I shared a post about our day trip to the Cajas National Mountains, which are high up in the Andes Mountains.
We loved the visit to the mountains so much that we decided to go ahead and rent a cabin there and do some exploring.
The first thing we did was to grab an English speaking guide and hike one of the highest mountains there.
As you can see, just a 30 minute drive outside of Cuenca where we live and the weather is very cold. That is a part I really enjoy about living here because there are no seasons really.
We have spring every day and when we want a bit of fall-ish or winter-ish weather, we just go to the mountains or should I say higher up in the Andes.
We had to pose for this picture because though the mountain was steep and we constantly were on a slant, the view was so breath taking we paused many times to just take in the moment.
Behind us on the mountain are two waterfalls and the whole mountain is also very soggy and wet.
But we are also up above the tree line and so that limits what grows on the mountain.
Did I tell you my legs were so shaky after we got down off that mountain? But it was so worth it.
Of course, we had to go right to eating and because of the amount of energy expended not only at high altitudes, but with the hike, we treated our self to fried trout again and their exquisite desserts at the restaurant.
We got a fire going in the cabin and just sat back and watched the sun go down behind the mountains that night.
The next day we had a trip planned to an abandoned town, which was built in the early 1900s.
When History Stands Still
The town is part of the Cajas National Park property and it was a half way point during the early 1900s between Guayaquil and Cuenca for those traveling on donkey.
It really was kind of spooky in a way because it was all the sudden abandoned and things were just left in place.
There weren’t many buildings, but just enough to be a resting place to give weary travelers a place to spend the night.
There was the caretaker’s house, which had several rooms. This was one where weaving went on.
The chests or trunks were the way they traveled then.
And the scales hung on the wall so that food, grain and other things could be weighed for bartering.
Even in this part of the woods, liquor was illegal at one time. But like the U.S., they had their smugglers too.
They would use the container made of cow hide to fill with illegal liquor and put it under the donkey’s saddle to hide it and transport it to other places.
This owner and caretaker made hand made saddles and his tack and gear were all left in place where he worked on them.
You can see the original adobe walls and bed.
Too, the way a baby in those days was swaddled is shown here.
I enjoyed this room because this is the place the rich travelers would eat.
They segregated between the rich and poor class back then too.
I loved this chair because it was wrapped with ocelot, which comes from the Amazon rain forest.
As you can see the rich back then enjoyed ample space to eat, dine in and rest up from their weary trek.
This is the room where 8 or 9 people would sleep for the night.
They would lay mats, blankets, and animal hides on the floor along with a fire to keep warm for the night.
In the display case, you can see some of the original clothes that were preserved from this time.
But that is not all we did while visiting there.
There is the coolest abandoned gold mine that we went to also. I will show you those pictures next.
Hugs and love ya,
You can check out my other posts in my Living Abroad category as we have enjoyed living here in South America for a little longer than a year now.