Hotel Diego de Almagro - too good to leave

Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
De Hosteles
Hotel Diego de Almagro

Flag of Chile  , CL.13,
Wednesday, January 27, 2010


We had to push ourselves to leave this lovely hotel in which everything was working. It was so luxurious, even the pile in the carpet was deep and new.

Our aim was to travel about 320 kilometers to cross into Bolivia this day, and rest for the night in Curahuara, just 200 kilometers short of La Paz, which we should cover the next day.

We entered The Andes again and were riding eastward. We were now travelling through much more fertile areas. It was much greener and we saw many vicuna (of the llama family) roaming the fields along the roadside, with plenty to eat.

We approached a small town, Putre, which, according to the map, had fuel. It was a tiny town with a few mud brick dwellings and not many inhabitants. We were quite high by this stage, about 3,600 meters and were all feeling it in our labored breathing. My toes had pins and needles and I felt a little sick.

We drove right through the cobbled "main" street to the end and didn't spot a petrol station. Lou got off his bike to ask someone, and, yes, there was fuel available, in the shop we’d passed coming down.

The shop provided fuel, groceries, meat and showers. I think it also accommodated trekkers. From the front you wouldn’t know it stocked anything, but at least it sorted out our fuel problem.

We gained altitude again through more and more spectacular scenery and approached the border of Chile and Bolivia at about 4,000 meters. It was most unnerving. We were all puffing and walking very slowly, sucking in as much air as we could while our mouths became dryer and dryer. Everything took a long time to do, physically. We leaned on the counters of the immigration office and sat in the chairs in customs. It was very debilitating. We had to walk from one building to another with our paperwork, but our feet felt like they were not touching the ground. We were feeling the pressure in our heads and looking forward to a lie down.  Finally, with all the documentation processed, we were allowed to cross into Bolivia and immediately noticed the industriousness of the people. Small plots of farmland were being tended by many members of the family. Many were involved in tending the sheep right to the edge of the roadway. Cows were on the verge too, being driven by young people with sticks. Some multi coloured llamas were being herded by a group of family members. The animals close to the road but not tended were tethered. It was beautiful to see.

Crops were planted right up high in the mountains, and no land seemed to be wasted. There was a good deal of water available, and it had stared drizzling and became very cold when we rode into Curahuara and booked into the quaint little Hostal Kory Wara at $20 US per night. We were all exhausted, but the essentials still had to be done before we could settle. The Hostal owner also sold fuel, so the bikes were fueled up. All the baggage had to be brought inside the rooms and the Zumo’s disconnected. The bikes were covered for the night and we shuffled into our rooms for some quick shut eye before dinner.  Headaches all round made us a bit withdrawn and each looked forward to a good nights’ sleep.

The pet baby llama at the Hostal, named “Castro” was very cute and kept nuzzling up to me. I asked where his mother was and the Hostal owner said “No mamma, me papa”.

Well, for $20 per night it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up an idea of what the Hostal was like. I can’t go into what it didn’t have but it did have a bed, a toilet and a shower of sorts. The owner also seemed to have everything which we wanted to buy as well, meals, water and fruit. We gave his 2 little boys some koalas.

None of us slept well, and we all took some medicine for our headaches.
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Miguel on

You were lucky with the Lamas. I forgot to tell you that sometimes they seem to be chewing something, but they are just preparing a big shot of "Spit" that goes directly into your face hahaha.

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