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High above the river valley, two and a half hours walk up a rocky zig-zag trail, a crumbling pile of stones.

I become aware of Kuelap, probably the biggest archeological site in Peru, after Machu Picchu, while perusing the blogs of cyclists who have traversed these roads before me. Three steep narrow passageways lead up...

... to a collection of over 400 crumbling structures on the hill top. Many of the buildings on this site are pre-Incan but, like all triumphant colonists, the Incas then built their own temples on top of those of the people that they subjugated.

Stone is softened by the creeping jungle,...

...while trees, covered with epiphytes, edge their way in amongst the structures.

The location offers...

...a perfect birds-eye view of what is going on below.

A hole drilled in a rock, using obsidian tools made from material imported from the volcanoes of Ecuador, echoes those in human skulls...

... found among the human remains contained with the walls.

The round structures are all pre-Incan. These patterns represent mountains and serpents.

Circles and circles.

The main walls are over 20 metres high.

The most important ceremonial building has a single opening at the top of the structure leading into a bottle shaped chamber - it's precise use remains obscure.

Another narrow opening to the outside world,...

... the towering walls are decorated with carvings of snakes and other fabulous creatures...

... and a few ghostly faces.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Ted | July 13, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    You’ll be happy to know I finally found white gas in Ecuador, for the bargain basement price of $8.53 for a half liter. At those prices I would have to stick to Ramen… hope you’re enjoying Peru (I didn’t, someone has to!)

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