Daws.ca
Sunday, October 5th, 2003

Cajamarca, Peru

Rock Forest

We headed up to the Andean city of Cajamarca, 2700m above sea level, a very nice city in the sierra with nice countryside

 

We met Alex on the bus to Cajamarca, a software consultant from Toronto and ended up sharing a room with him in a cheap hotel on the plaza.

 

Tried Aji de huevos / eggs with aju peppers, onions, with a side of potato… tasted like the breakfasts I make at home mmmm

 

Took a tour to the rock forest close to the city where our guide pointed out the shapes faces and animals in the rocks, while an old guy on the tour pointed out various crude things that he saw in the rocks. We wandered through natural 12m long narrow tunnels in one of the rocks. Very fun! Especially since it was dark and narrow and we had to squeeze ourselves between the rocks and try to shuffle up and through the tunnel. Would’ve been really fun had we been given some free time to wander around and climb up the rocks etc…

 

Also went to Otuzco, a pre-Inca cemetery... they buried their elite, then dug them up a few months later, broke their parts up and put them into rectangular holes cut into solid rock faces. Here, a little boy, about 8years old, acted as a guide and explained the ruins to us. He did an excellent job too! He told us about the local cacti in the region and what they were used for, which we were curious about anyways. At one point he picked something off of a cactus -- a small black and grey thing that we thought was a piece of ash -- until he smeared it all over his hand revealing a brilliant deep red blood color. These little bugs are used as a pigment in textiles, lipsticks, pens, and various things around the world, and are highly sought after because it is non-toxic, natural and not allergenic. Too bad the bug had to die for the demonstration, but it was neat to see.

 

Anyways, Cajamarca was good, well worth the visit, good food and laughs, generous people who gave us a royal welcome at one restaurant, and fun to talk to a Canadian and share experiences.

 

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