The Aigenpulse Flag is becoming quite a feature of the Aigenpulse way of life. We have a really diverse team, who do amazing things in their time off – and now the flag is starting to accompany them on their adventures. In September, the intrepid Shyama Saha, our Senior Bioinformatician trekked the flag up to Annapurna base camp – Continent Number 1!
Next, Julie Harnisch, Senior Data Scientist at Aigenpulse, took the flag all the way to South America this November.
The trip started in Bolivia, near the largest salt flat in the world: ‘El Salar de Uyuni’. Julie took the flag up the Tunupa volcano, one of the major peaks in the region culminating over 5,300m above sea level. This dormant volcano is easily recognisable with the rainbow-coloured pile of mineral-rich rocks bordering the crater. This steep, high-altitude climb is rewarded with amazing views of the gleaming Salar. Many legends surround the Tunupa volcano, and local guides still make offerings to the mountain on their way up asking for a safe hike upon its slopes.
After touring Southern Bolivia and its magnificent ‘Lagunas’, Julie continued towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru and took the flag on another hike.
The Salkantay trek begins around 3,200m above sea level in the Andean village of Sayllapata. The path then climbs up to the Salkantay pass via the beautiful Humantay lake, a small blue-coloured lagoon bathing the feet of the glaciers surrounding the peak of the same name. The Salkantay mountain, towering high above the trail, reaches 6,260m above sea level. The hike then goes down through the ‘cloud forest’ and the high jungle to the Rio Urubamba, the sacred river which gives its name to the valley.
An early morning, 400m climb leads to the highlight of the trek, the Machu Micchu ruins! Set on top of a hill in a meander of the river, this Inca city was forgotten about for almost four centuries before a young archaeologist re-discovered it in 1911. The typical Inca architecture enhancing the shapes of the stones and terrain, the scenic mountain settings and the incredible history make it a breath-taking sight to plant our Aigenpulse flag!
We don’t know where the flag is going next but watch this space! #Aigenlife