Expedition Photography: Shubet Mountain Chachapoyas Peru
Expedition Adventure Peru travel
Chachapoyas Peru

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Expedition Adventure Peru travel
The horses and mules meandered into a large fenced-in area just down a hill from the lodge. Most of the animals were content to immediately stop and chew on whatever grass was at their feet. Some just stared motionless into the early morning reminiscent of some people I had just left at the breakfast table.
Mounting horses
First Light, Mounting Up.
A couple of the horses slipped almost unnoticed off to the left amidst some trees right close to the fencing. One in particular went straight for the fence, pushing his nose through the square wire to grab the Andean Caesar Salad of fresh mountain flowers. Some of us might think we could make friends with a horse by feeding it, so I wandered over, careful to avoid the rear-kicking zone.

With the agility that would flatter a monkey, I reached through the fencing pulling up a large head of grass. I thought the stead would be somehow grateful, maybe swish his tale or roll up his lip and whinny. But actually there was a distinct air of uncaring as he munched the grass between his teeth. Then I realized it was not necessarily having the grass beyond the fence....For this horse it was the challenge of getting the grass beyond the fence.

The Peruvian horsemen went into pack-and-load mode. I was focusing on the choreographic behavior of men and mules when one of the horsemen came to my side offering me a horse to ride. I sort of suppose he had been watching my attempt at "mind-melding over breakfast" with the horse at the fence and he brought that horse. There was an elfish smile on the horseman's face when I asked "What's the horse's name?" From atop the hill a Peruvian woman called out "Rambo!"


The Chillo Lodge is just off a wide dirt road from the city of Chachapoyas. The road continues south paralleling the Utcubamba River to eventually turn west through the lower Chachapoyas Region, crossing the Utcubamba and Maranon Rivers. From there the road takes on a series of switchback passages and hairpin curves high into the Andes Mountains and down the western slopes to the city of Cajamarca. A 20-hour bus ride, not for the faint-of-heart, connects Chachapoyas overland to the outside world.
Crossing the Solcas river
Crossing the Solcas River.
 
Home with a cliff view
Home with a cliff view.
We headed off from the lodge following the road south for about 10 kilometers to the River Solcas, a tributary of the Utcubamba. Here we would leave roads behind and take on mountain trails deep into the remote Vilaya Valleys.
Nogal-Cucho
Quick stop at Nogal-Cucho

Mountain Passage
Mountain Passage outside Mangalpa

Mountain trail
Paul and Karen on Mountain Trail.
 
Butterfly
Butterfly in Karen's hand.

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Farm in Vilaya Valley Andes MountainsAnn and Michael at lunch breakRussell in camera prep mode.BenDarrell.MariaLocal Peruvian Children