Trek to Dinosaur footprints via Maragua

Whilst researching Sucre, there were three things I wanted to do – take a Spanish course, see the dinosaur footprints and pop up to the Meteor crater. Whilst visiting Tarabuco a new fiend, Kelly, mentioned that she was embarking on a trek the following day with some friends to visit the crater and some dinosaur footprints – I decided the opportunity was to good to pass up so paid my monies and joined them.

It started off at 11:30 with a fairly long bus journey into the crater which in fairness isn’t as impressive as I’d expected. It’s a little lump in the middle of a large valley and doesn’t look like a Meteor crater (or at least what I’d come to expect from other seeing other craters in pictures). Back on the bus for another hour and half and we arrived at Maragua, a little village in the middle of the crater.

Our guide, Dora, then started to pass out toys to the local kids as we ate lunch, mayhem ensued. Kids were trying to clamber onto the bus, their arms were flung into the air as they tried to catch the toys and those with the best ones were running around proudly showing their winnings to everyone and anyone.

We then started to walk and a tummy problem which had been bothering me a little for a few days got worse. After a quick toilet stop I took a Bolivian equivalent to Imodium and it reacted really badly. I got very tired, felt desperately sick and could hardly walk. I was slipping all the time, couldn’t place my feet appropriately and ended up on my backside at one point. The scenery was amazing but I just couldn’t appreciate it as every step was difficult and I only wanted to get to the end, complete the walk back to the bus and clamber into bed.

It seemed to take an eternity to reach the dinosaur footprints where I just sat for a while drinking water. After a rest and taking a few pictures I started to feel much better. By the time we started the walk back I was still feeling poorly but no where near as bad. I don’t know if this was because the tablet kicked in properly or it was worked it’s way out of my system, but I started the walk back with renewed vigour.

It started to get dark quickly and since we didn’t have any torches we all wanted to get off the mountain before we lost all light. Since I was feeling better, I was able to keep up a great pace and started chatting properly to the other trekkers. They were all really interesting and great company and it made the walk back loads of fun. A little later we lost all light and I kept a little way ahead of the others as they were using torches whereas my night vision was proving enough for me (the torches would have destroyed my vision and made it much harder).

Back on the bus we all fell asleep / dozed until we came across a truck which had come off the road. Thankfully it wasn’t serious though and we continued on back to Sucre. A quick free drink in the Joyride cafe (where we’d booked the tour through) and then bed.

The tour was a success but unfortunately it had been hampered by a bad stomach which meant I was much more grouchy than normal and feeling sick the whole time. The worst part was that the bad would continue for a few more days!

Costs and comments

Joyride organised the whole trip for B$214 (~£20) including a packed lunch. Dora the guide was lovely but I wished the timings had been better (everything took longer than advertised) and that we’d been told to bring torches if we had them – I have a great head torch which was useless sitting in my room at the hostel!

Click here to load a map showing you the location of this post and images from the digitallery taken nearby.