Cajamarca, Day 1

Cajamarca Travel Blog

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Facade of El Belen
The men’s hospital was interesting in how the beds were set up.  Each sick person had a cell in the wall instead of a bed in a common room.  At the end of the hall there was an altar and more cells in the walls on each side of the altar.  A painting exhibition of 2 Peruvian painters was being held when I visited.  The women’s hospital had the same cells but theirs had wooden beds and a fur mat to lie on.  Furthermore, there were frescos outside of each cell with a number.  It was here that pregnant women gave birth and there were 2 ropes above the head of the woman that she could hold on to when she was in pain.  Now the women’s hospital is home to the small archeology museum and ethnography museum.

After our tour of Belen, my guide took me to the Cuarto de Rescate, the room where Atahualpa was held before his execution.
Detail of facade
  Then, in the afternoon I visited the Banos del Inca, just a few miles from Cajamarca.  Here in the hot springs Atahualpa was camped with his troops and enjoying the thermal curative waters.  Today there is a complex of private baths, swimming pool, and public baths.  I didn’t have time to go in because it was getting towards late afternoon and I wanted to hike to Otuzco to see the holes cut in the rock called “ventanillas” where the ancient Caxamarcans buried their dead.  I had a great hike following a small river up to Otuzco and a local boy there gave me his spiel on what they meant before demanding a tip.  He wasn’t happy with my tip but I told him that his 30 second disinterested explanation wasn’t worth more.
El Belen church
  It was getting dark so I got a combi back to Cajamarca.

In the evening I went to a place called Usha Usha that was recommended in the Lonely Planet guide.  It is owned by a locally famous musician called Jaime and he has impromptu evenings of song in his hole-in-the-wall bar.  Only wine and hard stuff is available there and I met a group of some miners working for the American Gulf corporation who invited me to share their bottle of Pisco liquor.  One of the miners had worked in the U.S. and he told me he had traveled through Cleveland too.  He insisted on speaking English even though the others didn’t follow and so I gamely went along.  We had some good laughs.  Jaime was joined by a German violinist and singer to practice for an upcoming weekend concert and the miner whispered to the German girl that I played violin.  She insisted that I play something so I obliged with a few tunes before Jaime reminded them that they needed to get the practice session underway.  What followed was a few hours of wonderful music, at first with the girls, and then when they left, just Jaime and his son on “cajon” the drum box that is sat upon while the player hits it with his hands.  The small bar was all involved in the music and song and it was an unexpected and lovely evening.  

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Facade of El Belen
Facade of El Belen
Detail of facade
Detail of facade
El Belen church
El Belen church
Vaulting of church
Vaulting of church
High altar in Belen Church
High altar in Belen Church
Cupola in El Belen church
Cupola in El Belen church
Detail of cupola
Detail of cupola
Last Supper in stone
Last Supper in stone
St. Christopher
St. Christopher
Wooden pulpit in El Belen
Wooden pulpit in El Belen
Christ statue
Christ statue
Stone carving on pillars
Stone carving on pillars
Wooden doors and tour guide
Wooden doors and tour guide
Courtyard of church
Courtyard of church
Hospital for men
Hospital for men
Fresco and cupola in hospital
Fresco and cupola in hospital
Mens hospital..cells for patients
Men's hospital..cells for patients
Artist
Artist
Guitarist
Guitarist
Family at dinner
Family at dinner
Triptych
Triptych
Harvest of wheat
Harvest of wheat
Builders
Builders
Women working
Women working
Mother and child
Mother and child
Market day
Market day
Threshing the wheat
Threshing the wheat
Portraits
Portraits
Wood sculpture
Wood sculpture
Sts. Crispin and Crispiano
Sts. Crispin and Crispiano
Mother Earth
Mother Earth
Harvesting cactus
Harvesting cactus
Artist
Artist
Guide in Womens Hospital
Guide in Women's Hospital
Cords for woman to hold when givin…
Cords for woman to hold when givi…
Pottery
Pottery
Textiles
Textiles
Plates and bowls
Plates and bowls
Textiles
Textiles
Native dress
Native dress
Nativity Scene
Nativity Scene
Offerings made of sugar for deceas…
Offerings made of sugar for decea…
Ex-votos
Ex-votos
Carnival in Cajamarca
Carnival in Cajamarca
Courtyard
Courtyard
Plazecita Belen
Plazecita Belen
Street in Cajamarca
Street in Cajamarca
View up to St. Apolonia
View up to St. Apolonia
Atahualpas Jail Cell
Atahualpa's Jail Cell
Pizarro capturing Atahualpa
Pizarro capturing Atahualpa
Execution of Atahualpa
Execution of Atahualpa
Holding cell for Atahaulpa
Holding cell for Atahaulpa
Fine day for a car wash by the riv…
Fine day for a car wash by the ri…
Cows grazing
Cows grazing
Lush countryside
Lush countryside
This guy promises trees?
This guy promises trees?
Ahhh...a baseball hat.  Nod to mod…
Ahhh...a baseball hat. Nod to mo…
Country farm
Country farm
Traditional guy here.
Traditional guy here.
Soccer lesson
Soccer lesson
Herding the cows home
Herding the cows home
Cows near Banos and Otuzco
Cows near Banos and Otuzco
Bringing home the daily milk
Bringing home the daily milk
River work
River work
Elderly shepherdess
Elderly shepherdess
Ventanillas de Otuzco
Ventanillas de Otuzco
San Francisco at night
San Francisco at night
Cajamarcan Miners
Cajamarcan Miners
Jaime, singer, and son, Jaime
Jaime, singer, and son, Jaime
German violist and Jaime
German violist and Jaime
Singer, jaime and percussionist
Singer, jaime and percussionist
Jaime and singer
Jaime and singer
The group
The group
The group
The group
The poster for the upcoming concert
The poster for the upcoming concert
Usha Usha Singing
Cajamarca
photo by: AndySD