Where are we?

Happy to be back in the mountains for awhile

We drove the hour and and half it took to get to Cajamarca on a beautiful sunny Sunday!  We end up getting up to 10,000' again on a really good road. Beautiful views from up here! Not much traffic on this road either to worry about.

Nice to see the government spending some money up here and replacing a lot of bridges. They may have been damaged by the point 8 earthquake in May this year

Lots of switchbacks to get up here

Looking down to Cajamarca - a railing would be nice!!

Sweet old lady in her 10 gal hat!

Then we went down to 8800' once we got into Cajamarca.  Now we see lots of smaller mototaxis and also quite a few old volkswagon beetles!  So cool!  We find a parking spot near a mall and just as it started to rain we ran inside.  Dwayne headed off to the Promart hardware store. Think it must be related to Home Depot - same colors, same employee aprons etc.  He wants to replace the filling hose that is under the van since there are a few leaks in it - but never found any hose.

As we drive into Cajamarca we see this older lady herding her sheep

Smaller Mototaxis to dodge around now


After I find him in Promart we walk thru the rest of the mall and end up having an early supper. Yes! no supper to make tonight. Not that I really had to because have leftover spagetti from last night but now that can be used for tomorrow night :)  Lots of stores to check out here.  Forgot our grocery bags so didnt stop for groceries. Can do that tomorrow also.

He's in there somewhere!!

Pretty sure related to Home Depot
We go back to Vanna and decide to drive up to Ventanillas de Otuzco which is only about 10km away. Its another archaeological site dating back to 1130BC to 1240AD. Its called a funeray which are crypts that were carved into volcanic rock. When it was discovered there were still bones in some of the crypts so they surmised that was what this area was used for. They have found 377 crypts. It's not a large area but interesting to see. I believe there are more of these elsewhere in Peru from some pictures we saw in the main office.

Each hole is a crypt

View from the top
We thought maybe we would stay in the parking lot for the night but the big pig that was close to the area made us change our minds REAL quick once we opened the window!! Pretty stinky out there. So decided to head back to Baños del Inca where they have some hot pools and find a spot there.

As we are driving away I see this outside a small store - big bulldog in a small box but he must be comfy! To funny!

Once we got parked at Baños we walked over to the hot pools, but closed for the day. So just walked around the small park in front that is all decorated for Christmas. Glad that so far I've only had a slight headache being at this altitude. So maybe once the body does it a few times it doesn't forget :)  Thought for sure I would have problems going from sea level and staying at 8800' would be a problem.

In the morning headed back to Cajamarca where we saw a laundry place near the shopping mall. Dropped off the laundry and it will be ready for pickup at 6pm.

Stopped to put water in Vanna but the hose couldn't screw to the tap so had to fill her with a bottle by bottle system. Dwayne made a nice funnel from an old pop bottle that he keeps in storage

Then we walked to Plaza de Armas about 1.5km away. Cajamarca is known for where the last Inca ruler,  Atahualpa was executed in 1532 by the Spanish.

We walk around the park and take pictures of women in their VERY tall 10gal hats :)  That's one hat I won't be out looking to buy. Looks pretty funny. Men wear them to but on the women they look so big!  Also pictures of the 2 churches in the square, both were closed.  There are some nice Christmas decorations in the park next to pretty flowers :)  Then we decide it's time for lunch so look for a restaurant and see what we can have. As it turns out I had fish, rice and some mushy beans with salad, plus chicken soup. The soup was really good, the fish,  so so because it was dark fish, I prefer flakey white😁  I wanted calamari but they didn't have it today.  Dwayne had Milanese chicken (flatted and breaded chicken) with rice, mushy beans , salad and soup.  The price was right though S/6.50 ea ($2.60)

 Iglesia de Santa Catalina built 1682 

Iglesia de San Francisco behind Plaza de Armas

Iglesia de San Francisco started in 1699 but the towers not completed until 1958 

These ladies are selling dolls that have been knitted

my fish lunch
Then it was time to walk off that lunch and hike up to the top of Cerro Santa Apolonia. It's about 100 steps to get up there and then once at the small church we walked thru the gardens to get to the very top. And here I thought being at 8800' the temperature would be cooler but it's not! But I made it to the top so I was happy.  9200' at the top - I was a little dizzy once I got up there. 😰

Going down and looking at the steps it's really cool the way they built them. One set are normal steps then the next set look like mini stadium seating like the Coliseum, the next are regular steps and it goes back and forth many times!  The gardens going up the the stairs is also pretty and nicely kept.

Looking up from the bottom of the gardens to the church

Saw how straw is mixed with mud on this corner of a house that has fallen apart

Stairs up and......

how the stairs look going down - so cool!

Top of the gardens 

The chapel of Santa Apolonia

Gardens of the chapel

Cajamarca in the background 
Once we got back down to the Plaza de Armas we head to the ice cream store for a treat 😋  The clouds were looking dark so we headed back to Vanna and just as we got there it started to rain! Great timing LOL!!!  We both did some reading and later blogging for me until it was time to go pick up the laundry. Now done for another 10-12 days 😁

Later spent some time in the mall blogging enjoying the Christmas music being played.

We discussed more about going to Kuelap which is 330kms further east on a really curvy road meaning when maps.me says 4 hours we can add at least 2-3 more hours. Plus 50kms is only one lane and we hate fighting for road space with buses coming the opposite way 😓 And since we have read reviews of the ruins there is not much as far as information at the site so we both decided to far to see old rocks - we'll see lots more while travelling thru Peru 😁  We'll travel another route to head back towards Trujio on the coast again.  There we can see Chan Chan a huge adobe ruin dating back to 1400AD.

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