Friday 6 October 2023

Back in business

At last, back to the fresh mountain air and much less heat! After leaving Santa Cruz, we made our way up the hills of Samaipata. And it felt like we were back in business because after a couple of weeks with very little 'proper' exercise, we finally did some walking.

While we were in the area, we did three hikes: Codo de los Andes (elbow of the Andes), el Fuerte, and the Cloud Forest (which Life as a Giant Fern post that Ismene wrote about was about). On the first day, we visited El Fuerte which was a pre-Incan, Incan and then Spanish fort and (for the the pre-Incans and the Incans) a sacred place! If you know me well (as a school friend), you probably know that I looooooove the Incans! So I pestered Dan and Ioanna into going there on our first day when I learnt that near where we were staying, there was an Incan site! It was amazing, although, to be honest, I would probably say that, even if it wasn't. 

My first impression of the fort was "This is a real fort". It WAS huge with a view that stretched for miles on every side making it brilliant viewpoint to look down on your enemies. But it wasn't just a big space, it was also very beautifully constructed: it was ornated with carvings in the top of the place of worship which were a jaguar, a snake and a puma that had been made by simple stone tools because there weren't any drills or proper tools back then! 

In terms of construction, the pre-Incans had built a gigantic place of worship, the Incas had made an astrological calendar from which they would have been able to see when to harvest their crops, and other important times of the year and the Spanish...well, they hadn't added anything significant to the site. At least, nothing that survived the test of time.

On our last day, we hiked the Codo de los Andes the longest hike in the area totalling to about 11km (7 hours). We did one side walk that went to the top of a mountain. The views from the top of it were astounding, it was like being on top of the world with all the mountains rising up around you! We saved the best for last (again) as they say. Well we didn't save it, it was there, wating for us at the end of the hike were three waterfalls one of which we swam in, which, as you can probably imagine, was incredibly refreshing.

Now is it bad that after three days of hiking, I feel like I really need a rest? Don't tell Dan :)


  1. Can only dream of refreshing waterfalls over here in China. Your posts are making it all the more a reality, so refreshing I can imagine being there 💚 Super journey my friends xxx

  2. Great to read your personal reactions in your own words, Orestis. You are an impressive writer, making it fun to read.