I am a proud

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kids and Caching in Chacas, Peru

Chacas is unique! In all of my Peru travels I've never seen this type of Italian woodwork. Of course that may be because of all the Italians that have settled here to enlist, train and employ (albeit at low pay) the Quechua people of the town. The place is beautiful, looking like a small alpine town somewhere in northern Italy. The snow cap mountains to the west and the construction of the houses make this a postcard perfect place. The one problem is that Chacas had no geocaches. Along with a family from our organization that lives and ministers there we remedied that problem. We headed out of town on a dirt road to the northwest to where my friend knew of a locaton that would be a good place to hide a cache. We pulled off the road near a set of stone steps going up into the woods. All along the right side of the dirt road was a deep valley running up to the snow melt. I just had to get a few pictures of the area. We climbed about 100 steps and arrived at a stone niche with flowers and artifacts of Roman Catholic worship. We started our search for a place to hide the cache. I'm used to paying several dollars to buy a decent tupperware type cache containers but while I was in nearby San Luis I found some containers in a street vendors stand. They only cost me .33 cents each. Amazing! San Luis is a small rather primitive town about 9 miles from Chacas as the crow flies but a good hour by the dirt roads. So, with containers in hand I was ready for the hide. With my friend and his two children we searched out a place to hide the cache. We know that a few tourist come this way. Caching has caught on in Italy too so between the Italians that come to work in the wood carving programs and tourist who might come through to see this community, there might just be a geocacher. At any rate, Chacas has it's very own geocache. Who'll go look for it?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chavin, Pre-Inca Culture - Peru

Last week we were at the tunnel crossing the White Mountains into the Southern Conchucos area of Peru. As we continued our journey we came down from 14,000 feet above sea level to about 10,000 feet into the valley formed by the Mosna River. The small Quechua towns around the valley were beautiful. Before long we arrived at the town of Chavin. The town is built up to the south of the famous Chavin ruins. These are pre-Inca ruins from the time of Christ. At that time in South American history the Chavin culture dominated a large part of Peru. Little is known about the culture. They did believe that they were the center of the earth. It is amusing to be so far from modern civilization in Chavin today and think of it as the center of world. We toured the ruins. It was my second time seeing them but it was the first time for my wife. We toured the cancha, or ball field, the temple mound and then we descended into the small halls and walkways inside the temple underground. From there we could see the monolith left by the Chavin culture. It was apparently some type of object of worship for these people. Hiding a cache on the archeological site wouldn't work nor would it be smart. Just look near the site and use the name of the cache as a big clue to its location. With all the muggle traffic in the area I don't know how long this one will last. With the frequent tourist visits it is my hope that someone soon finds Chavin, a bridge to the past (GC2871A).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tunnel Vision - White Mountains of Peru

About an hour and a half up the road from last week's site, Lake Conococha and the statue of St. Francis of Asisi, we came to a beautiful lake called Querococha. There we switched cars as our friend from Chiquian dropped us off with some friends from Chavin who had driven across the mountains to pick us up. Querococha was a nice rest stop for photos and a chance to buy something to drink. It would be nice if someone hides a cache here in the future. From here we climbed up to over 14,000 feet above sea level to the Cahuisi tunnel. Things are beautiful at this altitude. There are very few trees above the tree line at around 13,000 feet. The country isn't farmed either. Sometimes we would see a Quechua shepherd women tending her flock of sheep but nothing else. Once we came out of the tunnel we were on the east side of the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountain Range) and in the area known as the Callejon of Southern Conchucos. This is where the Southern Conchucos Quechua people live. Just as you come out of the tunnel you see a beautiful view of the valley and a very large statue of Christ. This area was the perfect place for my next geocache. Jordan, my helper, assisted me in the placement of the cache. He even provided a hint in the attached picture, also included in the cache page. Check out Tunnel Vision (GC281ZP). For those traveling in Ancash Department to visit the archeological site at Chavin, this is right along the way. See if you can get the bus driver to stop and take a minute at most and find this cache! It isn't uncommon for caches in these parts to go months waiting to be found for the first time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cache maintenance from one country to another

Last year the area reviewer let me place a cache in the Andes Mountains of Peru. I live in Ecuador but because I travel through the area periodically, it was approved. I placed several in some really scenic places like the Conacocha Lake near the pass leading over the Black Mountains and upwards of 13,000 feet above sea level, at Lake Llaganuco along the road from Yungay that goes through a pass through the White Mountains. It appears that the one at Conacocha Lake has gone missing. Sumajhuarmi and I traveled to the Department of Ancash on our way from Huaraz, where we'd spent a week in meetings, to the town of Chiquian to visit some friends for a day. Along the way we stopped off to check on the cache. It's a beautiful location as the photos reveal. The statue of Saint Francis of Asisi with the lake in the background and the White Mountain range behind it is always a great place to stop to stretch your legs and take in some of God's beauty. Did we find the cache alive and well or did we have to replace it? You got it. It had been muggled so we came prepared to replace it with a new cache. We traveled on to Chiquian and had a great visit with our friends. The next day we came back by the cache site with our friend, who had alerted us that the cache must have gone missing. It was gratifying to watch as he made quick business of finding the cache. This cache is located at about 13,000 feet above sea level. On a clear day like we had you can see the White Mountain Range all the way south to Peru's tallest mountain, Huascaran.