Reasons to smile this morning:
A different view of last night’s uninvited dinner guest:
Breakfast, as always.
Bernando rounding us up with the “let’s go!” we taught him last night, especially surprising given his quiet demeanor.
La Ciudad Perdida!
DAY THREE. 11.6 km/7.2 mi. If only our packs were this light all the time! Given our eventual return to the base camp for lunch, we take only what we need. The walk along the river turns upward as we approach the stairs leading to La Ciudad Perdida – all 1,200 of them. David and I are leading the group when we recognize the beginning structures of the Lost City. Per his suggestion, we wait for the others and continue as a group, silently following Bernando’s lead around a circle, coca leaves in hand, as we prepare ourselves to enter the city.
A house here, a prison there, a ceremonial site just beyond yet another set of steps, albeit much shorter, thankfully. Bernando shares with us the significance of the many rounded rock structures, or anillos, on which the indigenous people once lived and were buried with their possessions. When finally we reach the top, it’s truly a special experience. Above us are the young military men who keep watch over the site, and below, no one to spoil the view. We’re fortunate enough to have quite some time alone before the other groups arrive, at which point we leave to meet the shaman.
After a refreshing swim at the base camp, David’s confession of his love for Margarita over her always-delicious lunch, and one giant, black spider (size-of-a-face giant) in a bathroom stall, we start on the long hike back to the Wiwa camp, along which I try to touch one of two adorable baby pigs that, unfortunately, backs away from my love. Night brings us together by candlelight, and I [try to] fall asleep despite the chatter of the family behind us. At least they’re enjoying themselves, right?
Tomorrow, it’s a wrap. Completion, here we come.
Today’s Wiwa vocab as I remember it (not actual spelling):
meh-men-gwi – de nada, you’re welcome
zeng-zhe-gua-ron – muchas gracias, thank you
chwi-no-gwana – que me haga un favor, do me a favor