miércoles, 5 de agosto de 2009

Living History in Loja, Ecuador

From the 24th to the 27th of July Flor Maria and I spent some days exploring Loja and its surroundings. Even today, history is alive in many parts of day to day life in Loja and currently many projects involving the research and conservation of archaeological sites are carried out throughout the province; the biggest one being probably the Qhapac Ñan with the support of the UNESCO. Our visit coincided with the bicentennial of the Quito Revolution in 1809, which was celebrated with a lot of music, dancing, reenactments and presentations. On Sunday we visited the Podocarpus National Park. The park exhibits an exceptional range of flora, and has been considered the “Botanical Garden of America”. We entered the park at its main entrance in the south of Loja at the Loja – Vilcabamba road and from here hiked our way across three of the four trails created by the national park staff. The trail “Los Miradores” took us up to 3050m altitude and due to strong wind and rain it got pretty cold but the exquisite scenery made it well worth the effort. Nevertheless we spent Monday a little more easy going, visiting the University UTPL (Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja) and shopping in the bookstores in the centre of the city. For all who missed the “expedition-factor” in this report: of course we did some successful research for our next expedition into the mountains of Loja which is planned for an October departure…

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