Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Weird rocks Cajamarca, Cajamarca, Peru, Thursday, 07 April 2005 4:10pm

The sun was out this morning, so I went back and took some of the pictures that my guide urged me to take yesterday. I then took a tour out to the ancient (pre-Inca) aqueduct at Cumbemayo.

The best part of the tour was the scenery. Lots of weirdly-sculpted rock forms, odd wildflowers, and beautiful sere grass. I love the look of that area. Towards the end of the tour, a thick blanket of fog came in and obscured everything more than a few feet away. It was an eerie effect, but I'm very glad that I didn't wait for the 2pm tour (the one I went with left at 11am), since I wouldn't have seen much of anything.

The aqueduct itself is interesting, but not enthralling. It must have been very difficult to construct without metal tools (there are smooth curves and 90degree turns cut into the rock), but, in the end, it's a fairly small water channel.

The guide claimed that we were at the continental divide. There's a place where the water from the aqueduct goes to Cajamara, and from there to the Pacific, while a spillway goes to the River Maranon, which feeds into the Amazon and eventually the Atlantic.

Maybe overexplaining is just the standard thing to do when you're a tour guide here. The guide pointed out every barrio we passed through on the way up, and when we stopped at each vista point he pointed out every last point of possible interest. It's much less awkward when you're not the only one on the tour, and it's understood that you don't speak the language that the tour is being given in (though I followed the Spanish explanations pretty well).

I didn't realize how high Cumbemayo is until we got there. It's at 3750m or so. That's higher than I've been before. I have an altitude headache again.

The afternoon rain has begun. It didn't last very long yesterday, but it's pouring right now. I've got another morning in Cajamarca, and then I leave for Trujillo on a 1:30pm bus.