Saturday, February 28, 2009

pondering the world on a bus

although i am writing this from my home here in S.L. i still plan on writing in chronological order; starting from when i left the jungle:
from Iquitos i took a plane to Tarapoto, spent the night, and then continued on a nine hour bus ride to the quiet town of Chachapoyas. this town is great because it is so damn hard to get to. i stayed here four days and met a total of maybe a dozed other tourists (one gringo). this area was home to the ancient Chachapoyans. the name means "people of the clouds" and they were known as great warriors. i will highlight some of this regions sites i visited:

-Kuelap: fortress built by the Chachapoyans about 1300 AD to defend against other tribes such as the Incas. the fort was overtaken around 1470 by the Incas by cutting off the town's water supply in the dry season. city walls reach 40 ft. i was one of seven tourists on the register that day. this place almost rivals Machu Picchu's grandeur in size and accomplishment.

-Gocta falls: third highest waterfall in the world. very few visitors, i spent the entire day there alone. i could have been walking around naked. i was accompanied by a puppy i fondly named Frankie along the trail and waterfall. he is my friend.

-Sarcophagus: the area has several sarcophagus and tomb sites in the steep hills around this area. it also has eight major caves used for sacrifices, rituals and worship. the shaman from Kuelap would venture out of the fort to visit these places and perform San Pedro visions.

Chachapoyas was my favorite part of Peru. it still holds mucho mystery and undiscovered ruins. it is also a friendly and virtually crime free area. to leave this place was difficult but after my four days moved on. i took a pensive nine hour bus ride outta there to the coastal town of Chiclayo.

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