Peru, Day Nine (July 20, 2009)

Awoke early for breakfast of fresh bread, orange marmalade, Andean cheese, papaya juice, and cafe con leche. Hired a mototaxi to drive us to the road nearest one of the surrounding mountains; then we hiked 800m or so to the top.The vistas were spectacular, and we immediately came upon a rock wall that ran across the ridgeline - it's quite possibly pre-Hispanic, but hard to say for sure just at a glance.

We walked the path along the wall until we came to an unusual-looking spot that warranted further investigation. Hay ruinas! We climbed over the wall and found three man-made mounds atop circular masonry walls. The mounds covered a distance of about 45m, and they were roughly equidistant to each other. We took lots of photos and GPS waypoints, and El Professor walked around the site with the GPS unit taking measurements.

Followed a dirt path to the next mountaintop where we broke for lunch. From where we were sitting, we could see endless mountains to our left and Laguna Pomacochas to our right. Not a bad day at the office.

We pressed on, hoping to climb to the next mountain top, but the path vanished. We continued hiking anyway through tangled trees, chest-high bushes covered in flowers, and ankle-grabbing vines that routinely brought us to our knees. Never thought I´d have cause to say this, but a machete would have come in quite handy.

When we finally made it out of the forest and into the sunlight, we abruptly found ourselves on the edge of a deep ravine - there was no way we could make it to the other mountain today. So we forced our way back through the forest until we came to an opening where we could safely work our way down the mountain. When we walked out of the forest, we ran into a farmer and asked him for directions to the road back to town. I can't even imagine what he must have thought when the two filthy gringos magically appeared out of nowhere.

Hiked a couple of miles back to our hotel and enjoyed a dinner of Pollo de Oscar (Oscar does everything around the hotel, including maintaining those crazy-beautiful gardens). For some reason, whenever El Professor explains that I'm a vegetarian, I get pollo. Delicious, but puzzling. Tomorrow, we're off to Chachapoyas and Kuelap!


Annie said...

Ahh, the slow but insidious process of vegetarian morphology - from pesco to pollo. I would imagine that if El Professor is explaining that you 'do not eat meat' in Spanish, he is using the word "carne" which specifically refers to beef ...and chicken doesn't moo, so there you go!

The bounteous fountain of fresh juices you mention daily sounds simply divine.

Hoping the knee holds out for the remainder of this amazing journey.

One of the peeps

NeSS said...

¡tan hermosas las fotos! Es un paĆ­s precioso, ¿no?

Thanks for the travelogue, it´s great! I'm really considering signing up for the trip over Spring break - give me a great incentive to get totally fit.

Cheers and safe sojourn!

Nancy (un estudiante del profesor)