Rockslides and Flooded Riverbanks

Bolivian roads are unpredictable. You never know what you’re going to find until you get there. Sometimes the road has been washed away by the heavy rains, other times small puddles turn out to be mud pits, and in our case, we encountered a small rock slide and had to get out of the car to clear the road.

Rockslides and blocked dirt roads in Bolivia

In January, my friend and I spent 2 weeks volunteering in Bolivia with Niños con Valor. An outing to some distant Inca ruins was planned during one of our days off, but just trying to reach these ruins turned out to be more difficult than any of us anticipated.

When we finally cleared the road and reached the ‘small creek’ you’d normally be able to cross on foot, we discovered the heavy rains had turned it into more of a river.

Flooded Riverbanks in Cochabamba, Bolivia

We walked up and down the banks looking for a suitable place to cross but couldn’t find one. Then one of our drivers returned saying he’d found a bridge. This ‘bridge’ turned out to be a tree trunk, which might have been useful were it not sitting on the wrong side of the river…

Unable to follow the trail on the other side of the river, we hiked up the slippery mountain with hopes of seeing what lay across. This was all we could see through the pouring rain. Not Machu Picchu.

Sometimes getting there is half the fun.

Have your plans ever been thwarted by roadbocks? If so, how did you turn it into something good?


  • aviewtoathrill says:

    Sometimes, mother nature just won’t cooperate, but that makes the journey that much more fun. Glad that you guys made it out of there safely.

  • mattmcgee215att says:

    Ran into this issue in Costa Rica a few years ago. The road wasn’t totally washed away, but part of it was. Made for quite the traffic jam, and we almost missed our boat departure. All’s well that ends well.

  • suzyguese says:

    Half the fun is certainly getting there. I think it is an idea we pick up in childhood. I don’t always remember where I went as a kid, but I certainly remember the going.

    • thatbackpacker says:

      Roadtrips are certainly fun. Long drives always make for great conversation and just sprinkle a wrong turn for additional excitement and you’ve got yourself roadtrip magic! 😀 Sometimes I’m sad to reach the destination…

  • Tijmen says:

    I started a 5 day hike in NZ, and already on the first day there had been a landslide. And the only way to get around it was to climb an extremely steep hill through bushes and tree’s. What didn’t help was that it rained and everything was slippery. But we survived 🙂 Turned out it was the hardest part of the entire hike 🙂

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