PERU:KUELAP:valentines day and lost cities

Trip Start Oct 01, 2008
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, February 14, 2009

we should have realised that when we asked the taxi guide to be there for 6am...we actually meant 6.45!  but we climb in and are driven through the valley, alongside the huge roaring river.  we arrive in tingo mearly an hour later, which was our initial destination if we were to then hike 3 hours up to kuelap.  i wanted to do this, but the rest of the group were happy to sit in the cab and meander around the valley, up the various mountains in the taxi, to arrive at kuelap two more hours later.  not the kind of adventure i hoped for, but the views were good.  i guess another advantage was that we arrived early, and were the only people at the site.

we found ourselves a local guide who had grown up and had continued to bring her family up not two hundred metres away from this huge city, perched ontop of the mountain top.  with panarmic views all around.  obviously an important view point for safety...but to us..it was simply stunning!

as we walk to the hill top, lukey picks me some wild flowers, a beautiful bunch, wrapped with leaves.  so cute.  he later picks me a huge cactus type flower...which is funny at first, but quite retro and pretty.  me lurves him.

the first thing you notice is the huge wall.  built upto 12 feet wide, of huge imposing limestone bricks, upto 20m tall! this city was originally built and lived in by the chacapoyas people from about 600AD, and must have been a beautiful and imposing city back in itīs day.  it was then conquered by the incas who developed and built more upon it.  the buildings vary from various stone circle houses, to huge square ceremonial centres.  our guide was hilarious , feeding us coca leaves, and picking us wild mushrooms.  what was fantastic about this ruin, is where it is...the views, the fact that we were the only ones in it, the size, the development of its kitchens, and the important ceremonial buildings.   but the most memorable thing about this ruin was that it is untouched.  there are huge trees and busehes sprouting from the walls. there is little reconstruction.  there is only one circular wall rebuilt to give you an idea of what they all would have looked like.  you are free to roam.  you see mummies in the walls, you can scrape away the moss to find carvings.

this was thought to have been where the great inca manco wanted to come to before his capture by the spaniards.  you can see why it was an easily defendable site.  but he never made it, finishing his last days in cajamarca. i feel so chuffed that we have followed peruīs history up the north coast, putting pieces together about their civilisations, and we have seen cajamarca, and soon we head off to cusco, to see the main capital of the incas..... so chuffed.

lukey loved his day out, and we climb into our private cab...which has cost us 20 pounds to travel for 6 hours...to go to our next main city... chacapoyas.shattered....but if machu pitchu can beat this..then , bring it on!
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