Deciding that Sunday would be an ideal day to head up to Coroico, we left the car in La Paz and put our lives in the hands of a combi (a shared minibus) driver for the two and half hour trek. The road to Coroico is a winding mountainous stretch of asphalt with dazzling drop offs, waterfalls and a steep descent. Our driver was quite adventurous, opting to not only pass into blind curves in opaque fog but also maintaining breakneck speeds while at it. Looking at NayNay and Joe, I could see my own tension mirrored in their faces as we listened to our headphones and tried to ignored what was now out of our control. We were thankful to arrive in one piece, legs shaky as we exited the van and gathered our packs.
The hostel we were scheduled to stay at was a short walk from the bus station once we managed the seemingly never ending staircase to town from the bus station. Villa Bonita is a charming assortment of cabins, each with their own private bath and sitting area outside. We spent the evening perusing the town and ending up at Clara's Garden for dinner. After a veritable feast, we tucked in early, trying to make sure to be fully rested for whatever came the next day.
Rising early to the sound of roosters, we ate a hearty breakfast and trekked to the plantation. We were assigned the task of fertilizing the plants, something that seemed easy in concept, but in reality proved much harder. After hauling heavy sacks down a slick goat trail, we filled our buckets and proceeded to spend the next six hours lost, sweaty, confused and increasingly frustrated at the assignment at hand.
The next two days left us feeling less defeated, but just as sore and tired at the end of each day. We couldn't be happier when we emptied the last massive bag of fertilizer, and were able to walk home, and shower the grime off of ourselves for the last time that week. Heading back to La Paz was another nail biting adventure, rain was our companion as opposed to the fog a few days before, but we made it safely back to La Paz and eagerly looked forward to our dinner the following night at Gustu, which we will talk about in a future post.
We learned a lot from our few days of labor at the plantation and our peek into the lives of those who work incredibly hard producing the worlds second most consumed commodity was enlightening. It's was truly incredible to witness the amount of labor each cup of coffee requires firsthand, and it definitely made us all appreciate the backbreaking work that happens at coffee plantations around the world.
This is the reason we travel, to experience a life outside of our own, to create new experiences and walk even if for just a couple of days in someone else's shoes.