Sunday, 31 October 2010

Chachapoyas, Peru

Arriving early to Chachapoyas, I had time to search & pick a cheap hostel. During the search and almost giving up on the prices - Dennis attacks me from behind.
Dennis who?
Well, Dennis is a German who insisted on following me around Ecuador for about two weeks. Not so nice a person, and so I hope I meet him again soon.
Not thinking twice, I joined Dennis at his hostel and met Niels (not the one with the geese), Dennis' friend from home.
Later on, we (Dennis, Niels & I) regrouped with the Australian couple from the last Post (Dennis - could you help me with the names?) and set a tour for the next day to see the Kuèlap remains.
Three hours away from Chachapoyas (which is far away from the world as is), lie the Kuèlap remains. Kuèlap is most famous for it's more than 400 round buildings. It also has a 20 meter high defense wall. The Incas had to siege the city, and it was one of the hardest cultures for them to conquer. A few years later, the Kuèlaps joined forces with the Spanish ''gods'' and helped them beat the Incas.
The remains are impressive. Standing outside of the huge wall, you feel like defeat. The entrances are narrow & steep which makes it harder to enter for the armed Inca soldier (sounds familiar?). Inside the city, circular buildings stretch as far as the eye could see...not really, but there are quite enough. Each building was used by a family as a house. Within each building there's a hole - that was used as a family tomb.
The Kuèlaps used only 3 kinds of decorations named after their 3 gods - Puma-eyes, Cayman-eyes & the Snake. There is also only one open window in one house (out of all of the houses), all the rest are shut and were used as shelves.
Due to the fact that I was in recovery of a three day diarrhea, I told you the storyline of Kuèlap and not of how I felt there.
Catarata Gocta - The 3rd-Highest Waterfall in The World?
Morning after Kuèlap, Dennis & Niels had planed to see Catarata-Gota. I didn't really want to, but my bus was due to leave only in the evening. Dennis got up with a really bad stomach and decided to stay in the hostel where he could sleep and run to the WC whenever he felt like it. I took the chance, and went for some quality time with Niels.
Speeding again, in a private taxi, we got to the small village next to the high waterfall. 4 years ago, in the year of 2006, a German guy discovered and measured the beautiful waterfall and since then - the Chachapoyanes tried to populate the site. The people of the small village seem like they're not sure what the fuss is all about. Taking a guide is included when paying entrance to the park. Even though the path is as clear as glass, the guide told me there are snakes and dangerous animals, and he's there with a radio so help would come (we really tried to see some snakes, they were all on holiday). He was also a good story-teller. Through him I learned about the life of the guides working in the park (too many guides - not enough tourists), and his life off guide-duty (mainly agriculture). Niels got some translations from me, but was a bit frustrated that he couldn't understand the stories first-hand.
About 2 hours of walking, we arrived underneath the waterfall. From far away, it seemed as though some thing's wrong with the picture. The waterfall was not as impressive as the ads. showed! I want my money back! Someone stopped providing water for the waterfall, and the view was a bit sad. Even though there was not enough water from above, the pool was full enough to teach a German what you do when you arrive to a water source.
Washed and happy, we walked our way back to the village. The guide assured us that if we come in the wet season - the waterfall would be amazing and rushing with water. I believe him.
Later on, I checked the stats on the high waterfall - according to Wikipedia it's the 16th highest waterfall in the world, not the 3rd. Friends, beware of Peruvian advertisement.

Saying my goodbyes again to Dennis (this time with Niels in the way - we couldn't have our crazy goodbye-sex) & Chachapoyas, I was alone on my way to Huaraz.

Tips for Chachapoyas:
- If you made it all this way, there's enough to see. Kuèlap, Gocta (in the wet season) & the Sarcophagus.
- Kuèlap is very impressive. If there was a touristic center in Chachapoyas, and it would have been more reachable, I would recommend it as much as the Machu Picchu. The architecture is more impressive by far.
- Catarata Gocta was a bit disappointing, I wouldn't travel all the way to Chachapoyas for it, but it is a nice walk if you're already here.


  1. Although you warned me, I dare to post some corrections, which, in my german absolute 'objective opinion', are neccessary due to your incorrect memories.

    1. Neils is written Niels. (I can prove that)
    2. I didn't attack you. I was so overwhelmed and happy to see you, that I tried to hug you from behind (big time).
    3. I didn't insist on following you around Ecuador (by the way, I'm Dennis). The story was as follows: Ohad arrived in Quito and planned to stay there for a couple of days, perhaps a week. On the very first day he was scared like a little girl in the forest, so he ran away to Otavalo. As he returned to Quito he was very happy to see a strong and handsome german fellow named Dennis. Dennis decided to leave Quito because he allready saw everything that there is to see. Ohad was so afraid from the big, bad Capital of Ecuador that he grabed Dennis at the shoulders, fell to his knees and asked him if he could take him out of Quito. Dennis was kind of bored so he thought it might be funny to have a good story- and joke-teller at his side (there is no fuckin' onion!). He allowed (ALLOWED!!!) Ohad to walk 2m behind him on his way to Baños via the Quilotoa-Loop. (You should always hear both sides of story).
    4. It was an australian couple? I thought at least one was from Europe. But I'm pretty bad with names. You should know that, Betty.
    5. I wasn't able to RUN to the toilet. I wish I was. Haven't felt that weak since shortly after my birth.
    6. It's "Catarata Gocta" (notice the 'o' in the second argument).
    7. I'm still loaded with the desire to get my decent homosexual goodbye sex with you. Hope you improved your technique in Brazil.

    Looking forward to your next entries.

  2. Germans...why argue?
    2.Described freely by the author of my memories - makes the story more interesting/thrilling/scary/adventures.
    3.See #2, I allow you to visit me in Rio (even though you´re not that good at story/joke telling).
    4.See #2, He was Dutch & I write bety with one t!
    5.Consider yourself strong now?
    7.With Vaseline or without?