November 23, 2014

Granja Porcón weekend adventure

Rodrigo, David, Korrine Kerry and I went to stay in a cabin at Granja Porcón, a farm in Cajamarca that is an Evangelic community that runs the Atahualpa Jerusalén Cooperative. The farm covers 10,966 hectares and it is home to approximately 1,200 inhabitants who run an agricultural forestry and dairy production plan which invites visitors to participate in the local community work alongside with them. There are also possibilities to go horseback riding through the beautiful pine tree covered area or go fishing for trout.

Here are some pictures of the weekend.  
Our fire place in the cabin.

Our cabin on Porcòn Mountain. 

The famous Porcón mushrooms.

Vicuña and us.

Humming bird.

Heading into the zoo. 

Dying materials.

Hand made weaving loom.

Downtown Porcón

Raw wool.... looks like a Christmas snow scene

How to get on a big rock.



Our new Christmas Tree

David on the porch

November 22, 2014

The Weather

The weather is an amazing phenomena here in Cajamarca.  While it's mostly consistent and nice all the time, it can be a little confusing if you try to understand it......I'll try to explain.

We live in the southern hemisphere which should mean that the Winter season begins on June 21.  As we approach June 21, it should be getting colder and as we pass June 21 it should be getting warmer toward Spring and Summer.  Summer begins on December 21.  The process should go on the same way year after year.

We are so close to the equator in Cajamarca and at a high altitude, so the weather is much the same day after day.  It gets into the low 70s during the day and either in the 40s or 50s at night depending on if it is Summer or Winter.  Right now we are about a month from Summer and the temperatures were getting warmer in the morning when I walked to work but this last it has bee really cold.  One day it was 1 degree celsius( 33.8) officially, however the picture below is the frost I saw on the way to work. It must have been a soft freeze.

The Cajamarca rainy season begins in November and lasts to about April. The rainy season is considered Winter because the clouds cover the sun and due to the altitude it is somewhat cooler during the day, maybe in the mid to high 60s but still usually making it to 70.  This means that right now we are actually in Winter because of our rainy season, just like the northern hemisphere, but officially it is Summer.

This can get rather confusing because the department stores have their Summer stock out because on the coast and other places it's Summer.   Which between 12:00pm and 4:00pm it is here most days. The rest of the time we need Autumn clothes.  To make matters worse, the department stores are also selling Christmas items making it seem like Winter when it really is Summer and they are selling Summer beach items.

The rainy season or Winter is not really a severe rainy season like we see in Wisconsin where it can rain for weeks straight. The rainy season in Cajamarca happens mostly in the afternoon right before we leave from work for the day and/or at night.  The rain usually ends right before I go to work around five.  Last year, I only had two days when I needed my rain gear on my way to work, however I needed it many days on my way home.  Don't get me wrong, the rain can be severe and it can come out of the mountains and destroy houses and other buildings that are made of adobe mud bricks, but it isn't like what we see in Wisconsin.

There is another contradiction to the rainy season.  I own a guitar and guitars are very susceptible to the humidity, you have to make sure to keep them humidified.  This can be particularly troublesome in the Winter months in Wisconsin when it's very dry.  During the rainy season in Cajamarca, we find that our skin dries out and in fact, the air is really dry.  Yes, that's right, during the rainy season, the air is really dry.  People complain all the time that their fingers are cracking and their skin is really dry, so is my guitar.

So what do I make of it?  I don't really try to make anything of it. I just try to keep warm by wearing my Autumn clothes.  During the day between 12 and 4 I can take my warm autumn weight jacket off and enjoy the warm weather and sun. I try to keep my clothes dry during the rainy season and my skin and guitar moisturized when the air is dry. Mostly I am confused about what season and month it is, but also usually comfortable.  When I am at home, I try to be in the yard enjoying the moderate temperatures, Paraíso!!!!

October 19, 2014

Machu Picchu pictures and a little more...

Machu Picchu!
The Incas built a highly advanced network of nearly 40,000 thousand kilometers of trails to connect the distant corners of their vast empire that stretched from Quito in Ecuador down to Santiago in Chile and east to Mendoza in Argentina. Cusco was at the heart of this great empire. Almost all of the principal trails in the mountains surrounding Cusco were built or improved upon by the Incas. However, a particularly beautiful 43km section of mountain trail connecting the important Inca archaeological sites of Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu has become popular with hikers in the last 30 years and has become known as the "Inca Trail to Machu Picchu".  Here are our pictures of our Camino Inka!!

The four amigos!!
My New/Old Iphone!

Cathedral in Cuzco

Awesome restaurant and pretty cool sign. 

Different hat in Cusco! Friendly looking campesina.

Moray or Muray is an archaeological site in Peru approximately 50 km northwest of Cuzco on a high plateau at about 3,500 m and just west of the village of Maras.

The Incas did agricultural testing in this site to see what crops grew at what elevations...  Amazing!! 

Going up!  Going down didn't look as cool....  : ) 

Salt has been obtained in Maras by evaporating salty water from a local subterranean stream. The highly salty water emerges at a spring, a natural outlet of the underground stream. The flow is directed into an intricate system of tiny channels constructed so that the water runs gradually down onto the several hundred ancient terraced ponds.

My sexy woman in front of Saksaywaman which is a walled complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Like many Inca constructions, the complex is made of large polished dry stone walls, with boulders carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar.
My Saksay new hat......

Check out the saksay moon!!

Different Hats in Ollantaytambo.

First bridge on Camino Inka.


The crew!!!  6 of us are not only from Los Estados Unidos but Wisconsin!!  Crazy!!

The first remain.  They call them remains, because they were not found by the Spaniards and ruined...


This is a typical camp site along the trail.  

A typical burro....

The stare down....  Who's more stubborn????? 

Some porters along the trail......

Top of the highest pass.....

Top of the pass in the rain!!

I tried to hold it until Machu Picchu!  See why??

Another remain. 

Top of the Inca world!

Heading into a cave.. 

The mess tent!

Getting ready for the last push to Machu Picchu!

After three nights, the anticipation is killing us!!

At last, the ninth Inca's capital! 


It's 5:00 somewhere???

Where's the chincilla?

Stairway to heaven!

Howdy neighbor.

After the hike we met to have lunch.  The train goes right through the middle of town.  This is the first class train that we didn't take.  

This is the second class train we did take..  

Off to the airport
Sunset on Banos del Inca