Atlantis Online
September 24, 2018, 08:11:56 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
A Report by Andrew Collins
http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/articles/atlantiscuba.htm
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Beyond Machu Picchu — Choquequirao, Lost City in the Clouds

Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Beyond Machu Picchu — Choquequirao, Lost City in the Clouds  (Read 198 times)
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2015, 06:44:00 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2015, 06:44:21 pm »

The present colonial-period community was established as a part of Hernando Pizarro’s holdings or encomienda in the the mid-1500s. Life here was pretty much unchanged until the Maoist terrorist group, Sendero Luminoso, took violent control in the 1980s. Many villagers with training or education were rounded up and executed as a preliminary to establishing absolute control.

I heard these horror stories when visiting there just after government troops and national police evicted the Senderistas following the capture of Sendero leader Abimael Guzman in 1992. Work at Choquequirao and growing tourism has put the community back on track.

Looking - valley -2
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 06:44:42 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 06:45:03 pm »

Traveling from Cusco, allow the better part of a day to arrive at Cachora. As of this writing, it takes five to six hours. The highway access regularly slides away with slow, repair-created detours and hosts increasingly heavy truck traffic. Some of the route has returned to pot holes and extreme dust. No solution has appeared to solve these delays. Highways can’t be built to hold on steep, unstable, Andean mountain slopes.
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2015, 06:45:17 pm »

Of course, the Inca knew this and carefully placed their foot and pack llama-travelled roads up, down and around where modern roads won’t work.

The Cachora road turns off of the mostly-paved Central highway just past the Inca monument, Saihuite, to wind down several thousand feet to the community. There are a few small, rustic places to stay at with basic Andean food: chicken, soups and beer.
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2015, 06:45:36 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2015, 06:45:53 pm »

Although serious trekkers can reach the camp at Choquequirao in one horrendous, long day, two days is the reasonable norm. A minimum of six days should be allowed for a visit and round trip from Cachora. The usually well-maintained trail follows along the rim of the Apurimac canyon, with considerable up and downs before finally dropping steeply to the river and bridge. There are two suitable places to camp. The first is high up before the drop to the river. Someone has built a couple of shelters there, cold showers and piped in water. There are ample, flat places for tents.

Usually someone is there to sell beer or Inca Kola. The second camp is at the river. The government agency, COPESCO, built a structure for housing workers while building the bridge. As of this writing it has been renovated and is serviceable. There are plenty of tent sites and one can cool off in the river. It is hot at an altitude of around 5000 feet.

The vegetation looks like Sonoran Desert, cactus and thorny acacia trees. Small biting gnats lurk in ambush so bring repellant, long sleeves and a closable tent. The trail switch-backs steeply up after the bridge, climbing steadily until arriving at Choquequirao.
Llama mural terraces -2
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2015, 06:46:27 pm »



The Casca group of buildings
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2015, 06:46:53 pm »

Several small farms, chacras, are passed along the way and higher up are small clusters of houses, fields and corrals. A campsite with water and a latrine has been built about an hour or so from the archaeological complex, where one can camp for a small fee.

Just before reaching the edge of the designated zone, the government INC, now renamed the Ministry of Culture, (MC), has placed a small toll booth where a fee is collected. As of our last visit, it was forty Soles which is probably justified by the new camping site with flush toilets and a cold water shower house. From the camp, it is easy to follow the pathways around the main groups which are marked by signs.

Carry Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sisters with you to help identify the groups, structures and alignments of the various buildings, walls and features. Visiting the distant groups of Capullyoc, Hurincancha or the Casa de Cascada may require a guide. Allow most of a day for any of these. Llamayoc, the llama mural in stone, can be seen in an hour or two as it is close down from the Lower Plaza.
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2015, 06:47:19 pm »



Llamayoc, the llama mural terraces, and a detail, below.
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2015, 06:47:45 pm »

A walking tour of Topa Inca’s estate: suggestions that may be helpful.Llama mural - 2

1) From the developed camping area follow a small path leaving from the shower house uphill to the main trail above. Turn left on the trail, following it southward. Within a few minutes, you are on the large, walled terraces. The trail continues until you reach the far end. It then turns right and upward a short distance to enter the main (Hurin) plaza. The plaza can be the central staging point for visiting all of the main groups.

2) Using the annotated photo diagram in the book, visit and examine the building groups and water features that surround the plaza.

3) Next, find a trail leaving from the northwest corner of the plaza climbing upward or north to the upper plaza group. There should be a sign in place. In any case, carry a compass to aid navigation and to observe alignments of the features as we described in the book.
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2015, 06:48:15 pm »

Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2015, 06:48:46 pm »



Residences of the elite.
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2015, 06:49:07 pm »

4) Climb upward following the trail near the restored water canal several hundred feet to reach the upper, Hanan plaza and the collection of interesting buildings, fountain structures and temples that face a spectacular view of the deep Apurimac Canyon below.

5) Returning to the main plaza below, follow a different trail bearing off to the left or east side of the upper plaza, down through a group of large buildings that we identify as store houses, colcas. Find the December solstice-aligned, Giant Staircase just below the colcas. The trail continues down, passing by a group of crude structures that we believe were attendant and kitchen quarters, to again enter the main plaza.
6) From the main plaza, pass through the big double-jamb doorway on the left or east end of the curious multi-angle, Hurin temple forming the southern end of the plaza. Passing several low-walled structures, which probably were holding pens for llama related rituals, the path climbs several hundred feet up to reach the big flat topped hill we call the Usnu. Spend time here to admire the overwhelmingly powerful view of the surrounding Andes as did the Inca residents. This is a great place for photos when the never-certain Andean weather permits.

7) Continue over the Usnu hill southward following a path down the descending ridge crest. After passing several small platforms and walls, the trail ends at what Bingham named the “Outlier Group” now called the Casa de Sacerdotes (House of the Priests).

The view down the big canyon and surrounding ice peaks is, of course, awesome.

Cool Returning back up the ridge, take a small trail branching off to the right or east just a bit above the Casa de Sacerdotes. This route leads through dense, cloud forest tangle around to an east-facing ridge running down from the Usnu hill which hosts the Ridge Group (Pika Wasi). From the uppermost group structures, find a good trail leading uphill back to the main plaza.

9) From the plaza, a sign marks an entranceway at the water feature group that is the start of a steeply descending trail to the Llama mural terraces (Llamayoc) some distance below (west). Trails mapAllow ample time for this visit. It is a demanding climb back to the plaza.
Report Spam   Logged
Cloud Warrior
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3085



« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2015, 06:49:23 pm »

This itinerary will require the better part of a day. A full additional day should be set aside to visit Pinchaunuyoc or the Casa de Cascada. The Hurincanca group has been reclaimed by dense vegetation so is sadly again lost. Finding and studying the site will require a good day and a crew with machetes. We do have the GPS location. Our 1999 diagram is in the book available for a future visit and study.

The Casa de Cascada is located some 1500 feet down-slope below the camping site. The trail is good but the start is not well indicated. If possible, ask one of the visiting group tour guides who may know, or one of the site workers if you speak a bit of Spanish. A trip to the hanging terraces, Capuliyoc, further along the same trail should be included on the same day.

The other satellite group associated directly with Choquequirao, Pinchaunuyoc is well worth a visit but is a few miles distant, involving a drop of several thousand feet on a very steep switchbacking trail. It is a favorite overnight stop on the long route to and from Machu Picchu. It should be done as an overnight trip from Choquequirao. Again, best to ask directions as suggested above.

A reality of trail travel in the steep Andes is that slides and floods frequently remove sections of trails. During May of 2011, a tremendous rock slide briefly blocked the Apurimac which backed up to destroy the bridge on the Choquequirao route from Cachora. It was just reopened in August of 2014.

Heading for Cusco — on the road again.
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy