Archive for September 9th, 2010

Finding the past at Naranjapata

Woke up yesterday before dawn with Rodrigo to hike the railroad tracks through the forest to Naranjapata. There we were looking for the old abandoned train station to explore and recreate one of the old pictures. Our trek started over an old train bridge where wood planks were placed over the remaining sleepers. As we walked, the planks wobbled and creaked and sank under each step with the Rio Chanchán rushing beneath us.

The tracks appeared and disappeared under the growth that has covered the rails since the train last ran.

Along the way, we found a grave. As we explored the marker, we found another grave, and then another. Hiding behind the thick green growth was a small cemetery, slowly being consumed by the forest around it.


Many of the old stations have a water tower nearby.  These were used to fill the old steam engines with the water that they relied upon to run.

Finally we found Naranjapata Station.  One of the most impressive parts of the station were the trees growing on the roof.  It’s been a long time since a train stopped here.

You can walk right inside and explore.  Bats were flying around, weaving through the doorways and spiders groomed their webs in the corners.

The recreation photo went very well.  As I was setting up, an old woman with a machete and a yellow bucket walked by and posed for a picture at the front of the platform.  The fog covering the forest set a perfect scene for an abondoned relic of the past.  It’s amazing to think that this was once a fully functioning station through which a major transitway existed.  And now, neglected and forgotten, it’s slowly disintegrating back into the forest.

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