Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

The tour Chachapoyas, Kuelap, Karajia, Cajamarca, CumbeMayo, Huanchaco, Chan Chan.

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Tuesday, July 03 2012

7 years, 11 months, 11 days

Cajamarca, Peru

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 50,522km

Trekking 963km

Ferry 2,782km

Boats 2,334km

Train 7,015km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 191,430km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > south-america > peru > 20120703-cajamarca

Back to where we almost already were, Chachapoyas.

Map, Yurimaguas to Chachapoyas, Cajamarca, Trujillo, Peru.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Yurimaguas, breakfast before we leave.
Juice in market.

A juice in the buzzing market of Yurimaguas and if gives us the diarrhea back, they add some water, and it's always the damn water that is contaminated. The van starts and we are off and the boys are tired and sleep through long stretches of the trip. In Tarapotu I buy Bananas, but I don't stop anywhere else, drive till we cross the first Andean range, but our little restaurant from last time is closed. An hour later and we are back in the valley of Utcubamba, another hour later in Chachapoyas, and there is a restaurant/hostel right on plaza de armas, it is cold inside, it is more a courtyard with the top open, but food is really good, pechuga a la plancha and white rice for hungry Daniel and David.

Cathedral Chachapoyas, Peru.
Chachapoyas cathedral.
Men pushes cart with baskets, Chapchapoyas, plaza de armas, Peru
Chachapoyas, plaza de armas.

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This is Karajia!

Karajia, funeral site in the cliffs. Peru, Chachap[oyas.
Karajia, Chachapoyas.
Boys underneath Karajia, Chachapoyas.
Boys on bottom of cliff.

My road in Chachapoyas to Karajia.
Road to Karajia.

Fairly isolated from the outside world, the small capital of the Amazonas department, Chachapoyas, shines white and bright in the first light of the day. In a little hip backstreet cafe, where only tourists go, we meet Kevin, and this is one of these rare occasions that you actually meet somebody who writes the Lonely Planet, Kevin suggest to visit Kuelap. But this morning we are headed elsewhere first, to Karajia, funeral site, with statues or sarcophagi, certainly bones and sculls buried and sticking out up high in the cliffs, and Karajia is so far away from Chachapoyas, on the other side of the Utcubamba valley, the roads are hard, long, steep, and winding, Karajia sits at an altitudes of 2,800m.

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This is Kuelap!

Breakfast and it is still cold, David.
David, eggs and rice.

Up early and we are off to Kuelap on another morning, and the road is equally long and hard and steep and winding, this one is almost a match to the Bolivian (North Yungas) Death Road, some actually say this one is worse, as it winds its way to the far end of the valley to Choctamal, always perched into canyon walls. The drizzle distract, clouds hang deep, again it takes forever and we have not even had breakfast this morning, thanks there is a restaurant that serves rice and eggs in the cold and the boys dig in, stuffed in their anoraks. Then we find Kuelap at 3,000m, and lp-Kevin already working, up-dating on-the-groud info for the new Peru edition.

Spectacular fortress on 3000m, 600m of a defensive structure, walls of 19m of hight. Kuelap, Chachapoyas, Amazonas, Peru
600m of ancient walls on 3000m.
Steep and narrow, easy to defend, Kuelap castle.
Entrance to the castle.

Kuelap, Chachapoyas, Amazonas Peru.
Fortress of Kuelap.
Behind the stones are bones, and the boys discover quickly, ancient burial site in Kuelap, Chachapoyas, Amazonas, Peru.
Behind stones, bones.

Inside the walls of Kuelap, reconstructed stone hut, residential quarters, Chachapoyas, Amazonas, Peru.
Residential complex, Kuelap.
David shows me a huge red flower, Kuelap.
Shows a huge red flower.

Kuelap sits on top of the cliffs, it feels like a fortress, a refuge for the people of the Chachapoyas culture (till colonial period), 600m of walls, a height of up to 19m, extra steep gateways, 3 levels of protection, the defensive character is obvious, but who were these ancient people protecting against? Little is clear, we stroll around, stunned by the architecture, also the site contains many ruins of what where houses, somewhere the boys move a stone, and human bones come to daylight behind, how many burial places like this exist?

The nicest thing about Kuelap is that there are, apart from Kevin, almost no other visitors, and this is a Sunday. We drive down these 40kms, and while the boys sleep I realize in the villages the old that sit outside their houses to warm the limps and the wall paintings behind bear the same decorations we have seen in Kuelap.

On the other side of the valley, the road that we came. view from Kuelap castle, Peru.
The road we came, view from Kuelap.
To sit outside her house, the same way as many hundreds of years ago, the painted decoration the same as in stone on the Kuelap walls.
Old woman, same old design.

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This could well be the other 'world's deadliest' road.

We reach Tingo back down in the Utcubamba valley and follow it south till Leymebamba, somewhere a colectivo taxi has broken down and we take an old, and his wife and adult son, I later would shake the crippled hands of the old who sits in the front and bears a sharp animal smell. I inquire 'how long the road would be to Cajamarca', but his response is of disbelief, he has no clue 'cause he has never been. His son though tells me: 8 hours at least.

3,600m of altitude, Amazonas, Peru.
View from the top.
Maybe the most dangerous road in Peru.
Our road down.
In southern Amazonas, Peru, Mountain road a man and horse climb.
Horse and man on road.
Green lush vegetation of Mangos on Maranon river banks, perched between desert mountains. Border Cajamarca and Amazonas, Peru.
Maranon River valley.

Before we drive down.
The boys on top.
The boys in another bend down the road in southern Amazonas department of Peru.
A bit down and sun is out.

In Leymebamba we are up early again, and the dirt road leads immediately high to 3,600m, one of these forever winding ascents where you don't move in distance away from Leymebamba, only higher, and at the early hours the pass is foggy and cold. Then we drive down and this could well be the other 'deadliest' road in the world, a one lane track, and the abyss always just an inch away. We drop to an elevation of 900m and Balzas, mango trees grow, this is the desert, the hot and dusty of the Marañon River valley; yes here we have him again, the grand Amazon tributary which we road on in a lancha a lot further downstream (see previous story). Here the Marañon represents the border between the Amazonas and Cajamarca regions. We have some eggs and rice in a restaurant, and Daniel and David are amused by a poster of an oil or tire manufacturer featuring a bare-breasted woman, 'would you want to kiss her papa?' they ask.

Then we drive on and I am glad we have had lunch, because the road that follows will tire us the rest of the day. 'Cajamarca 160kms', it says on a sign, and we immediately climb back up to 3,000m, almost same as on the other side.

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Cajamarca conflict.

GPS shows 3,089m before we roll down to Celendine.

Toño warned me a few weeks earlier, 'Cajamarca might not be safe', civil unrest, protests against a mine, clashes with police. So I am not unaware of the problems, but know fairly little about the conflict, and today I will learn quickly, plunge right into it.

Conga no va!, Celendine house on plaza de armas, Peru, Cajamarca.
Conga no va!

'Conga no va!' is painted on almost every house, Conga isn't! And energy is a bit tense in Celendine, to say the least, we park on blue and white plaza de armas, where the demonstrations have been ongoing for months.

The gigantic area where the Newmont mine is planned is near, surrounded by mountains, there are 4 lakes with the gold underneath, and they will go forever in the process. The campesinos who live here and about everybody else in Cajamarca are rightly concerned. The mostly indigenous people have a title to the surface of the land, whereas underneath is government property, and the plan is to dig down 500m, take out and process everything, what about the water they ask? Queso si, agua no hay! Read the graffiti. Cheese yes, water we don't have.

Plaza de armas, Celendine.
Celendine plaza de armas, Peru.
 Plaza de armas, Celendine, Conga mine project protested by Indigenas.
Conga protests, Celendine.

On the plaza we mingle with the crowd, a woman asks me to speak to the crowd, and I wind out. What should I say? 'No estan solo! You're not alone, the world is watching!' My Spanish is still so poor.

But the feel is that gringos are not really wanted here at the moment, and I – at least have a gringo numberplate, we better get lost! Asking for the way an old man sends us intentionally in the wrong direction. This is the 2nd of July.

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Cajamarca and Conga.

From Celendine we have another 3 hours of mostly bad roads that lead us over 3,600m. We get to Cajamarca late and I am worried about the strikes, but all is peaceful and friendly and we sleep right on plaza de armas near the nightly protests. Just the heralded pizza in some back street restaurant is bad, they do almost everything wrong that can be done wrong. The boys who wanted pizza so dearly, now reject with 'is not good' and I have to down the slushy sh!t.

Cajamarca cathedral, early morning.
Cajamarca cathedral.
David.
David.
Daniel, restaurant Cajamarca, breakfast funny faces.
Daniel.
People discuss in Cajamarca in front of San Francisco church and gate, Conga mine protests, Conga no va!
Conga No Va!

Indigenous woman in dress and hat walks a morning lighted street in Cajamarca, Peru.
Cajamarca.
Woman walks by, white house street Cajamarca.
White house, Cajamarca.
Woman and red pack walk by in morning sun, in front of white house and wooden door, Cajamarca, Peru.
Morning shade, Cajamarca.
Morning sun on orange house, two young ladies walk by, Cajamarca, Peru.
Young in Cajamarca.
Conga no va! on house in Cajamarca. Indigenas woman with pack and hat walks by.
Cajamarca, Conga no va!
Cajamarca, morning, a man sits on side walk.
Man sits on side walk.
Conga mine protest, Cajamarca poster shows Indigenas woman and hat with Conga no va. El Agua no se vende.
The water is not for sale.

Morning after D&D get rice and eggs, their standard staple, I try some delicious famous cheese, there is a nice local clean restaurant just around the corner, and TV is full of protest coverage.

This morning we are off to Otuzko negropolis, ancient burial site, graves carved into rock, and a local singer and band record a music video in front. The morning is still cold and we need to wash, Baños de Inca is near, the thermal baths and pools do us well.

Otuzko, Cajamraca, Peru.
Otuzko.
Otuzko, rock burial site, Cajamarca.
Otuzko burials.
In front of Otuzko singer and dancers.
Recording a music video.

Late lunch is delicious in the same restaurant back in Caja, and a guy comments the events on TV 'it's burning everywhere'; TV also shows protests from Cuzco and elsewhere for different reasons than here. We head back out and climb high on more bad roads to CumbeMayo, and the chimney rocks want to remind of Turkey's Cappadocia, there is an aqueduct, about 1,000 years old, and Daniel and David want to make fire near-by, rubbing wood on wood, like the old Indians.

Late afternoon, Cumbe Mayo, rock formations, Cajamarca, Peru.
Cumbe Mayo.
Cumbe Mayo, Cajamarca, my boys, blue sky.
Size.
Cumbe Mayo and my boys walk the scenery.
Walking the field.
Rock formations Cumbe Mayo.
Rock formations Cumbe Mayo.
Wilderness of Cumbe Mayo, my boys attemt a fire, Cajamarca, Peru. 3600m.
Trying to make a fire.
Indigenous woman and traditional hat, Cumbe Mayo, Cajamarca.
Lady and hat.

Before sunset we give a ride down to Cajamarca to an old indigenous couple, back late on the plaza the boys play with the campensino boys, 'vamos amigos, vamos...', and round and round the protests go. The Conga mine demonstrators are much more numerous tonight, the shouts are louder, there have been fatalities in Celendine, 3 people were killed in police clashes, but numbers not so clear yet, still counting. A woman all of a sudden talks to us in perfect German, she's married to a German, lives in Germany, has twin daughters herself, 'provoked clashes' she explains what happened in Celendine.

Conga protests still going on late in the day. Cajamarca.
Conga protsts still.
Candles for dead Conga mine protesters, Cajamarca.
Commemorate the dead.
Evening crowd of Conga mine protesters, a guy speaks.
Guy speaks to crowd.
Outside San Francisco, Cajamarca, more people gather in protests of Newmont's Conga mine project, after clashes with police in Celendine have killed 3 people during the day.
Conga protests in evening.

So all goes well until about ten, the demonstration looks more like an Easter procession around church, candles are being lighted for the dead, all is still peaceful, and the boys still play on plaza de armas with their new friends. But then hell breaks lose when hundreds of riot police, and they come from elsewhere, storm the plaza on foot and pick-up trucks, throwing bombs of tear-gas! Our new friends, and they have horror written all over their faces, especially in light of what happened during the day in Celendine, suggest we stay in their house and urge to quickly drive off. So we do, and I get a bit nervous myself, while the police pick-up trucks chase other cars, down the alleys that lead away from plaza de armas.

20 minutes later we and the van are holed up in the garage of the amazing friends, they are all shook and terrorized, but over a glass of Peruvian red wine we calm down and contemplate what just happened, our situation, and how we might get out of here. Talk is of a state of emergency, the best thing is that we leave very early next morning, because under emergency rules police might refrain from nothing; yes, let's try to get out while we can. And outside the sirens go, and we hear the explosions from a bit farther away, and D&D are tired and sleep happily. (Read the criminalization of social protest in Peru). This is the 3rd of July.

And the convoys roll from Pacasmayo to Cajamarca, it seems it's all on its way, more than 10 convolys of 5-10 trucks carrying supplies for a huge project.
And the convoys roll.

So we wake at 6, early next morning, and we drive out without police checks, and we drive the highlands of Cajamarca and the convoys one after the other, 9 in total, roll the other way, carrying mine supplies, containers, machinery, fuel; and it makes me think that the Conga project is well under way.

Well under way..., I cannot get it out of my head, and who stands in the way is shot/killed. American corporate history is being continued, when was it since United Fruit, over to Texaco/Chevron, that a US-corp did business in Latin America without killing? And sadly two more people would be killed this 4th of July in Cajamarca.

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Pacasmayo, Huanchaco, Trujillo, Chan Chan, Huaca del Sol y de la Luna.

Stones, beach, Pacasmayo, Peru.
Stones, beach, Pacasmayo.
I knew there was a similarirty
Pepsi.
Pacasmayo.
Blue house front.
Pacasmayo house.
Another one.
Pacasmayo, Gran Hotel Peru.
Gran Hotel Peru.
Daniel shade.
Daniel shade.

We hit the coast and Pacasmayo which has blue houses that shine, amazing ceviche de camaron and decent pizza. It also has a big-pebbles beach and the boys find fun throwing stones at each other, Daniel hits David on his cheek, luckily just the cheek, and I wonder how quickly I do need to get really ferocious, and not just scream from the sidelines.

Graffiti in Huanchaco, woman and hair unfinished.
Woman and hair.
Guache graffiti in Huanchaco, Peru, 2 red masks, 3 eyes.
Guache.
Cleaner graffiti and real trash. Huanchaco, Peru.
Cleaner graffiti and real trash.

Next we hit Huanchaco and the white fog.

Chan Chan, Trujillo, Peru.
Fish and pelicans.
Walls in Chan Chan palace, like fish nets. Peru.
Fish nets.
Chan Chan mud brick walls.
Walls of adobe bricks.
Chan Chan, Chimu city from 850 to 1470 A.D., Peru near Trujillo..
A labyrinth of walks.
Chimu kingdom, a palace, inside a city of 30,000. Peru.
Water reservoir, inside Chan Chan palace.
High walls around the main plaza. Chan Chan, Peru.
Walling of ceremonial plaza.

We see Chimu Chan Chan (850-1,470 A.D.) in white fog, largest pre-Colombian and pre-Inca archaeological site, which is near Trujillo, so we see Trujillo in white fog

Blue house on plaza des armas. Trujillo, Peru.
Trujillo.
Yellow cathedral, Trujillo. Yellow taxis.
Yellow cathedral, Trujillo.
The bigger the door nails are the richer the owner, these are on the cathedral's portal, Trujillo, Peru.
The bigger the richer.

Subsequently we see Moche Huaca del Sol y de la Luna (200-800 A.D.) in white fog; yes, Moche people in 800 A.D. decided to become Chimu people and moved their city some 9kms.

In front of Cerro Blanco, Huaca de la Luna, Moche archeological site. Peru.
Huaca de la Luna.
A former 4th? temple, two more were built on top, this is how former murals remained largly preserved till date. Friezes Huaca de la luna, Trujillo, Peru.
Moche decapitador mural.
In lowest frieze one can see the losers to be sacrificed in religious ceremonies. Huaca de la Luna, Trujillo, Peru.
Main ceremonial wall.

Chimbote feels really unsafe, you don't want to park here, we find peace in Tortuga Bay and beach, but since Pacasmayo the white fog has gotten stuck to us, but that would change soon.

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