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We’d spent most of our time in the barren, dry altiplano of Bolivia (with the exception of Rurrenabaque and some of the Choro Trek) so we thought we’d better sample a little more of Bolivia’s green side before we left.  Chulumani is the capital of the Yungas region, an area that divides the High Andes from the Amazon and comprises of rolling green hills. They harvest a good deal of Bolivia’s fruit in the region but this is quickly giving way to coca leaves as the yield per square metre is higher and the product is lighter to transport. Sadly, this has meant increasing deforestation in the area but it is still replete with birds, butterflies and remains a beautiful region of the country to visit.

We did the rounds of the town and in between the usual fried food and piles of goods lining the streets were piles of bananas half as high as the buildings, and rooms stacked to the ceiling with huge plastic bags of coca leaves. There were beautiful views in many directions but the town didn’t seem well designed to take advantage of it.

The population was mainly a mix of indigenous and black people. The latter settled here after their descendants were brought from Africa as slaves to work in the silver mines of Potosi. Apparently they had difficulty acclimatising to the altitude and were consequently moved to the Yungas to do agricultural work.

We didn’t do much in Chulumani except for go wandering off a few kilometres to a nature reserve where we had a swim and relaxed for a while before hitching a ride back.


One Comment

  1. Thanks Jacinta and Adam for the informative and descriptive updates.
    As usual the photos are spectacular. I like the one of John and I on the horses! a great way to trek.

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