March 4, 2010

Leaving Kuelap the views are just spectacular.  I’m more confident (aggressive) riding now that I know the road is really not as deserted as I thought it was.  I’m hungry.  I skipped lunch on the way in, and I am looking forward to eating in Tingo.

I brake for sheep!

I get down to Tingo and the one place to eat is closed. She tells me I can eat at the little store, but I have been there and I do not want snacks.

Just then the sky opens up, and starts raining everything but sheep. Luckily they are still up on the mountain.

I’m riding on this dirt road along the river in the rain for quite a while, and it starts to get dark. It dries up along the way, and I am up on the pegs riding (because my butt hurts!) all out trying to stay upright, and I am SURE that Leimebamba, the town I am heading for, is close. Luckily, the road is great, sve for construction here and there. It’s actually the best dirt road I’ve been on on this trip, I think.


I finally get to Leimebmba, get a hotel (20 soles = $7) , park my bike in the lobby :-), and get to eat something.

Lobby sux, but the room is great.  we’re in the mountains, so there are 14 overs on the bed.

The hotel owner walks me to this local restaurant, off the square and off the beaten track, and I am alone in the place, save the dog. Cute dog!

Dinner is yummy and cheap (6 soles = $2)

March 5, 2010

After a lot of coaching, I finally get the girl from the hotel to take a picture of me leaving the hotel.

I have to ride counter clockwise around the town square (which the hotel is on) an here is a close-up of the town fountain. It’s a replica of the Village where they excavated the remains and they are feature in the Vilcabamba Museum. I am headed there next. It’s on (my) way out of town.

A mud-home along the way.

The entrance:

I was really impressed by the displays, but the care taken of all the artifacts, and also impressed by the fact that the entrance fee included a personal tour. I arrived  at the same time as a couple of Colombians on a car vacation, and so we all toured together. Thank Goddess my Spanish is getting better every day.

Ou tourguide gave us an thorough explanation of how, after the first interment, the bundle of bones (you’ll see that soon) was placed in these funerarias. I have no idea how to translate that word but you get the jist.

Here’s a replica of the tombs they found at Lago de los Condores (where all these artifacts came from).

Too bad I am now 5 days behind on day 5 of my “plan”…I think it sounds cool to ride / hike there and see it for myself.

The Colca culture was quite advanced. Sorry I don’t remember whether these very technical accounting pieces were part of their culture before they were dominated by the Inca or not. But whats so cool about the museum is that you can see the Colca culture both before and after the Inca invasion, and see how the Inca combined the best elements of the Colca to create something even better (according to one opinion).

What’s astonishing is how these textiles are in such good repair, even after hundreds of years of storage n the funerarias.

Various tools used back in the day…

Mummies! Racks an racks of them!

SO inside this:

Is this:

Earlier you saw some carvings with the thing-in-the-nose.

Our tourguide informed us that they know the Colca domesticated animals because they even did the thing-in-the-nose-thing with a mummified animal they found.

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