This is Rosa Maria. She’s setenta-mas years old according to her daughter, who said maybe she’s around 76. After marrying her husband when she was 18 she moved to the mountain town of Cuellaje where they raised their 11 children. Even in her setenta years, she still manages her farmhouse, feeds her chickens, tends to her rabbits and sells her avocados at the market. She’s our new host-abuela.


And this is the bridge Rosa Maria has to cross simply to get to her property from the main road that leads to Cuellaje. On Sunday we met her in town just as mass was getting out and we all hopped into the milk truck that took us to her stop. Strapping on our 20+ kilo packs we headed down the side of the mountain toward her place. At one point she looked at us to confirm we were OK with crossing a puente de alambre which I knew meant wire bridge, but I guess I wasn’t picturing something so Indiana Jones-y.


But it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a wire cable that runs from her side of the river to the other, and has skinny tree branches acting as planks that are secured with even flimsier wire. There are also “railings” made out of more skinny wire, and cut in pieces, so every now and then there’s a sharp end-piece that will rip your hand open if you’re paying too close attention to the rushing river underfoot. Sort of an interesting start to our second homestay.


March 17, 2014