Está muy lejos, they tell us. Thagoni is very far.
The drive to this far-off Bolivian community starts in the valley, the stretches of cactus-dotted plains morphing into mountains. The route turns down a rough cobblestone lane. Then it veers onto a rock-strewn dirt road up the side of a mountain, the landscape of endless hills stretching as far as the eye can see. The car kicks up fine dust that seeps through the cracked windows – evidence of the dry season.
Thirty minutes up the side of the mountain and we arrive. Bienvenidos a Thagoni, the sign says, announcing our arrival. The brisk wind and stark landscape give away the town’s altitude. Here, high in these mountains, the 30 homes of Thagoni are the only civilization to be seen. And it could hardly be called a town – the mud brick homes are strewn along the hillsides, dispersed between fields and fences.