Adventures in Samaipata

Published: April 4th 2011
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Notice the canals for water
After crossing the border from Brazil into Bolivia, we took an old train to Santa Cruz, the most modern city in Bolivia. We met some cool people from Vancouver, Wash. DC, and London and left town after a few hours to the mountain village of Samaipata. The scenery was stunning on the way up there. Thick lush green jungle clinging to steep cliffs carved out by waterfalls and rivers red from the crimson earth of Eastern Bolivia. The ride was a bit scary, passing trucks at high speeds on muddy roads with 100 ft cliffs everywhere. We stayed at the first hotel we could find as it was pouring and it only cost US 2 dollars. The rain kept us indoors so we went to a small family restaurant and ordered beers and played cards for hours until it was time for dinner. A large plate of breaded steak with rice, potatoes, salad and soup for $1.10. Gotta love Bolivia. The next day we moved to a nicer hostal with a rooftop terrace overlooking the pleasant town plaza and the surrounding green mountians. That day we went to some ancient ruins called El Fuerte. A pre-inca civilization had carved out a village out of a single exposed rock about 1 square km. There were canals for water and sewage, walls, storage compartments(holes), and all kinds of other evidence of human inhabitance. The next dy we went to national park called Cuevas. It was an amazing sub-tropical jungle trail that passed by a series of waterfalls that each created a beautiful white sand beach to relax on and go swimming. There were patches of quicksand near the falls so you had to be careful where you stepped. I was caught up to my waist and it took considerable effort and help from the Londoner to get me out.
The last day we went to a rescue for endangered species, basically a small zoo. There were about 10 different species of monkeys, some red, some black, some yellow, some nice and some ferocious. There were also huge tortoise, macaw, parrot, and a wild pig that had porcupine spikes. We had become very good friends with the group and decided to travel to Sucre together the following day.

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