Thursday, October 24, 2013

Biggest In The World?

The big yellow things are not Easter eggs but papayas.

Are these the biggest papayas in the world? Sadly we don't see papayas much in Europe but when we do, they are very poor cousins to these, which are standard size in Peru. Peruvian avocados are nowhere near that big but still much, much bigger than the runts we get.

Chachapoya Mummy Sarcophagi
In 1997, tombs were discovered, which revealed 219 mummies, which are kept and studied in the museum at Leymabamba.

Hmmm! Tasty!
We climbed (on foot) to 2800 metres to see the funerary complex at Revash. We saw several farmers on horseback. These beautiful butterflies are obviously very pleased about the horses' passing.

From Revash we moved on to our overnight stop in Chilo, which is where I discovered that I had become a great grandparent.

The next day a very winding road took us to Kuelap. The first time we came to Peru, two years ago, we had just entered Peruvian airspace and were high over the Andes. I was looking out of the aircraft window, marvelling at the extent and ruggedness of this mountain range when I spotted a large ruined city on a mountain top. Surely this can't be Machu Picchu, thinks I - that is much further south. Later a bit of research told me that what I had seen was Kuelap, a place of which I had never previously heard.

And now here we were. At 3,000 metres.

Kuelap is astonishing - a walled city on a high mountain top at 3,000 metres - in old money that is almost 10,000 feet. More stones were used in its construction than for the great pyramids of Egypt.

Little is known about Chachapoyan culture but each year more sites in the area are discovered and investigated. It was one of the most advanced of all the pre-Inca cultures.

More from Peru in another post.

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