On Friday, we had to leave Cascada de las Animas and head back to Santiago.
First we had to pack up and get our selves organized. It was nice to not be in a rush and to take our time getting to breakfast. We checked out at around 11:30 and decided to do one more hike before we left the beautiful sanctuary of Cascadas de las Animas (Waterfall of the Spirits).
We looked up at the peak that we had climbed to the day before.
We met with our fellow hikers and had a talk in Spanish about some of the local flora/fauna. I was able to pick up every 3rd or 4th word. He talked about staying at least one meter away from the enclosures. Then he mentioned chocolate and Cafe con leche which was confusing to me until a nearby family helped us translate that he was talking about the colour of the Maipo river — which really is that colour.
This was a much easier path than the day before, but we still fell behind the group as we took pictures. We passed the a few enclosures containing Pumas, Parrots, and two Eagles (which are the last two known of their species in Chile).
Then we got to the actual waterfall.
“Cascada de las Animas means Waterfall of the Spirits, and is the legendary name given to this waterfall and to the nature sanctuary that surrounds it.
The legend of ‘Cascada de las Animas’ can be traced back several hundred years to a time when horse wranglers passing near the falls on their way down from the mountains were surprised to see a group of women bathing and dancing at the base of the falls. As they approached closer they realized that the women were semi-transparent and were in fact spirits.
Many stories have also been told of countless sightings of fairies in the area. The fairy people were known to be gentle and kindly towards children yet mischievous with adults. In bygone days, children of local woodsmen have told stories of having spoken to the fairies, while adults have found their campsites ransacked by them.”
After heading back down the hill we left and headed back to Santiago to finally meet the other 10 members of our CSC team.
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