Samaipata

5 Sep

Last weekend I was invited along with some French travelers on a trip to Samaipata, a small town about 3 hours outside of Santa Cruz nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Santa Cruz is everything that Samaipata is not: dirty, loud, crowded, “modern,” and pretty charmless. Samaipata is where people go to escape from Santa Cruz for a weekend, and I can definitely see why. And considering it cost only 120 Bolivianos (less than 20 bucks) for four people to take the taxi from SC to Samaipata, it will be an easy trip to take many times a year.

When we first arrived in Samaipata we went out to dinner near the central square. On our way home, I found this darling sad little baby kitten in the streets. It was so skinny and so young. It could not have been more than 6 weeks old, max. The poor thing was definitely too young to be away from it’s cat mommy. Seeing as I have a reputation for adopting kittens, I decided it would be a good idea to take this cat back to Santa Cruz with me. My French friend Emilie encouraged the idea. I named the kitten Pata, which means ‘paw’ in Spanish, and is also short for Samaipata, obviously. We took Pata back to the hostel with us, where we dressed him up in this adorable miniature hat that Emilie bought in Peru. Pata was very tired and very happy to be in a warm place, and he slept on the couch wrapped up in Emilie’s scarf the whole night. However, in the morning, after Pata took a dump on the floor and I discovered he had fleas, I decided that taking a stray cat home with me was a BAD idea. So we kicked him back out on to the street, where he will probably die a horrible death any day now. Such is the life of a street kitty. And I am a terrible person.

The next day we went to El Fuerte, a pre-Incan archeological site outside of town. I am not really sure what more to say about this, except that it was neat. I wish I knew more about the site. It’s old. It’s cool. We hiked around. Neat!!

After returning from El Fuerte, we went to the “zoo” in town, which is actually an animal sanctuary for rescued animals. This was one of the highlights of the trip, as we got to play with monkeys. And by “play with,” I mean get completely molested and swarmed by monkeys. It was really, really cool. Here is a monkey with me and another traveler, picking something out of hair. I didn’t realize there was anything in my hair to even pick out. Disturbing.

Do you know how hard it is to get a monkey off your face? Pretty hard, it turns out.

This spider monkey is doing an impression of my from a few weekends ago where I…well…had a little incident involving some bacteria and my stomach and some puke and some other stuff. I went to the hospital. But this guy won’t have to, because he’s just playing. What a guy!

The next day we went on a 4-5 hour hike in Parque Amboro, an incredibly beautiful national forest. According to wikipedia: “Amboró National Park in central Bolivia is a nature reserve with over 800 species of birds, over 125 mammalian species including puma, ocelot, and the rare spectacled bear. Covering an area of 4,425 km² (1,709 sq mi), it is protected from human settlements, hunting, mining and deforestation.” Of course, we saw really no wildlife, but we did get to see some pretty amazing views and gigantic ferns posing as trees.

All in all it was an excellent weekend escape. I look forward to going back soon, whenever SC really gets on my nerves again in the future.

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3 Responses to “Samaipata”

  1. jTea September 6, 2011 at 12:21 #

    I am disturbed about the kitten. You should have kept it and taken it to the vet instead of putting it back on the street. Larry said, “Katie’s not much the motherly type.” Remember this kitten before you make a baby. Love the photos. You’re having a nice life.

    • katiethecakes September 6, 2011 at 15:25 #

      Yes, mom, I actually thought of you during this whole kitten episode. First, I thought, “Mom would not approve of me taking a kitten in off the street.” But then I thought, “This is something mom would do: leave a poor sick kitten on the street to fend for itself.” I guess I’m really not the motherly type; the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree.

  2. lachelle September 12, 2011 at 17:11 #

    Love the pictures, so pretty. Poor dead cat. Aw well. I don’t care much for animals either, although human babies you birthed yourself are a little different. Don’t worry, your mother genes will kick in if ever the need arises.

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