The old fortress of the chachapoya, now the name of the district and its capital, derived from the culture of andean people which thrived in this area from the 6th century until they were conquered and subsequently integrated into the inca empire, shortly before the arrival of the spanish conquistadores. Since i started late from san pablo after visiting the gocta falls, i arrived after dark in tingo, and wasn’t too unhappy about being waved off the street by some people sitting in front of the first building in town, which turned out to be a new hospedaje without a sign yet. From Tingo starts the 9km uphill trek to kuelap. I bought some supplies in the morning and found a companion while shopping: the dog from the hospedaje across the street. During the first flat part he was still with me, and when i tried to send him back at the beginning of the uphill part, this was answered with a look, that said i could forget about that, and so we did the hike together.
It was decisively hot and i started to worry about the dog, still following me twenty meters behind with his tounge almost hanging to the ground. The dog was obviously looking for water and soon went on ahead until he had vanished around a bend. Sometime later, i heard a splashing noise and by the time i arrived, there was no more room in the bathtub.
Clouds moved in as we were getting closer to the ruins and offered a welcome break from the heat. So the second part was easier and soon we arrived at the end of the trek directly at the entrance,
where a guide informed me, i had to walk half an hour more to the parking lot where the ticket office is. By the time we arrived there, i was angry. Why should the people who do the hike have to walk five kilometres more, just so the people who arrive by car have it easier. The looks of the people passing and their shouts about how cute the dog is, did not help to improve my mood and the guys at the ticket office had to listen to a rant from me and just apologetically mentioned, that it was the decision of the ministry of tourism. It wouldn’t be the first time that decision making too far from where its effects are felt, leads to rather unfortunate results. Finally back, the entrance to the fortress is a narrow corridor, which made it easier to defend.
The only structure being completely rebuilt is this house to give some impression about how it must have looked like in former times.
Some llamas were present and especially one stuck out with its pirate look.
Kuelap is built at the highest point in these mountains and is often surrounded by clouds. Maybe that is where the name for its people comes from: the warriors of the clouds.
The downhill was easier and we arrived back at the village to some refreshing rain. While passing a tienda, a familiar face showed up. Maggie and Bryan, whom i first met around cuenca, had just arrived and we spend the evening exchanging our latest experiences.