ASI Blog

Destination: Cuenca!

The Peruvian government normally only allows tourists to stay in the country for 3 months at a time – and whenever the time approaches, many of our interns and students travel to the nearest border to obtain a new VISA an remain in the country legally.

The closest country to the North of Peru, where our school is located, is Ecuador, where we travel to often in order to get to see the beauty of the green country. With backpacks on, we knew we had one destination: Ecuador!

This month, Ecuador was a popular destination for many of our interns. With beautiful places such as Baños and the swing on the edge of the world, fun big cities like Guayaquil and artistic gems such as Cuenca. Last week, two of our interns visited the small city located in the highlands of Ecuador, just 4 hours away of Guayaquil.The central part of the city is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Trust site since it possesses so many historical buildings. We argue that the whole city is a work of art in itself! 

Cuenca

And this is Cuenca!

The ride there its an adventure itself! The evergreen road quickly gets surrounded by fog which provides a sense of mystery and charm that hypnotizes and intrigues. We tried to take some pictures, but there was no camera in the world that could reproduce such amazing beauty. It felt very much like being a part of a book of magic tales!

Beautiful church on a beautiful day

We arrived around 1 pm on a Sunday and the city was quite tranquil and silent – which is curious, considering that there was a celebration of the anniversary of the city going on. We found a spot at a charming hostel called El Cafecito which we recommend for the price, atmosphere and excellent costumer service. We had some time to get settled before heading out in order to explore the little city.

We went through an area with small flower kiosks and  ate some amazing vegetarian food before indulging in some sightseeing. The first step was to take notice of the architecture – Cuenca shows the clear signs of the Spanish colonization with the colorfulness of a South American city. Ever little building is decorated with flowers and the city is highly well conserved. But the charm lies in the street art. Cuenca is known for the artistic atmosphere – it breathes and lives art and everywhere there are graffiti images as well as interesting quotes and poems.

Poem and Art

Poetry and Art in Cuenca

After looking at some artesania for a bit and taking pictures of the building we headed to the Prohibido Museo de Arte Extremo which is a museum dedicated to weird, unique art such as reconstructed dolls, headless animals and bones, many bones.The paintings were quite interesting as well – and the opinions were divided on whether the museum was good or not. Personally, I thought it was extremely fun, but I admit that it was sinister and frightening at times. If you are into unique and creepy you must check it out!

The place we headed to next was the small square where artisans had their art and clothing displayed, and one of us bought a book of poems handcrafted and designed personally by the poet. Afterwards, we watched a street artist and his puppet performing. We sat and watched the river, taking pictures and overall, enjoying the quiet atmosphere.

The next day started with a visit to the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno – a building was initially constructed to assist the drunk people of the streets and later became an orphanage. Due to many horror stories told about the place, an architect called Patricio Muñoz Vega  along with the Banco Central and the Municipalidad decided it was time to turn its tragic story into something positive. It was a smart initiative to transform such a gloomy environment into a beautiful space dedicated to art. We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibitions, especially the sculptures at the garden area. The museum itself is beautiful and surrounded by green!

Once again we headed to explore the city’s amazing street art. I was super excited when we accidentally stumbled upon a panel with a giant whale beautifully painted. I had to take pictures with it!

hats

There are so many hats everywhere in this city!

Later we headed to the Museo del Sombrero which is absolutely interesting to check out. There we can see a bit of the process of how Panama hats are made as well as shop for freshly made ones. The prices vary between 15 and 700 dollars, but the quality is amazing and unique. We probably spent hours trying on cool hats! We also found cool stores where they sold a lot of fun Nintendo merch, as well as several dvd stores (yes, I know!) and even a store with Korean pop merchandise. Ah, Cuenca!

At night, we headed to the Indian restaurant to celebrate the birthday of Leon with a feast! Granted the food wasn’t amazing, but we certainly had a great time watching Bollywood videos and chatting with friends I made in Mancora the weekend before and that we randomly bumped into  them in Cuenca, Ecuador. Fun thing about travelling: you always meet interesting people and sometimes you get a chance to see them again in a completely different country!

After garbing drinks at a local small bar, we headed back home since the time when they stop selling alcohol was approaching. Did you know that it is illegal to drink in Ecuador after 12 am? It’s also illegal to drink at any point on Sundays. That’s because the drinking and driving situation in Ecuador was becoming severe.

On our last day,we went to a small museum we found as we walked by it – a beautiful construction with intricate mosaic work on the roof. The art displayed was made by an Ecuatorian artist and showcased the daily life of local indigenous people. Afterwards, we got to sit by the river Tomebamba for a while before it begun to pour. We attempted to get to the ancient Inca ruin and also the beautiful garden with a bird farm located near the river, but it was closed. With the rain, we didn’t think of anything else we could do so we headed to a restaurant. On our way there, we found an amazing book store where we stayed for hours enjoying the atmosphere as well as purchasing some books to help improving our Spanish.

After eating a tasty pizza, we had to get ready and leave this special little place.

So if you’re planning to go to Ecuador, you have got to see Cuenca! I’m sure that, just as we did, you will have a very nice experience and find little surprises along your way.

 

whale

Whale, whale, whale – I bid you adieu!

Carnival in Cajamarca

Carnival Festivities Ring Through the Streets of Cajamarca

Carnival festivities ring through the streets of Cajamarca

Bring out the paint, costumes, and beer. Carnival is here! As one of the most freeing holidays, Carnival brings cheer to all those who participate. Whether you’re celebrating in Rio, Venice, New Orleans, or Peru, this is a time to wear masks and dance in the street to celebrate life. Some girlfriends and I decided to tag along with another group on the 6-hour journey to Cajamarca for the biggest Carnival celebration in Peru. We were told that a friend of our Peruvian friend would provide the accommodation, but everyone had their legitimate doubts. In Peru, anything is possible …anything…and nothing is certain. Most of the hostels had booked up already, so our group of twenty had to stay pretty open to whatever we came across. Thanks to our pro-expat friend, this time we used Transportes Chiclayo and it was definitely the BEST night bus service I’ve had so far. Snacks and blankets provided. I love snacks and blankets! On the downside, some food poisoning kicked in half way through the bus ride, making it (and the following 24 hours) quite unpleasant, to say the least. We rolled in to Cajamarca at around 4am and to our surprise (not really), our host backed out. Apparently he was drunk AND forgot to tell his wife that 20 foreigner friends were coming over. We wandered from hostel to hostel down a dark street asking if anyone had room for 20 people. Most people turned us down at the immediate sight of 20 tired foreigners outside the door at 4am. We probably looked like an angry mob of hitchhikers or something. At one point, another friend of our Peruvian friend politely offered to take us in knowing full well that we wouldn’t be able to fit in her room, even standing up. This sort of thing makes me marvel at the politeness of cultures like Peru. It was sweet, just very impossible. We continued down the road a little further before just throwing our bags down and lying on the street. I started to feel increasingly sicker. If

Let the paint wars begin!

Let the paint wars begin!

there was ever a bad time to get food poisoning, this is was it. It wasn’t that cold but I had chills through my body. My bags weren’t that heavy but I felt so achy and tired. Normally I would be keen on the adventure of camping out with 20 people on the streets of Cajamarca. But this time, I just wanted a bed and a bathroom. Lea, Bea and myself broke off from the group in an attempt to find a hostel on our own. We figured that everyone just turned us down because there were so many of us. We returned to one hostel and the lady immediately let us in and showed us to her last available room that perfectly fit 3. I knew it! It was tiny, it had a bathroom, it was perfect. It was a long night, and Bea started feeling sick as well, but we rested up and felt okay-ish by noon. Carnival celebrations differ all over the world, but in Cajamarca, Peru, on this particular Saturday, people celebrate by throwing paint and water at each other. I put my phone in its waterproof case, dressed in an old sweatshirt and shorts and we made our way outside. The street seemed quiet.. too quiet. Until splash! The first bucket of water from the balcony above came pouring down on us. We aimlessly ran into the street only to be greeted by little boys with water guns, water balloons, and the occasional splash of paint. Neighbors gathered on the balconies and aimed at their targets below. We scrambled to find a taxi and heading to Armas Square, where the main festival would be taking place. Upon arrival, we ran into some friends who told us the festival was pretty much over, but we decided to grab a quick bite and venture out anyway. It was definitely not over. The streets were full of people drenched in color, banging drums, and singing traditional Peruvian Carnival songs. It was beautiful.

The parade through the Plaza de Armas

The parade through the Plaza de Armas

The further we went the crazier it got. More people with buckets of ice water on balconies, more kids with water balloons, and way more buckets of paint. Let the paint wars begin! Completely defenseless, we ran through the streets being attacked us from every angle with paint and cold water. We joined a parade of drunken dudes who offered us beer and paint to throw. We sang along with them joyfully and at times were unknowingly the subject of the song itself. We joined a few more parades of people and danced to the sound of live trumpets, drums, and voices completely covered in paint. Day two started early with tourists and locals gathering the Armas square to see the parade. Colorful costumes, masks, and the pleasing aroma of street food filled the square alongside the beautiful and historic Spanish architecture. We saw bits and pieces of the parade in the rain

The scenic tour of Cumbre Mayo

The scenic tour of Cumbre Mayo

and eventually decided upon enjoying a gourmet meal. It was definitely rewarding after running from children amped up on the rush of water fights from the day before. More water balloons? Come on bro, that was so yesterday. Our meal was amazing. Real coffee!! Real cheese! Fresh juice and gourmet chocolate! Besides the ultra-spirited festivals, this is what Cajamarca is known for. We were in Peruvian heaven… After the meal, we decided on checking out the Incan bathhouses. Basically a natural hotspring with private rooms for soaking up the naturally hot waters said to heal any illness. Woohoo! After that we rushed to join our tour bus just about to depart for Cumbre Mayo, the village in the mountains that overlooks Cajamarca. There were not enough seats on the bus so I got VIP seating via stool in the middle of the aisle. The hour-long bumpy road took us up to a beautiful village surrounded by enormous rocks jutting out of the earth. Reminded me of a dry, green version of Halong Bay in Vietnam. The quiet peacefulness

Interns enjoying the view of Cumbre Mayo. From left to right: Lea, Gina, Lea, Estephany

Interns enjoying the view of Cumbre Mayo. From left to right: Bea, Gina, Lea, Estephany

of this place allowed the sensation of awe settle in. We explored the green rolling mountains, dark caves, and streams that crossed the continent: joining the Pacific and Atlantic rivers. I can’t help but compare something as scenic as this to a movie or piece of cinematography that I’ve seen in the past. Maybe in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. It was stunning. After a few hours of exploring the hills, the sun started setting and the tour brought us back to a lookout of the city lights below in Cajamarca. It was the perfect end to great weekend.

Men’s Packing List for Pimentel

Men's packing list for Pimentel, Peru

Men’s packing list for Pimentel, Peru

Congrats on your acceptance into our program! The following guide will help you to prepare for your big adventure. Some people prefer to pack more and some prefer to pack less. It is 100% up to you but here is a mock packing list of suggested items for men who plan to stay in Pimentel for a few months.

Lightweight breathable clothes are best for the Pimentel climate. It tends to be fairly dry with high temperatures ranging from 25-32C and lows ranging from 16-21C. Mornings and nights can be cool or even cold while the afternoon temperature tends to linger around 26C. It doesn’t rain much in Pimentel and it is never really humid. While heavy jackets aren’t necessary, it is good to pack a few sweaters and a jacket for the evening/morning. Also, be sure to check the monthly averages for the season you plan to come.

In some countries wearing shorts to work or school may be considered too casual, however in Pimentel it is completely acceptable. Typically at ASI, the students and interns partake in a variety of activities, including (but not limited to) surfing, salsa dancing, beach volleyball, and going out on the weekends. As far as nightlife goes, most places tend to be casual or dressy casual at the most. It recommended that you pack at least a pair of pants for the chilly evenings and dressier events you may wish to attend.

Students also travel to neighboring cities and national attractions while living in Pimentel. If you are planning on taking a trip to Machu Picchu, it would be wise to pack proper hiking gear and clothing as well. It is strongly recommended that you pack one warm jacket and rain gear considering the many areas in Peru where it rains frequently such as Chachapoyas. These areas get quite cold even during summer.

Clothing:

  • At least 6 T-shirts or sleeveless shirts
  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • 1 ultra light sweater
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 jacket
  • Undergarments
  • 1-2 swim trunks
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of comfortable shoes
  • 1 pair of running/hiking shoes
  • Bath towel and beach towel

 

Accessories:

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Daypack for hiking and city tours
  • Backpack or bag for school books and supplies
  • Cell phone and charger
  • MP3 player

 

Toiletries:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Wash/Soap
  • Wash cloth
  • Razor (it is expensive here)
  • Shaving cream
  • Face Wash
  • Lotion (for the dry weather)
  • Contact Solution/Glasses
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen!!!
  • Hairbrush
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant
  • Travel tissue packs also come in handy
  • Nail clippers

School/Work Supplies:

  • Outlet converter
  • Laptop (if your job requires it)
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Spanish/English/Your language pocket dictionary

Optional:

  • Camera
  • Locks
  • Gaffer tape
  • Cable ties
  • Pocketknife
  • Money belt
  • Notebook (The school will provide you with a small one, but if you have a preference type, pick one up before you arrive)
  • Book
  • Sewing kit
  • First aid kit
  • Vitamins
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Mosquito repellent

*Be aware of airline baggage restrictions! Typically, 23 kilos (50 pounds) is the maximum weight, but ALL airlines are different. Check your specific airline’s restrictions and weigh your bag(s) before heading to the airport!

*If you forget something, you will more than likely find it in the neighboring big city, Chiclayo.

Women’s Packing List for Pimentel

Women's suitcase

Women’s packing list for Pimentel, Peru

Congrats on your acceptance into our program! The following guide will help you to prepare for your big adventure. Some people prefer to pack more and some prefer to pack less. It is 100% up to you but here is a mock packing list of what I would suggest for a woman who will be staying in Pimentel for a few months.

Lightweight breathable clothes are best for the Pimentel climate. It tends to be fairly dry with high temperatures ranging from 25-32C and lows ranging from 16-21C. Mornings and nights can be cool or even cold while the afternoon temperature tends to linger around 26C. It doesn’t rain much in Pimentel and it is never really humid. While heavy jackets aren’t necessary, it is good to pack a few sweaters and a jacket for the evening/morning. Also, be sure to check the monthly averages for the season you plan to come.

In some countries wearing shorts or tank tops to work or school may be considered too casual, however in Pimentel it is completely acceptable. Typically at ASI, the students and interns partake in a variety of activities, including (but not limited to) surfing, salsa dancing, beach volleyball, and going out on the weekends. As far as nightlife goes, most places tend to be casual or dressy casual at the most. Therefore, it might be a good idea to pack a few summer dresses or versatile outfits that work for both school and going out.

Students also travel to neighboring cities and national attractions while living in Pimentel. If you are planning on taking a trip to Machu Picchu, it would be wise to pack proper hiking gear and clothing as well. It is strongly recommended that you pack one warm jacket and rain gear considering the many areas in Peru where it rains frequently such as Chachapoyas. These areas get quite cold even during summer.

 

Clothing:

  • Atleast 6 T-shirts or tank tops
  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 2 dresses
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1 pair of sweatpants
  • 1 ultra light sweater
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 jacket
  • Undergarments
  • 1-2 swimsuits
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of comfortable sandals/flats
  • 1 pair of running/hiking shoes
  • Bath towel and beach towel
  • Sarong

Accessories:

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Daypack for hiking and city tours
  • Small purse
  • Change purse
  • Backpack or bag for school books and supplies
  • Cell phone and charger

Toiletries:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Wash/Soap
  • Wash cloth
  • Razor
  • Face Wash
  • Lotion
  • Contact Solution/Glasses
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen!!!
  • Tampons/Pads
  • Hairbrush/hair ties
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant
  • Travel tissue packs also come in handy
  • Nail clippers

School/Work Supplies:

  • Outlet converter
  • Laptop (if your job requires it)
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Spanish/English pocket dictionary

Optional:

  • Camera
  • Locks
  • Gaffer tape
  • Cable ties
  • Pocketknife
  • Money belt
  • Makeup
  • Notebook (The school will provide you with a small one, but if you have a preference type, pick one up before you arrive)
  • Book
  • Jewelry (but nothing too valuable)
  • Sewing kit
  • First aid kit
  • Vitamins
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Mosquito repellent

*Be aware of airline baggage restrictions! Typically, 23 kilos (50 pounds) is the maximum weight, but ALL airlines are different. Check your specific airline’s restrictions and weigh your bag(s) before heading to the airport!

*If you forget something, you will more than likely find it in the neighboring big city, Chiclayo.

 

Adventure in the Andes: Exploring Pre-Incan Ruins of Kuelap in Peru

On the way up to Kuelap! From left to right: Carolin, Lea, Daniel, Me, Bea

On the way up to Kuelap! From left to right: Carolin, Lea, Daniel, Me, Bea

The morning started with the typical chaos of five people getting dressed, eating breakfast, and checking out of the hostel at 7:30am. It was especially complicated because our clothes were still soaked from the Amazon trek the day before. Nevertheless, we made do with what we had, dressing in clothes that were wet, or damp at the very least. I grabbed my shoes and cringed. There’s nothing worse than having to wear wet shoes… I wracked my brain to think of any solutions. There were no dryers at this hostel, no hair dryers

Never thought I'd ever wear bag socks again... Thanks mom!

Never thought I’d ever wear bag socks again… Thanks mom!

either… I seriously contemplated putting my shoe on a skewer and roasting it over the stove. But then something amazing happened. I remembered the last time I was stuck in a similar situation. Growing up in a tiny town with high elevation in California, we experienced rain and snow, but not often. Instead of buying proper rain shoes for the rare occasion that we would use them, my mom insisted her alternative method of keeping our feet dry. Socks on first, then plastic bags tied tightly around the ankles, then shoes. Yep. And you thought your parents embarrassed you. Imagine running on the playground with the latest edition of wal-mart bags following you around. It was terrible, but it kept my feet dry. Never in my life would I think that mom-trick would ever come in handy. But as my friends and I gratefully shoved our dry feet into bags of plastic armor, the childhood embarrassment transformed into intense appreciation. Moms just know.

With our bags packed and our feet comfortably dry, we jumped in the van for our tour of Kuelap. Our group of 5 consisted of: Lea from Kenya, Carolin from Germany, Bea from Brazil, Daniel from Ireland, and myself, Gina from the US. A lovely Peruvian family joined us. The father happened to be a professor of German and English, and was from the city of Pimentel, where we all lived and worked! A chattering mix of Spanish, English and German filled the kombi and along with interesting bits of information from our guide Jaime about the region. It was the perfect soundtrack to the breathtaking scenery that unfolded before us.

The windy road to Kuelap

The windy road to Kuelap

We arrived after a 2-hour bus ride that tightly hugged the mountains and climbed elevation rapidly. Luckily, we stopped halfway through to enjoy a cup of coca tea, an ancient remedy used to cure illness and prevent altitude sickness. More commonly, it’s known for containing a small natural chemical component, called cocaine. Chill out, it’s not what we, in the west, know cocaine to be. Coca leaves have such a small amount of cocaine that intense highs don’t happen. Our whole group had the tea, and some of us even ate the leaves but didn’t feel any different. But we also didn’t get altitude sickness, so we can’t complain! I just hope I don’t have to take a drug test anytime soon…

Coca tea leaves, commonly used to treat altitude sickness.... among other things...

Coca tea leaves, commonly used to treat altitude sickness…. among other things…

Ah Kuelap! We exited the van and proceeded to climb the trail to the ancient ruins. This inland and northern part of Peru was the home of the Chachapoyan culture, a Pre-Incan tribe that lived high up in the Andes. They were a comparatively peaceful culture that didn’t believe in slavery or human sacrifices. These ruins date back to around 500AD. It really baffled me that I was able to take wide-angle photos without any curious tourists wandering into the shot. True, February tends to be off-season because of the rain, but I didn’t expect it to be nearly empty up at the Kuelap ruins.

We wandered around the impressively high ancient stonewalls, and made our way through the main entrance. It opened up to a beautiful stone path, projecting upwards, decorated by ancient glyphs and young grass at the same time. That mysterious feeling of interconnection took over. The feeling I got when I visited the ancient temples of Ankorwatt. The feeling I got when I visited my great-grandfather’s village in Italy. I had never met him, but I met his first house and the church he was baptized in. It’s a somewhat nostalgic sentiment of curiosity, amazement, and gratitude for the people who wandered about before.

The top of the settlement consisted of an abundance of circular stonewalls that used to be living quarters. I pondered the reasoning behind only choosing circular rooms. My philosophical mind

Circles? Why Circles?!

Circles? Why Circles?!

wondered about the depth of their knowledge, of the connectedness between the Chachapoyan people and the universe. Was it a decision based upon spirituality, a circle, symbolizing connectedness, fullness, and balance? Was it an ancient practice of aligning with the stars, similar to the ancient pyramids of Giza? Or something else? Why circles? Why not squares or rectangles? What do they know?! Then the guide explained that it was merely to diffuse wind and rain. -_-

Nonetheless, it was beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it. At the very top we found one “room” that was a rectangle. Apparently the Incans put it there after the Chachapoyan civilization ended. We wandered over to another room where the medical routine of drilling holes in peoples’

The symbol of the Chachapoyans

The symbol of the Chachapoyans

heads was practiced. *Shudder* A few times we came across a diamond symbol, sometime with a cross in the middle, on the sides of the walls. Apparently, the Chachapoyans had three animals they held in high regard; the serpent, the jaguar, and the condor. The symbol represents the eye of the animals and is meant to define the character of the Chachapoyan people. Our tour group explored the area, spotted some llamas grazing in the distance, and stared down the massive cliffs of wet green. Here in Kuelap there were forty buildings surrounded by this massive wall… and we were 3,000m above sea level!

We spent a few more moments in awe.

Then we slowly made our way back to the van. We winded down the hill and made our way back to the coca leaf place where they had a lovely lunch waiting for us. Eggs again! Oh what a surprise…. (if you can’t sense the sarcasm in my writing, just know that being a vegetarian in Peru confines your options to scrambled eggs, omelets, and egg sandwiches.) We also had some interesting warm juice with our meal… not bad.

A few more hours in the van and we were finally back in the city of Chachapoyas. Although my

They really do exist!

They really do exist!

heart wanted to stay another day and explore the city further with my new local friends, we scrambled to book a night bus and said our goodbyes to Jaime, Alonso (the friendly pizza guy from the night before), and the hostel owner. Since we booked our bus so last minute, we ended up with the last 5 seats available, scattered all over the bus. I was fortunate enough to have someone agree to switch with me so I could sit next to Beatriz and Daniel. A few hours into the bumpy, windy ride back we came to a sudden complete stop. We stayed still for about 10 minutes and finally, the impatient woman behind us went to find out what was going on. She came back and shouted “No pasa!” at me. Beatriz and I looked at eachother. “No entiendo” I said. “No pasa!!” again. Clearly she was upset… like, really really upset. After trying to communicate further we found out that there had been a landslide in the road (a fairly common occurrence for the only road to Chachapoyas). Rumors spread that we would be stuck there for 2 hours, 5 hours, 11 hours.. in addition to the 9-10 hour drive back. No one really seemed to know for certain. I just wish I had packed more food and water.

Senora checking out the steep hills

Senora checking out the steep hills

After about 30 minutes of hearing people share speculations and previous experiences, I decided to take a break from it all and venture outside the bus. I met a group of English and Australian tourists doing the same. They assumed that we would be there for upwards of 5 hours. Apparently they had walked down to see the landslide damage and there was only one person working on clearing the road. My friends joined me outside and we unanimously decided to stroll over to landslide damage ourselves. I grabbed my headlamp and we proceeded to follow the line of stationary vehicles until we found some rocks in the road. It didn’t seem like much but we knew there had to be more ahead… and we heard a few rocks still falling… It occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t the best idea to be in the path of potentially falling rocks, but we continued on anyway for a little bit.

Climbing the ruins of ancient Kuelap

Climbing the ruins of ancient Kuelap

The massive brown river next to us sounded like it was rushing at full force that night. After a few more minutes of walking and noticing cars creeping forward, we thought it would be best to abandon the idea of finding the mass of damage and make our way back to the bus instead. Only a few minutes after we jumped back on, the bus started to creep forward as well, bit by bit. It was then that the cough syrup started to kick in and I was lulled into a deep sleep.

Chachapoyas = Success