009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

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009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:21 am

Sorry for the delay, and yes, this thread contains a lot of pics.... Sorry if you are on dialup.

4 - Pisac
Hands down my favorite ruins in the sacred valley..... Though Tipon, specifically the still working irrigation system there, was incredible, but thats another story.

Entrance to the site is covered with the 'bolletta tourista'.
The town is an hour shared taxi from cusco, it was around 4 bucks. Took a combi home for a buck. In town i got some picnic supplies, then took a set price taxi that was maybe 25 soles to the the ruins above town.

The 1st thing you notice is the terracing, which is superb, 2nd, the views. The site sits on point that looks down the river in 2 directions. You can see why this was a defensive site, protecting entrance into the sacred valley.

The ruins are scattered, and consists of 4 main areas. A group around where the taxi drops you, some above, then down to some baths and a sun dial. You then make your way out to the lower point, then down to some housing that is being reconstructed. Then through the terracing, and back into town. I spent 5 hours hiking down, and got there at dark. Im sure it could of been done it in an easy 2. Every hike id taken up to this pointin SA consisted of what seeemed nothing but up, a hike that was almost nothing but down was a welcome change.
At the top i saw maybe 30 people. It was around 4 when i made it to the sun dial, and only saw a few others. Through the rest i saw only 2 other people, not counting the beautiful local sisters that were hiking home after a long day of work, and got me for a couple of bracelets.
When i got into town they were taking the market down, pisac has the largest in the valley. After seeing sooooo many markets, it was kooool to see this one from a different perspective.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%ADsac
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Pisac&ll= ... s&t=h&z=16


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3 - Antaymarca
Valle de los Volcanos!
Yes, thats what this place is called. As soon as i saw the name, i had to go.
And not only are the ruins of Antymarca located in the awesomely named Valley of the Volcanos, the ruins are on a lava flow!
Ya! I said that!
Really, how much more frickin a kooool can it get?.....

These ruins are just outside the town of Andagua, which is yet another afternooon bumpy a55 bus ride from the wonderful city of Arequipa, that arrives at its destination at 3 in the morning.

Unlike when i arrived in Cotahuasi at 330am, i wasnt lucky enough to have the owner of a hotel sitting next to me on the bus......
Also, the power to the town was out.
Now, as i mentioned earlier, andagua is in the valley of the volcanoes. While its actually not 'quite' as desolate as it sounds.... It was one of a couple of towns in peru i never found the internet, and i spent 3 nights. There was a sign for it, but never actually saw its warm glow of infromation. There was nothing that i would even consider a tourist restaurant. I did have the best yogurt of my entire life.
I digress.....
Actually, for as secluded as ive made this town out to be, my trusty LP Peru did have a listing for a hotel, that was lucky enough for me to be on the main square, Casa Blanca.
So i walk 20 meters to the white hotel and bang on the door. The bus pulls away, the few locals who got off scatter while the stars take a hold of me. Its like i could touch them...
There were so many stars, galaxys, satellites, planets, comets, up there i expected them to leave a shadow, but no, its pitch black.
After 5 minutes of being stuck in a trance staring at the show above, listening to a soundtrack of bumbling behind the thick wall of the hotel, the door opens.... Dude tells me....
'There is no power, the hotel is closed.'
And within 2 seconds closes the door.
I didnt even have time to react..... WTF!
I get out my torch and walk around to the middle of the square. I kant even see the buildings. So i pick a street, well, a dirt path thats wide enough for a car and start walking. Its like im in cave, and effect helped by the fact the houses are made of stones. I fumble down one block, nothing, take a right, trip over some rocks, nothing, take a right, more darkne55 and im back at the plaza. On the far side of it i find a really dirty sign for a hostel, knock, and honestly to my relief, there is no answer.
I figure im sleeping in the square. Its cold, but i got a bag, and id convinced myself the people and animals carved into the trees around the square would keeep me safe. As i sit down to get ready an old man walks by. I ask him if he knows of a hotel. Sure enough, he takes me one block, to a place i walked right past....
Boooom. Awesome room, almost brand new hotel, private bath. 20 soles.
Blah... Blah... Blah.... Again.
I wake up in super rural peru, pigs and cows in the streets, almost no cars or trucks, a few motos. Stone houses. Its awesome. I spent 3 days hiking around the area. Again, these trails are the roads that lead into towns/communities. While there i was the 1st white man to see a big waterfall, an earth/tree bridge over a 50 meter drop to a raging river, some minor ruins, great people, tons of cinder cones, and oh ya......
SUPER AWESOME RUINS ON A LAVA FLOW!!!

The ruins are about a 30 minute hike. Whats kool is that the ruins are built out of the same lava rock they sit on, which makes for a neeet camouflage. The place is a natural fort. There are like 50 circular bases of what where likely buildings of some sort. The site is pretty big, but its tough getting through. All the rocks have fallen into the paths, and only a few places have been cleared. The views are excellent, and behind the ruins is a vista that rises up a few hundred meters. From there you can see the ruins, the town, and at least 15 cinder cones.
As with most ancient cities, you can just look around, and its obvious why someone would choose this spot.

Be sure to check the google satellite link on this one.
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=andagua+p ... s&t=h&z=18


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2 - Kuelap
I spent an entire day at this grand fortre55 of the north.
Near Chachapoyos, and built by the people of the same name. It translates as 'cloud people'. The site has many legends, said to of been the last stronghold of the Incas, but has no evidence to support it. These people were never really even conquered by the Wari, or the Incas, much less the Spanish, they were tough mofos. They were left alone, and right now their ancestors are fighting the future at the heart of the amazon in ecuador, just over the border from peru. But thats another story.

It felt like a week went by while i was there, as the weather shifted from fog, rain, sun, clouds, sun, rain, sun, clouds. Every hour was a different day, and made the site seeem much larger then it really is. Only a few small parts of the park have been 'restored', and being able to see the 'ruins' next to the 'ruins' added a lot to the feel of the place.

I got there a dawn, and was starving. There was a nice old lady at the base of the ruins who cooked me eggs over the wood stove in her dirt floor home, and sold me some snacks. She told me how there were more tourist coming now, a few years ago nobody ever came.
Finally i made it up through the fog, into one of the 3 entrances. I checked the place over for a bit, then it started to rain. I found a nice shelter and had a read, mark twains 'life on the mississippi'. There were 4 other tourists there, they were germans on a daytrip from chacha, and only had a few hours. I saw 2 others.

Along with the huge walls and terrace work, the buildings were built in circles. With decorative stonework and high roofs due to the high amount of rainfall. There were over 150 structures in this place at its zenith.....
It must of been a site to behold.

Around 1pm the sun came out, and it got hot...
I pealed off some layers and ran around the site like a madman explorer, and by then i had the place to myself, with the exception and a few gardeners and lllamas, who laughed and spit at me. I must of done about 3 laps of the place.
By about 3 the clouds were coming in and it was time to go....
Im glad i left when i did. There was a teacher doing some work there and he had a mototaxi waiting to take him back, and offered me a ride. This might not of saved my a55, but did save me what could of been a long walk, and my only a chance at a ride.

It was quite an adventure getting to the ruins. The day before i arrived in the small town of Tingo Maria, a 20 minute taxi from the ruins.
Before that i sat in front of a market in Nuevo Tingo for about 4 hours and a few beers waiting for a taxi/ride to get there. And that was after 20 minutes of riding on the back of a moto from the main highway......
A ride that was flagged down for me from the 2 police officers that gave me a 2 hour ride from Liemebamba where i started the day. Which itself was was 2 days of top of the world buses from Cajamarca, including a few nights in Celendine, where i found no signs of a prophecy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuelap
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Fortalez ... +Peru&z=16


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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Bill Barilko » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:51 am

Very Cool-I liked Kuelap best greener-I like green.

Why are there never any people in your pics?

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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:07 am

Well, i was the only person at antaymarca, and one of 7 at kuelep, and they were gone by 1.
A few snuck into my picks at pisac, but from what i could tell, most daytrippers just see the bit at the top section and leave...

Also....
I dont like taking pictures of people.... Cept in certain situations.
I think they pollute pictures of ruins.

I dont much like having my picture taken either.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby polardude1 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:01 pm

Thanks.Peru has the richest collection of runs in SA. Pisac was a great place to visit
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:39 pm

The day i spent at pisac was one of the best ive evah had while traveling........
By the time i got there the crowd had thinned. Most of pisacs visitors come on a day tour of multiple sites, and they generally hit pisac in the morning, and include a market visit. The market is the biggest in the valley, and the main tourist draw of the town.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby polardude1 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:55 pm

The market is the biggest in the valley, and the main tourist draw of the town.


I went on a off market day. The Sunday market I did go to was is Chinchero
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:16 pm

We spent a night in chinchero, and they were my 1st ruins in the sacred valley...... They were quite impressive.
While i liked the small town, it was a bit blah for my travel partner at the time, who was on a schedule and still suffering a bit of culture shock.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Lost Soul » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:29 am

Thanks for sharing.

Pisac looks like where the Incas learned how to do their distinctive stonework. There are beautiful walls with rubble on top and, what shocks me, beautiful stone walls laid over bog-standard rubble on the bottom. That is interesting.

Thanks again, Jack.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:30 am

The inca inherited, and improved/built on much in thier empire.....
The foundations of the road network and terracing were built by previous cultures.
The influence on the environment by the wari, who themselves inherited quite a bit, is considerable.

What else was kooool about pisac is that they had the some of the mudbrick strukture in places that made up the top portion of the walls, above/built on the rocks, as well as the rooofs on some of the buildings.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby polardude1 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:36 pm

You can see evidencen of how the Inca drew knowwledege from Tiwanaku, in present day Bolivia
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:35 pm

Missing out on tiwanaku is must one of the reasons i will return to bolivia......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiwanaku

The theory that the wari were an offshooot of tiwanaku is under fire as evidence that they coexisted has been found.
Both likely evolved from a common culture around lake titikaka, the wari were also influenced by/absorbed the previous coastal and northern cultures.....
Areas which hold sites such as caral, and others, that have been dated at around/earlier then 2500BC!

There was a lot going on before the inca.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Lost Soul » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:57 am

Agent009 wrote:Missing out on tiwanaku is must one of the reasons i will return to bolivia......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiwanaku

The theory that the wari were an offshooot of tiwanaku is under fire as evidence that they coexisted has been found.
Both likely evolved from a common culture around lake titikaka, the wari were also influenced by/absorbed the previous coastal and northern cultures.....
Areas which hold sites such as caral, and others, that have been dated at around/earlier then 2500BC!

There was a lot going on before the inca.

Yes, 6000 years of civilization by others. The Incas were the last, which is why they're famous.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby polardude1 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:31 pm

Yes, 6000 years of civilization by others. The Incas were the last, which is why they're famous

That and the fact there is plenty of high profile sites remainig from their empire
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Electrolyte » Fri May 03, 2013 4:24 am

Awesome report! Thanks.

I did Cuzco, the Inca Trail, and Arequipa and I thought I was done with Peru.

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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Fri May 03, 2013 5:54 pm

Electro - Glad you liked it!
Be sure to check the others.... My #1 ruin post is in the works right now.

polardude1 wrote:
Yes, 6000 years of civilization by others. The Incas were the last, which is why they're famous

That and the fact there is plenty of high profile sites remainig from their empire

No, it has more to do with the fact that peru has only invested in, and promotes the inca ruins.....
Something that electrolyte proves with this comment.....

Electrolyte wrote:Awesome report! Thanks.

I did Cuzco, the Inca Trail, and Arequipa and I thought I was done with Peru.

Peru has pushed the sacred valley, and created a mythos around MP to the point people are crying when they get there......
The real spectacle of machu picchu is the line to get in.

The reality is, there are more noninca sites in peru then inca sites, and generally they are far more spectacular.....
Ive listed 9 sites so far in this series, and only one is incan.....
Hate to drop a hint here, but my #1 ruin isnt incan either.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Electrolyte » Sat May 04, 2013 12:54 am

I assumed no. 1 would be MP. You're out on a limb not including it and it makes your list look like giving the Nobel Prize to Obama, which had more to do with him not being Bush than with anything he did. MP and the Inca Trail are great. Ollantaytambo was also nice.

I went back and looked up your 10-5 and they are a good step down, at least for the ruins though some of them have wonderful settings. But just these three would merit a trip by themselves.

I did the Inca Trail the final year when you didn't need a reservation. Got there just before the huge crush and now if everyone is distracted by it that's great; I can go back and see what I missed before they all realize what they are missing.

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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Moethebartender » Sat May 04, 2013 1:04 am

Agent009 wrote:Electro - Glad you liked it!
Be sure to check the others.... My #1 ruin post is in the works right now.


Can't wait to check it out. Thanks for posting this stuff, for a ruins buff like me, it's very fucking cool.

By the way, if you haven't already read it, Turn Right at Machu Picchu kinda seems like it might be something you might dig.

When I went to Peru, I visited Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu and spent a while in Iquitos and Lima. I still wanted to go back to see so many other things beyond the ruins. It's really a fantastic country for an introduction to South America. So much to see no matter what your intrests.
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Re: 009s Top 10 Ruins of Peru..... Sites 4-2...

Postby Agent009 » Sat May 04, 2013 2:41 am

Electro - You are lucky you saw it when you did. I dont think MP would make my top 15.
As for the others being soft, well, i dont know.....
Take Batan Grande. Here, as well as nearby at tucume, are ginormous mudbrick pyramids. Sure, they are just piles of dirt, well, giant piles of dirt, but it toook more work/organization, and much more time, to build those then MP, which IMO makes them far more impressive.
Caral is a 3500 year old city, with multiple pyramids and sites, that was inhabited for hundreds of years.... It makes MP look insignificant.

Well, it is all personal opinion anyway, but MP is pretty much the big mac of precolonial ruins........
I feel the same way about tikal, and used to get in some awesome fueds on the CA branch about it. Tikal is far from the most impressive mayan site, yet at times, especially by tourist/travelers, its treated as the only one that exists.
The 2 main reason tikal is the most loved/visited mayan ruin.....
1st Marketing.
2nd it is the most reconstructed/fake/manicured/whatever you wanna call it mayan ruin in existence. (chickenitza is close)
Both similar 'problems' that machu picchu face.

One of my favorite lines on TT would be something like this..... (and not directed at anyone here)
Of course its the bestest most incredible mayan/incan/insert culture ruin you ever saw, it was pretty much the only one you visited!

Peru is making a big push to make most of these sites more accessible, which of course will ruin them for a ruin snob like me.

Moe - Ollantaytambo is impressive.
I skipped out on iquitos and the amazon.....
I dont like bugs, and spending 2 weeks to get deeep into the jungle to say i saw pink dolphins just sounds ghey.
(that was a joke, well, not the bug part)
Actually, im looking forward to going back. I spent almost a year in peru, and there is still soooooo much to see.
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