November 27, 2008 GMT
13. Caraz to Huánuco

I left Caraz on Sunday, November 16-08, heading to Chavin de Huantar, an archaeologically important site because the influence it had in central South America. Its development starts since 2.500 years ago when Nazca Lines were also drawn.

I’m sorry to say the Callejón de Huaylas (Huaylas alley) didn’t fulfil my expectation, at least up to the point I rode it: Catac. It’s a narrow valley that gains wideness up the river. Neverftheless, the vistas of the Cordillera Blanca are interesting, though the season is not the best because the clouds.
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Amigo: ahora puedes leer la historia completa en mi libro "La Suramérica que recorrí". Ve a www.palibrio.com. Las fotos, míralas aquí.
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El domingo 16 de noviembre salí de Caraz con destino a Chavín de Huantar, un sitio de singular importancia arqueológica por la influencia que tuvo la cultura Chavín, inclusive en Colombia donde frecuentemente se le toma como referencia a otros desarrollos. Su desarrollo se inicia desde hace 2.500 años, edad semejante a las líneas de Nazca.
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El Callejón de Huaylas, lamento decirlo, no llenó mis expectativas, al menos hasta donde lo recorrí, Cátac. Es un valle al principio estrecho y que se amplía a medida que se gana altura. Es justo decir sí que las vistas de la Cordillera Blanca son interesantes, aunque esta época del año no es la mejor debido a la nubosidad que se presenta.
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The Huascaran is always present behind the towns close to Yungay, that was buried in 1970 by an ice-slide produced by an earthquake. Yungay is today localized in the shadow of a protecting hill.
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El Huascarán está omnipresente detrás de las poblaciones vecinas a Yungay, que fue sepultado en 1970 por un alud que se produjo al desprenderse un gran bloque de hielo en un temblor de tierra. Hoy está localizado a la sombra de un cerro que lo protege.
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Ranrahirca was also erased from the map in January 10-62. Part of Huaraz Department suffered the same type of disaster with 5.000 people killed, and the same occurred in 1912 along the valley. Yungay it self was completely destroyed back in 1872. The human being has a short memory when he is challenging nature.
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Ya Ranrahirca había sido borrada del mapa en Enero 10/62; parte de Huaraz sufrió lo mismo años antes con 5.000 vidas perdidas; en 1912 hubo varias catástrofes en el valle, y Yungay mismo había sido completamente destruído en 1872. El ser humano tiene memoria corta cuando se trata de desafiar la naturaleza.
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Another pretty fashion
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CallejonDeHuaylas10.jpg
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Otra pinta lindísima
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At least in Huaraz, as a part of a monument, there is an allusion to the patriotic crossing of the Andes by the liberator army.
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Al menos en Huaraz, como parte de un monumento, hay una alusión al patriótico cruce de los Andes por el ejército libertador.
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I found in Catac this fan who told me I was so valiant travelling alone; I could not believe it.
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En Cátac me encontré esta admiradora quien me decía que yo era muy valiente haciendo este viaje solo, que no lo podía creer.
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You left the Huaylas valley in Catac to go up the Cordillera Blanca. The first ascending kilometres by the pampa ( high flat land ) did not indicate me which of the valleys the road was going along. Probably it could be by this one, clean and with beautiful mountains…………………………….
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In Cátac se deja el Callejón de Huaylas para remontar la Cordillera Blanca. Los primeros kilómetros ascendiendo por la pampa no me indicaban por cuál de las valles continuaría la carretera, si por éste, despejado y con hermosos nevados acompañantes,………………………….
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…………………….or through this one, a little darker.
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SubiendoAChavinDeHuantar1.jpg
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………………………o por éste, un poco mas oscuro.
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I needed only a few minutes to understand the road was going to the most interesting one. While I stopped to prepare from the rain myself and the cameras bag, the heavy part of the storm have already passed when I reached the bleak plateau. Nevertheless, the 3°C were enough to receive some sleet. After passing Kahuish Tunnel at 4616 m, the weather on the other side of the range was better.
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Bastaron unos pocos kilómetros para indicarme que el camino iba por el valle más interesante. Mientras me detuve a prepararme y preparar la bolsa de las cámaras contra la lluvia, la parte fuerte de la tormenta ya había pasado cuando llegué al páramo. Sin embargo, los 3°C eran suficientes para que aún estuviera cayendo granizo. Al otro lado de la cordillera, después del Túnel Kahuish a 4516 m, el tiempo fue mejor.
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I came back next day, with excellent weather, to make high altitude acclimatising exercises.
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Regresé al día siguiente, con excelente tiempo, a hacer ejercicios de aclimatación a esta altura.
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Christ is greeting you at the exit of the tunnel, but I climbed up there to greet Him.
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Cristo Redentor te saluda a la salida del túnel, pero yo subí hasta allí a saludarlo.
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The landscape is inhospitable.
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El paisaje es espléndido, pero inhóspito.
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It is hard to believe that in this inhospitable spot, at 4.300 m, peasants stand their future on their sheep and goat herds. Carefully look at he picture if you think there are only rocks; or better, move on the next picture.
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Es difícil creer que en este inhóspito paraje, a 4.300 m, campesinos soportan el futuro en sus rebaños de ovejas y cabras. Mire detenidamente si cree que son sólo rocas, o mejor, pase a la siguiente fotografía.
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In other places, peasants are a little more lucky.
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En otros parajes, otros campesinos son mas afortunados.
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In Chavin, the royalties from Antamina Mine, have been used in rock-paving and now in its cleaning. The security vests are so important because the heavy traffic.
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En Chavín, las regalías de Mina Antamina se han empleado en el empedrado de las calles y ahora en su limpieza. Los chalecos de seguridad son importantísimos en medio del fuerte tráfico.
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Chavin site. The square plaza and the main plattform or cut-pyramid.
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Esta es la plaza cuadrada y la plataforma o pirámide principal atrás en el sitio arqueológico de Chavín de Huántar.
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I was impressed with the hydro-acoustic works made for showing the people the LANZON’s voice, the supreme god. That way, the shaman could maintain the spiritual authority as a medium with the other world.

Chavin is located between two rivers. Rocky culverts (aprox. 0.7 m wide x 1.0 m high) were made for conducing the water from the upper river, passing through the complex, to the lower river. At certain spot, where the culvert has some slope, it has about a dozen vertical shafts (aprox. 0.3 m x 0.3 m). The deal is that water coming down through the culvert and pushing air through the vents with different length, should produce odd sounds. Zampoña is a wooden musical instrument. In Chavín they had a gigantic zampoña. For sure it had a water flow control to produce different sounds, the words of Lanzón. What a way for alienating the people!!
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Lo que mas me impresionó de Chavín de Huántar es el trabajo hidro-acústico que se construyó para mostrar a la población la voz del dios Lanzón, y con ello el chamán mantener la autoridad religiosa y como medio de contacto con el más allá.

Chavín está localizado entre dos ríos. Cárcamos o galerías subterráneas fueron construidas para conducir el agua desde el río mas alto, pasando por el complejo, y desaguando en el río más bajo. En determinado punto el cárcamo, que repito es subterráneo y en ese punto tiene cierta pendiente, tiene como 10 respiraderos a la superficie (de aproximadamente 30 cm x 30 cm). El asunto es que el agua bajando por el cárcamo y empujando el aire a través de los respiraderos de distintas longitudes, debería producir extraños y diferentes sonidos. Una zampoña gigante! Seguramente había cierto control del flujo del agua para a su vez cambiar el flujo del aire y producir la voz de Lanzón. Qué manera de alienar la población, ah?
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God Lanzón (the carved rock) was at the beginning exposed to the elements, but after some time, it was let into a gallery and covered with a cut-pyramid. Probably after it was covered, the Zampoña was built. In the pictures, the real Lanzón into the gallery, and a replica outside of the museum. Lanzon (big lance) is a modern name related with its shape.
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Lanzón ( la piedra tallada ) estuvo primero a la intemperie, posteriormente fue dejado en su galería y recubierto por una pirámide. Para esta época seguramente es para cuando construyen la zampoña. Aquí tenemos al real en la galería y una réplica en el exterior.
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Continuing with the trip, I decided to make a crossing through a mine for shortening more than three hours and 140 km of riding. Those far away rocks seemed similar to Kananaskis Country, close to Calgary where I live.
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Decidí hacer una travesía por una carretera de una mina particular, desde Chavín de Huantar hasta La Union, travesía que me ahorró mas de tres horas de viaje y 140 km de recorrido. Estas rocas lejanas y arriba en la montaña me parecieron semejantes a unas existentes en Kananaskis Country, cerca de Calgary donde vivo.
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What I didn’t imagine was I had to climb and pass by close to them.
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Lo que no sabía era que tenía que subir hasta esas rocas y pasar cerca a ellas
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Close to La Union is HUANUCO PAMPA, also called Huánuco Marca, or more modern but less authentic, Huánuco Viejo.
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Huánuco Pampa was the Inca administrative capital of CHINCHAYSUYO, one of the four main divisions of TAHUANTINSUYO, the whole Inca Empire, whose dominions went up North to southern Colombia, and down to southern Chile.
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30.000 people used to live around Huánuco Pampa. They produced fabrics, chicha, weapons and stored big amounts of food in the colcas (horizontal and vertical silos).
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Cerca de La Union se encuentra HUANUCO PAMPA, llamado también Huánuco Marca o modernamente y menos auténtico, Huánuco Viejo.
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Huanuco Pampa era el centro administrativo Inca del CHINCHAYSUYO (división del norte, que iba hasta el sur de Colombia) una de los cuatro divisiones, que junto con el ANTISUYO, el CUNTISUYO y el KOLLAYSUYO, componían el gran TAHUANTINSUYO, el gran imperio de los Incas que se extendía hasta el dominio de los Mapuche en el sur de Chile.
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En los alrededores vivían cerca de 30.000 trabajadores, produciendo tejidos, chicha, almacenando víveres y demás menesteres.
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The Ushnu or ceremony plaza had delicate finishes including cornices and feline figures.
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El Ushnu o plaza ceremonial tenía delicados terminados incluidas cornisas y figuras generalmente felinas.
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The Kallanca was a kind of warehouse to accommodate troops, temporary workers, and administrative visitors.
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La Kallanca era una construcción larga para alojamiento de tropas, trabajadores temporales y administradores visitantes.
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The Inca House, in the background, had three consecutive gates.
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La Casa del Inca, al fondo, tenía tres puertas consecutivas.
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The Inca’s house was put to torch by Spaniards. The tub is the better preserved remaining. It has stairs in the background while the water is coming by two small channels in the foreground.
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Puesta a fuego por los invasores españoles, evidencia que se encuentra en las piedras de las paredes, el baño de inmersión fue lo que mejor quedó. Acceso por escalinatas, y entrada del agua por las dos pequeñas canales que se ven de este lado de la foto.
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A big part of Inca’s house was not concluded when the Europeans came.
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Gran parte de la Casa del Inca quedó inconclusa ante la llegada de los europeos.
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Rocks were pre-cut in the quarry, and then finished and adjusted in site. The protruding parts let them a better handling.
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La piedra era pre-cortada en la cantera, y luego pulida, ajustada y terminada en el sitio. Las protuberancias dejadas eran con el propósito de manejarlas más fácilmente.
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Alfter visitting Huanuco Pampa, I left for TANTAMAYO, 120 km apart, were the ruins are called skyscrapers. This canyon is of a Marañón River affluent.
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Después de visitar Huánuco Pampa, salí para TANTAMAYO distante 120 km, donde se encuentran unas ruinas llamadas rascacielos. Este cañón es producido por un afluente del Río Marañón, camino arriba hacia Tantamayo.
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I reached Tantamayo by 3:30. A boy told me the skyscrapers were in the front hill. I had to walk from the lower part of the picture (you can see some roofs), at Pampa Florida. I rode to Pampa Florida and let Suzi at the end of the track. Efaías (another boy) told me the climbing takes one hour if you are going quickly, but one hour and a half if you are going slowly. But interpreting what does mean quickly or slowly was not easy. Living at that altitude and in his teens, his slowly pace would be several times my quickly pace, loaded with 54 years and living in a prairie.
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It was 3:50. I would have just one hour day-light after ascending in 1.5 hours, if I could. It was clear that the descending would be in the darkness. I had two aggravates. The first was the altitude; Pampa Florida was at 3.500 m, and GPS showed me latter Susupillo (the ruins) was at 4.122 m. My second aggravate was my knee, not healed completely. I wore my knee-belt and took the cameras that added to my load: riding gear (jacket and pants, I didn’t want to let them track-side) and rubber boots (it was raining the whole day). Stopping for maintaining heart-bits under 140 a minute, a safe rate for my age, I began the sloping climb by that mule-track. Forty-five minutes after, when I had shortened my power, I met Efaías who had come by a longer but less inclined way, I had took the direct way. He encourage me saying it already is as short walk to the end, and after some words, he decided coming with me. Short after, I asked him to help me with the jacket, almost 8 kg less.
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Llegué a Tantamayo a las 3:30 de la tarde. Me informan que los rascacielos se encuentran en la cima del cerro del frente. Habría que subir caminando desde la parte baja de la fotografía en donde se alcanzan a ver unos techos, Pampa Florida. Voy hasta Pampa Florida, dejo la moto al final del camino. Efaías me informa que la subida toma hora y media “despacio”, una hora “rápido”. Faltaba traducir lo que significaba despacio y rápido para él con 18 años viviendo a medio camino a la cima, comparados con mis 54 años y viviendo en la pradera de Canadá.
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Eran las 3:50, me quedaría sólo una hora de luz después de ascender si lograba hacerlo en hora y media, el regreso era obvio que sería en la oscuridad. El mayor agravante era la altitud, Pampa Florida está a 3.500 m y el GPS mostró luego que el ascenso fue hasta los 4.122 m!!. Tomé las cámaras que se sumaron al peso del equipo de conducir completo, incluida las botas de caucho pues había estado lloviendo durante el día. Haciendo pausas para mantener las pulsaciones por debajo del nivel seguro para mi edad que son 140 por minuto, fui ascendiendo lentamente por el empinado camino de herradura. Cuarenta y cinco minutos después, cuando ya las energías estaban cortas, me encuentro con Efaías quien había ascendido por un camino mas largo pero menos empinado, yo había tomado la ruta directa. Él me anima diciéndome que falta poco y después de unas palabras se ofrece a acompañarme. Poco después le pido el favor de ayudarme con la chaqueta y botas, casi 8 kg menos.
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Climbing, resting and chatting combined, finally I had Susupillo pre-Inca ruins to my sight. The fortress seemed to be an out-look because the towers there.
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Combinando trepada con descansada y conversada, finalmente tuve a la vista las ruinas pre-Incas de Susupillo, una fortaleza cuyo principal función parecía ser de observación por las torres construídas.
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This is a wide tower but only three meters deep with meter thick walls. The stairs to internally accessing are made of rocks protruding from the walls. The back wall, looking toward the high part of the mountain, has no openings.
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Este edificio es una torre ancha pero de sólo tres metros de profundidad con paredes de casi un metro de espesor. Se accede internamente por una escalera hecha con piedras sobresalientes incrustadas en los muros. La parte posterior que da hacia la parte alta de la montaña es cerrada.
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Lodging was in the major’s house. Food is cooked in wooden stove, delicious!
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El alojamiento en la casa del alcalde incluía alimentación preparada en fogón de leña, deliciosa!
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That night I was compensated with this spectacular sky. High altitude and the darkness on Tantamayo, allow me to appreciate stars I had forgotten they did exist.
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Esa noche fui recompensado con este cielo espectacular debido a la casi completa oscuridad en Tantamayo.
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Inca´s crown. Next day, Thursday November 20-08, I came from Tantamayo to Huánuco, an important frontier city between de sierra and the Amazon forest.
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Corona del Inca. Al día siguiente, jueves 20 de noviembre, tomé el camino de regreso desde Tantamayo hasta Huánuco, importante ciudad que conecta el comercio entre la sierra y la selva del noreste. A propósito, Huánuco es la voz deformada de guanaco, wanaco, uno de los 4 animales característicos de estas montañas ( llama, alpaca, vicuña y guanaco ).
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In Huánuco, I completed a long length of third category off roads I have ridden from Caxamarca. I will have ahead a good paved length toward Cerro de Pasco, Junín, Huancayo and Huancavelica.
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En Huánuco terminó este largo tramo de carreteras de tercera categoría, destapadas, que he venido recorriendo desde Cajamarca. Sigue un buen tramo de pavimento, pasando por Cerro de Pasco, Junín, Huancayo y Huancavelica.

Posted by Santiago Lema at November 27, 2008 11:22 PM GMT
 


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