Retreat in the Mountains
Trip Start Dec 06, 2010
32Trip End Mar 31, 2011
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The owners, Mabel and Raul Carvagal, who also own the Salmandra Restaurant in Sucre, bought the property 20 years ago with the intent to regenerate the vegetation on the mountainside and make the place into an ecologically protected area. They planted pine and eucalyptus tree which attracted many species of birds as well as other small mountain animals.
We were offered one of several cabins which surround the main house and were pleased that our cabin had two washrooms and a fireplace with a box full of wood to burn
The owners invited us into the main house for a tasty steak lunch, preceded by a quinoa soup beside a big wood fire, and made us feel very welcome. The $30/day that we paid for this Inn was well worth it. We were treated to 3 full meals a day plus 'tea' at 4 p.m. and the gourmet meals and desserts, prepared by Mabel, were delicious.
The weather was not the best, wet and cold but the wood fires certainly helped dry us out a bit. The Inn was situated in a good spot to do some hiking. We walked through pine forests and rocky mountain ridges, saw dinosaur tracks, a camp for young people, an Inca road, as well as the pretty little Capilla de Chataquila, a chapel which is 3,650m (about 12,000 ft) above sea level.
I read somewhere that the Incas in the area were very reluctant to give up their beliefs when the Spanish arrived, so a compromise was made. A large rock by the side of the present road was worshiped by the Incas as a symbol of Pachamama. The Spaniards moved the rock a short distance and built a small church with the altar on top of the rock
Raul, the owner of Bramadero is an interesting 80 year old with a lot of interests, one of them being astronomy. His Inn is decorated with drawings on large slabs of rock of the constellations and he has several high powered telescopes that guests can use. It was too bad for us that it was cloudy the whole time that we were there. We were looking forward to seeing the stars. Apparently 3000 - 4000 stars can be seen from his yard when the skies are clear. Bramadero uses no electricity so that the stars can be seen more clearly. Just candles and fires. When we were there a generator was used for a few hours in the evening.
On Wednesday, another dismal, wet day, Raul put chains on his tires in anticipation of the muddy road back to Sucre
We enjoyed our time at Bramadero (especially the food) and would recommend this little retreat to anyone who wants a little R and R in a lovely setting. The hosts were wonderful and made us feel right at home.
The next few days in Sucre were pretty quiet. We went to see the movie called The Devil's Miner at the Joyride Restaurant. It's a powerful true story about a 14 year old boy who worships the devil for protection while working in a Bolivian silver mine in Potosi to make money to support his family. We think that this moving movie should be seen by everyone.
We are making plans for our final trip to a library in Villa Serrano, followed by our trip back to Peru and then home again. It won't be long until we are back home.