ALBORADA - SAYRI ÑAN

2.09.2012

FIVE HUNDRED LEAGUES OF PURPLE TO THE NORTH


                 Notro (embothrium coccineum)



Garcilaso de la Vega in his book, Comentarios Reales, make mention of two Main Paths (Capac Ñan) that there was along the Tahuantinsuyo, from north to south, one through the plains, along the coast of the sea and one on the mountains. How he says himself, he painted them with the words of other historians and I try to update the story.

"...el uno que va por los llanos, que es la costa de la mar, y el otro por la sierra, que es la tierra adentro, de los cuales hablan los historiadores con todo buen encarecimiento, pero la obra fue tan grande que excede a toda pintura que de ella se pueda hacer; y porque yo no pueda pintarlos tan bien como ellos los pintaron, diré lo que cada uno de ellos dice, sacado a la letra." (Garcilaso)

When Huayna Capac got out from the city of Cuzco with his army to conquer the province of Quito, near five hundred leagues away, had great difficulty in the passage through the mountains, because of the poor roads and large ravines and cliffs that existed. Then it seemed fair to build a new road, through which he could return of his victorious conquest. Because he had mastered the province, ordered a road across all the Andean Mountains, very wide and flat, breaking and equaling the rocks where necessary, equaling and raising the ravines of masonry. "...tanto, que algunas veces subían la labor desde quince y veinte estados de hondo, y así dura este camino por espacio de las quinientas leguas." (Agustín de Zárate, libro I, capítulo XIII)

They say the road was totaly plan, when it was over but then with the wars and the Spanish invasion, in many parts, the masonry of these passages were broken, stopping those who wanted to come, through them, so they could not pass and now we are surprised with what it remains of those roads, but you can imagine how wonderful they were five hundred years ago.


Huayna Capac loved so much the province of Quito, that he had conquered, that ordered another road to the north, through the plains, which was completed with other roads in them. That road was as hard as those of the mountains, because it was through all the valleys where could reach the freshness of the rivers and trees, usually occupied one league in lenght, then they made a road that was nearly forty feet wide, with very thick walls of one end and the other and four or five walls up. On leaving the valley, the same road followed through the sands, where it was put down, with sticks and stakes by ropes, so that no one could lose its direction, or twist the sticks. That road had the same five hundred leagues than the other. "...y aunque los palos de los arenales están rompidos en muchas partes,porque los españoles, en tiempo de guerra y de paz, hacían con ellos lumbre,pero las paredes de los valles se están el día de hoy en las más partes enteras, pordonde se puede juzgar la grandeza del edificio;" (Zárate)


Thus, according to Zarate, Hayna Capac went by one road and returned by the other, and along the way, wherever he had to pass, it had always covered and strewn with bouquets and flowers from very mild odor.

Pedro de Cieza de Leon, speaking the same road that goes through the mountains said: "De Ipiales se camina hasta llegar a una provincia pequeña, que ha por nombre Guaca, y antes de llegar a ella se ve el camino de los Ingas,... ....así por los grandes aposentos y depósitos que había en todo él, como por ser hecho con mucha dificultad, por tan ásperas y fragosas sierras, que pone admiración verlo."

"...daré noticia del gran camino que los Ingas mandaron hacer por mitad de ellos, el cual, aunque por muchos lugares está ya desbaratado y deshecho, da muestra de la grande cosa que fue y del poder de los que lo mandaron a hacer. Guainacapa y Topainga Yupangue, su padre, fueron, a lo que los indios dicen, los que abajaron por toda la costa, visitando los valles y provincias de los yungas, aunque también cuentan algunos de ellos que el Inga Yupangue, abuelo de Guainacapa y padre de Topa Inca, fue el primero que vio la costa y anduvo por los llanos de ella."(Cieza de Léon)




So the chiefs and leaders of the provinces, by order of the Inca, on these valleys and on the coast, made a path as wide as fifteen feet. On the one hand and on the other of the road, there was a very big wall with all the space clean and lying under trees, and of these trees, in many places, falling over the path, branches of them full of fruit. Throughout all the way, in the groves, there was many kinds of birds, parrots and other birds.

"Por este camino duraban las paredes que iban por una y otra parte dél, hasta que los indios, con la muchedumbre de arena, no podían armar cimiento. Desde donde, para que no se errase y se conociese la grandeza del que aquello mandaba, hincaban largos y cumplidos palos, a manera de vigas, de trecho en trecho. Y así como se tenía cuidado de limpiar por los valles el camino y renovar las paredes si se arruinaban y gastaban, lo tenían en mirar si algún horcón o palo largo, de los que estaban en las arenales, se caía con el viento, de tornarlo a poner. De manera que este camino, cierto fue gran cosa, aunque no tan trabajoso como el de la sierra." (Cieza de Léon)


Some fortresses and temples of the Sun was in these valleys...

"De esta la ciudad del Cozco hay dos caminos o calzadas reales de dos mil millas de largo, que la una va guiada por los llanos y la otra por las cumbres de los montes, de manera que para hacerlas como están fue necesario alzar los valles, tajar las piedras y peñascos vivos y humillar la alteza de los montes. Tenían de ancho veinte y cinco pies." (Botero Benes)


All that narratives that the historians made ​​of those roads, can not suffice to make us imagine the greatness of the work, because these distances were so great and had slopes of two, three, four leagues and more of rising. The mountain road, as says Garcilaso, "en las cumbres más altas, de donde más tierra se descubría, unas placetas altas, a un lado o a otro del camino, con sus gradas de cantería para subir a ellas, donde los que llevaban las andas descansasen y el Inca gozase de tender la vista a todas partes, por aquellas sierras altas y bajas, nevadas y por nevar, que cierto es una hermosísima vista, porque de algunas partes, según la altura de las sierras por do va el camino, se descubren cincuenta, sesenta, ochenta y cien leguas de tierra, donde se ven puntas de sierras tan largas que parece que llegan al cielo, y, por el contrario, valles y quebradas tan hondas, que parece que van a parar al centro de la tierra."(Garcilaso)
 
It remained only what the time, the wars and the Spanish invasion could not consume. At the time described by Garcilaso, not long after the Spanish made ​​their occupation of the Andes, already had significant changes in all this great work.
 
"Solamente en el camino de los llanos, en los desiertos de los arenales, que los hay muy grandes, donde también hay cerros altos y bajos de arena, tienen hincados a trechos maderos altos, que del uno se vea el otro y sirvan de guías para que no se pierdan los caminantes, porque el rastro del camino se pierde con el movimiento que la arena hace con el viento, porque lo cubre y lo ciega; y no es seguro guiarse por los cerros de arena, porque también ellos se pasan y mudan de una parte a otra, si el viento es recio; de manera que son muy necesarias las vigas hincadas por el camino, para norte de los viandantes; y por esto se han sustentado, porque no podrían pasar sin ellas." (Garcilaso)


Even today, almost nothing remained of all this splendid work, to make the crossing, by the stunning slopes, under climates and ecosystems as varied as the high Andes and the cloud forests. Part of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which it must overcome two Pass at high altitude, the higher of them, Huarmihuañusca, of 4,200 meters, also known as “Paso de la Mujer Muerta” (Dead Woman Pass), we can feel that we are taken to the past, imagining another life, facing the Inti Puncu or "Gate of the Sun" to enter Machu Picchu. All the path we are surprised with the flora and fauna, dreaming that nothing was changed when, between May and October, almost without rain, the weather makes the road easier.


Another very beautiful stretch of that road is in the region of Cajamarca. It is a well-preserved branch of the old road, which still retains part of the original pavement built by the Incas. Despite find us on the 3000 meters, the weather is nice, the landscape is dominated by shades of green provided by shrubs and trees such as eucalyptus, alder, queñuales, with land covered by crops of potatoes, wheat, barley, geese and pasture . With one or another farmer preparing his land in the ancestral style with a yoke of oxen and a wooden plow. Walking from the town of Combayo, we arrive to a large square with walls of ancient constructions of the town of Cajamarca, where then we find the Necropolis of Combayo - tombs carved into the volcanic rock of an ancient religious center and cerimonial.

When descending, between eucalyptus and bushes, among its different shades of green, warm and cold, native birds, colorful, finches, thrushes, sparrows and hummingbirds, looking for flowers ...




Walking through the natural landscape to the bed of the Rio Grande, following the Tres Tingos area, union of three rivers - Grande, Azufre y Paccha - which form the great river Chonta, which flows into the beautiful valley of Cajamarca.

The last leg of the trek along the Inca Trail in the region of Cajamarca carries to the Chonta river, where you can take a refreshing dip in the river. A few meters ahead, after crossing the spectacular Cañón del Chicche, fascinating not only for its rock formations, but also by the rich native flora and fauna, where you feel sheltered from colorful varieties of orchids and flowers of bells...


The Cumbemayo architectural complex, located 17Km from the city of Cajamarca, traveling between gigantic rocks carved by the winds over millions of years, affect us with its particular forms... Cajamarca is famous for the work of hydraulic engineering that built its ancient inhabitants: the Cumbemayo Channel. In addition, the sanctuary, located in a capricious rock form, where ancient inhabitants made the ​​ceremonies and religious rites. The starting point of the route by the ancestral path, the Inca Trail, which links Cajamarca with its old Coyor, now called San Nicolás, is about 11.5 km of road Cajamarca-San Marcos. Coyor was the last bastion of resistance of the Caxa people, before the invasion of the Inca empire. The path ancient follows from San Nicolás to the village of Namora, with its adobe houses and tile roofs with two slopes.

Nearby, a famous ranch, home of horses and vicuñas which pass freely through the woods. The variation of the vegetation of the place is attractive, with large queñuales (Polylepis) that appear to involve the scattered houses of the population ... Gradually, following the route by the sunny afternoons of the region, following the banks of the river Chonta till Llacanora, closer to the waterfalls of this district.

In the past... when Spring wove its carpet of deep red on the Andean mountains, covering the slopes with the  trees of Notro (embothrium coccineum), like flames along the roads....

The Capac Nan, the main road leading to the north, then, transformed the landscape into a color full of shades of purple and violet, with the beautiful flowers of Tibouchina laxa - that spread down the sides of the Cajamarca region, covering its mountain forests... and that insist, that resist and that persist until now, trying to remind us that, as their paths, the Incas are not extinct...


Bibliografy

Garcilaso de la Vega, Comentarios Reales.
Agustín de Zárate, Historia del descubrimiento y conquista del Perú.
Pedro Cieza de Léon, La Crónica del Peru.
Juan Botero Benes, Relaciones.


ATTENTION!!
The Huánuco Pampa stretch - Huamachuco walks the regions of Huanuco, Ancash and La Libertad. This stretch of Qhapac Nan is part of the main artery of the road network that connected the Inca capital region Chinchaysuyu.