stereo setup with music dvds and one english karaoke dvd, and a big cooler full of beer.  We felt obligated to sing since he seemed to open up just for us.  He CRANKED the music really lowed, and Griff broke out into Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi) to start us off.  Then Chris did Who Can It Be Now.  Then Melissa and Griff did Hey Jude.  I sat and listened as I still was gurgling, not singing. 

Locals heard us and started coming down into the bar/courtyard, too.  One got up and sang a spanish song.  But I think they were getting a kick out of us singing.  We also enjoyed the other cheesy 80s music videos that Gustavo played for us...Milli Vanilli, Hall and Oates, etc.

We headed back to the hostel around...oh hell...i don't know what time it was...10ish. 

Tomorrow we leave this quaint little village and head back to La Paz.


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photo by: Riz7