Cajamarca-Day 2

Cajamarca Travel Blog

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One of the Courtyards at the Hotel.

Well being tired was not enough to get through that night on my butcher block.  I barely got any sleep and decided that finding a new hotel might be a good thing.  I met Victor and Daniel downstairs at the hotel restaurant, which is not bad, for breakfast.  We need to go get our picture taken today for our IDs to get into the Yanacocha mine and then head up the hill for some meeting.  After the glamour shot session we stopped by another hotel, El Hotel Ingenio, to check it out.  The place was pretty nice outside and room was still just ok, but, I am in a small town in Northern Peru. This room was a bit bigger with great TV reception and the bed is more like a soggy piece of plywood but better than the night before.  We head back to the other hotel grab our stuff, check out and check into the new place.

Entrance to the Inca Baths
  Although it is a little farther from the main square I was willing to give it a shot.  It has wireless internet that has worked well in my room, the door opens up outside to a nice patio, more English speaking channels on TV, laundry service, restaurant and the people and atmosphere are great.  They even exchanged 20 bucks for me at the front desk.  Oh, and just for reference, you do have to mess with the settings to turn off the SAP so you can get the English part of the show.


So we meet back in the front of the hotel, sans Victor, and grab a cab to the Mine.  We get up the road about 15 minutes and traffic is stopped.  Apparently there are protestors blocking the road so people can not get to the mine.

Where I had my experience of fried Guinea Pig.
  I guess this a fairly normal accurence and decide not to wait it out and head back to town.


Now we have the rest of the afternoon so we decide to check out some sites.  First off we head to the Inca Baths. These are hot springs that have been around since the Inca times. You can rent a bath room for half an hour there and they will fill it up for you so there is about 10 people out side this thing with baskets of shampoo and soap to buy.  Man talk about competition.  We no sooner get our tickets and walk through the front gate and it begins to pour.  We wait it out under an over hang for about 10 minutes when Victor arrives and does not want to pay to get in so I run out and take some quick pictures in the rain and head for the exit. 


It is about lunch time and we head down the dirt road, past the tourist booths where they try to sell you things and around the corner to what looks like a rundown strip mall with meat hanging on a string to dry and outside cookers.

Ransom Room
  I follow Victor and Daniel through these restaurants like they are trying to find out where to eat.  To me, the menu looked the same in all of them.  They decide on one and I find out they have fried Cuy (guinea pig) and I figure I have got to try it.  They order for me and get an appetizer that consisted of the pork that was hanging out to dry mixed with egg and I am not sure what else but it was pretty good.  Finally, my ΒΌ of Cuy arrives with the little leg and paw still intact.  What I got from this is that it pretty much tastes like chicken with a lot less meat.  We finish and the rain has subsided to a light sprinkle and we head back to the baths for some pictures.


From the baths we head to the Plaza de Armas to see the Ransom Room.

The cozy hospital beds of early Cajamarca.
  A Spaniard by the name of Francisco Pizarro took over this town from the Incas by ambushing Atahualpa.  This guy was almost like some kind of Incan god.  He was held prisoner in this room and offered Pizarro to fill it with gold and silver for his release.  Pizarro took this deal and held Atahualpa for 8 months while he filled this room before just killing him anyway.  This room was part of his palace and is the only Incan structure left standing in this town.  The Spanish used the rest of the rocks from his palace to build there own buildings.


I forgot to mention that when we arrived at the ransom room a guy offered to take all three of us on a tour of the ransom room and the first church of Cajamarca for 8 sol a piece (about $4 US) and figured a decent deal and he did it in the best English that he could.  So, the first church is also attached to the first hospital with a courtyard in the middle.  We go into the church first and it is like something you see on one of those travel shows.  It is amazing on how people built these grand buildings so many years ago.  The hospital is pretty small with the rooms being holes in the walls just wide enough for someone to lay in.  It is shaped like a cross that has an alter at the top that the patients always faced.  It had no heat and the doctor was the Priest.  This was basically a place where they came to slowly die.  Amazingly enough this was the only hospital in Cajamarca until sometime in the 1960s.  Overall, a good 4 bucks spent.


At this time it is 5 in the afternoon and we head back to the hotel since we had to meet the driver to take us up to the mine at 4am.

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One of the Courtyards at the Hotel.
One of the Courtyards at the Hotel.
Entrance to the Inca Baths
Entrance to the Inca Baths
Where I had my experience of fried…
Where I had my experience of frie…
Ransom Room
Ransom Room
The cozy hospital beds of early Ca…
The cozy hospital beds of early C…
photo by: AndySD