After another full day of sitting, 7 of us squeezed in like sardines in our SUV, our guide tells us that our hostel is another hour away. Snow had been accumulating throughout the day to levels which are uncommon in Bolivia. Going up a hill our SUV starts to have difficulty continuing on the snow swept dirt road and comes to a halt. We are stuck. Being from Canada, cold snowy conditions are a regular occurrence for almost half of the year , so I have no difficulty helping out to push our SUV out.
Once unstuck, our guide turns to us and to my disbelief asks:
So what do you think? We keep going ?
It was 4pm by that point, sun would be setting and trying to battle the elements in the dark is a whole other obstacle.
I voted to turn back, since we were told there was a backup hostel for situations like these. "Better for you and better for me" is what the guide tells us when we all vote on turning back.
How he could put that decision in the hands of people who have never been to these parts before is beyond me.
We end up spending the night in a hostel which makes me feel like we are on the set of The Thing. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, wind howling outside with the sound of ice pellets hitting the roof. No heating inside meant we all put on as many layers as possible. Luckily one shop was open and had 2 shelves with a choice of beer, wine and whiskey.
Whiskey kept us warm that night, along with 5 layers of thick blankets.
The next morning we found out that one of the other tour groups had continued on and gotten lost. One had gotten stuck and the passengers had to walk to the hostel through the blowing snow. And that a truck filled with miners had gotten lost in the snow and were presumed dead.
Snow storms in Bolivia are no joke.
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