Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Huaraz Day Two

On the second day of our trip to Huaraz we went to the Chavin de Huantar ruins. It was only 68 miles away from Huaraz, but it took us nearly four hours to get there on a bus. We had to drive on an unpaved and twisting mountain pass about 15,000ft in altitude to get there! Although the trip was long and we spent a lot of time in the bus, the trip was very adventurous. We made frequent stops to checkout the scenery, shop in little towns, and for a landslide. Along the way we had to stop for quite some time while a crew cleared the road from a landslide that happened not long before we got there. While we waited we took photos and enjoyed the view.

This was our first stop along the way. It was at a high alpine mountain lake with a few mountain Peruvians living in the area. They lived in little hut homes made of branches and leaves. Here they raised llamas, goats, and sheep. This is one of the little Peruvian women we saw there.

Lagunas Querococha is the alpine lake where we made our first stop. It rests at about 13,000ft in elevation. I thought Alamosa was high in elevation. Imagine living 1,000ft below one of our 14,000ft peaks! These people are incredible!
Adam and I at the alpine lake on our way to the ruins. It was a great area for photo opportunities. Those are about 18,000ft mountains behind us, actually some of the smaller ones in the area!
Adam and Hugo making the most out of our little delay of the landslide. Almost everyone was out of the bus when it attempted to pass through the landslide area. We all walked past the area, and it is very surprising, Peruvians can drive through anything. They got the bus up and over the mess on a very narrow road with a drop off! They amaze me. It was cleared a lot from when we first got there, but it still was not what I thought would be "safe". I was just glad I was passing on foot.
Chavin de Huantar are 3,000 year-old ruins created by the Chavin culture. It has a U-shaped fortress temple that was constructed over several centuries. This culture lived in this region from about 1200 to 300 before Christ. They are considered the most ancient of the major cultures in Peru, and most sophisticated. It was interesting to know that they did everything in sevens. They measured in sevens, their sculptures were done in sevens, and drawings had something representing the number seven. The Chavin are considered some of the most influential people to have lived in the Andes until the Incan culture that came 2,000 years later. The ruins has many underground galleries and chambers. The amazing part was that some were open to the public. Here in these photos Adam and I are underground inside the ruins. We have seen many ruins, but never been allowed to tour inside. It was very labyrinth-like, with many twists, turns, and compartments. It was much cooler than the warm air outside and smelt like mud. It was very neat! Outside the ruins there were herds of llamas. Llamas, llamas everywhere! It was a very authentic experience.

There was a lot of very interesting sculptures around the ruins. The Chavin culture worshiped the serpent, bird, and feline. These animals can be seen in a lot of the art. This piece was taken out of the center of the ruins, underground, and brought out for the public to view. They have some of the neatest carvings and sculptures I have seen in ancient ruins.


Kim and Brian said...

I love the pictures on this one! Adam with the llama and you with the old woman with the goat! Great pictures! Funny about the landslide and how you walked around. I guess they get used to driving through rough conditions and have a lot of practice at it. I loved reading about the ruins, I would love to walk through them! I have only been able to look at them and walk through the reconstructed tunnels above ground in Mexico.

Only about one more week till you are home! We are so excited! I can't wait to look at all of your pictures and hear your stories!

Love, Kim

Anonymous said...

Wow, what beautiful country. No wonder you took so many pics. Hope you have enough card memory left for Macchu Picchu. I check for your blogs everyday, and then all of the sudden there are three new ones! What a treat. I guess Kim is the ultimate "trooper". I'm behind on comments.
Riley climbed up in my lap for snuggles, (this is done many times a day), and I whispred "12 more days RiRi". I know he understood. He really misses having someone to run with. I swear I see a tear run down his face as he watches me put on my uniform and knows he is doomed to three days of sleeping. But he seems happy..... as we speak, he is tearing apart a toy.

We can't wait to see you. P.S., I mailed the car title to Kim's so it will be there when you arrive.
Kristen, you look so cute in that alpaca hat, it's you! And, Adam, you just look cute, period.

See you soon.....Love, Mom