The Trek That Couldn't Happen

July 20, 2006
Day 295

Yesterday we learned from the owner of a truck that he would be leaving for Queara at 4:00 AM today. The info seemed more reliable this time. We told him we'd go with him and went to bed early.

By 4:00, another problem had arisen. Craig started to feel the same symptoms of nausea and fatigue that had plagued him two weeks ago during the canoe trip. He didn't have any drugs with him to fix the problem, either. For the record, I felt like a million bucks.

Even though Craig still felt OK, it wasn't worth the risk. We were told that there were no pharmacies in Queara but there was one here in Pelechuco in the hospital. We would have to try to get the drugs needed today and leave tomorrow. It's too risky to venture into the jungle sick with the potential for getting worse. Incidentally, I walked to the truck at 4:00. Nobody was around (not a big surprise considering it's Bolivia), but on the way, I spotted the bloodshot-eyed man with his friends wasted on the 95% booze that's all too common here. I knew I shouldn't have listened to a word that guy said.

After the town woke up, we walked to the hospital only to receive more bad news. An assistant was there, but she didn't have the key to the medicine cabinet. The only people with a key were the doctor and the nurse. Normally one of them is in town, but today they were both tending to sick people in another town. We were told that there was a chance they would show up later in the day, so we waited some more.

We did take a hike down the river that leads through town and into the beautiful countryside. There were mountains and valleys everywhere, so the scenery was spectacular. I hope I get a chance to return to this area for more trekking at some point.

We went back to the hospital later in the day, but learned that the doctor and nurse wouldn't be back for two more days. I didn't have much spare time anymore, and Craig didn't want to risk getting worse in this remote community, so we decided that we'd have no choice but to cancel the trek and go back to La Paz tomorrow. It's too bad we had to miss out on the trek, but it just wasn't meant to be. Last year, Craig had to cancel the same trek due to high river waters. This year, we lost a day because the bus was to Pelechuco was full and another day because we didn't figure out when the truck left for Queara. On top of that, first I got sick with parasites, then Craig's previous parasitic illness returned, despite taking loads of antibiotics. We tried not to harp on the issue and bought a ticket out of town for the bus leaving at 3:00 AM tomorrow.

The photo album for this entry is here.

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