I live at Kilometer 3 on the road to Bolinda. For almost an entire year I have known of this place and wanted to go. I tried running that way nce, but was warned the same day about the dangers of running alone on this road.
Tonight I can finally say that I have been to Bolinda. I was nothing like what I pictured. A different world with an occasional view of the same “Caranavi” mountains. Much like Naranjos outside of Entre Rios, it is a cluster of homes that dot the landscape next to the road, a school, a church, a manmade laguna, a park, a store situated in a house, a dirt soccer field. I was enchanted. What would it be like to live in a place like this? I would love certain things, but not all things. A man let us go to his laguna, which he made with tractors and shovels, showing us his giant fish, offspring of the ones he had brought in from Tarija, on the other side of the country. The flowers there are different, more exotic, but a flower from home on the Hickey’s porch also made an appearance. An unexpected hike took us up to a coffee drying rack, and down a path that led to…? We never found out after 15 minutes hiking down. We did find more coffee trees amidst larger trees where two people hid above us. We shared a “Soda Real” in plastic cups in the back of the truck, parked on the road between the soccer field and the tire swings. As we drove back, the mountains loomed majestically over my “high” peaks that are visible from CEC. It makes me feel like the CEC is low, though normally I enjoy the height we have over the pueblo. I am reminded of my size. I am so small, a single person living on one hill of thousands, with a view that doesn’t do justice to the immensity of this place called “Las Yungas”.