Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?

24/05/2006


Here's a view of Chivaturco (The sacred mountain I climbed last week, with the cliff and the ruins) from even higher up on the road. From where I took this photo, my site is off in the distance to the right and the mountain is in between. This same road is the transportation artery that pumps me like a fiery red blood cell to the waterfalls at Chaca Capac, the arches and caves of Cerro de Arcos, and the legendary and mysterious Laguna Chinchilla. Pics to follow.

Here's the Laguna. Instantly reminded me of the place where King Arthur supposedly received Excalibur. All I received were a couple of delicious cups of hot coffee fresh from Fernando's thermos. The laguna is about a kilometer across at its widest part. Not very big, but according to Fernando it's the hiding place of Incan Emperor Atahualpa´s treasure.

Okay, so you don't know who Emperor Atahualpa was. Neither did I a few weeks ago, but let's learn together. I won't subject you to reading more than you want to, but here's some info to tickle your mental tastebuds:

According to Spanish law, Atahualpa’s refusal of the requirement allowed the Spanish to officially declare war on the Inca people. When Atahualpa coldly asked the priest Valverde by what authority did he and his people have to say such things, Valverde offered him a Bible saying that the authority derived from the words in it. He read it and then asked that if this was it why did it not speak to him. He then threw to the ground. That gave the Spaniards the excuse they needed to wage war on the Incas. They opened fire, and over the course of 2 hours more than six thousand unarmed Inca soldiers were killed. The Spanish then imprisoned Atahualpa in the Temple of the Sun.

I definitely recommend you read more. It's absolutely fascinating. Here's the LINK.


Examples of wicked cool alpine flora surrounding the laguna.

Yep. That's me. How cool would it be if I really was just a few meters away from a hoarde of gold and silver worth a billion dollars or so? Guess I'll never know. Many of the locals are afraid to even go near the laguna because it's haunted by crazy scary ghost witch women. They say that if you go there alone, the mists come in really thick and you can see a beautiful siren-like woman singing out on one of the islands telling you to join her. When you swim out to her she disappears and I guess that's when you die or something. Fernando explained it all to me but sometimes when I'm listening to Spanish my mind wanders and I miss stuff. I think that if you're there and it gets misty and you hear beautiful singing you're supposed to get the hell away from there.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the first picture, of the mountain, is most of the greenery just grasses with trees here and there (the dark green bumps?), or is it all really thick forest?

-JC

10:44 AM  
Blogger MountainJedi said...

Well most of what you see there is land used for ganaderia, or cattle raising. That means that it's very degraded land that used to have primary cloud forest but now just has pasture grass and cow crap. However, in that photo, the mountain in the middle and much of the surrounding area on the slopes directly below it are thickly forested. When you're standing in the pastureland it's hot and dry and bland and uncomfortable, but when you pass just five feet into a stand of forest it's cool and humid and everything is dripping with a few thousand species of what-have-you. Completely different. Sad that so much of it has been lost, but of course if I can help show people in the area that there is money to be earned showing off their natural wealth to visitors then perhaps they'll get the idea of preserving and even restoring more of this land to a more biodiverse state, i.e. coud forest. - MJ

7:04 PM  

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