Category: Travel

PROSOYA

The little village of PROSOYA, a co-op project for boys, situated just a few kilometers from Huancabamba, about a twenty-minute walk along a dirt road that passes between lush green fields, and steep tree covered hillsides.  The project for girls is outside of Oxapampa.

PROSOYA is an ONG, or NGO, (Non-Governmental Organization) that was started by German settlers to the area some 150 years ago.  It is a self-sustaining school of 689 Hectares or 1,702 Acres that takes in students from all over Peru, but particularly ones that are in extreme poverty, or have come from other walks-of-life that need a helping hand to learn some Life Skills.

Skills learned at PROSOYA include; Agriculture, Carpentry, Fish Hatchery, Mechanic, Bakery, Beekeeping, and Restaurant, also housing is on site for students and some staff.

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Below is the main office, with a gift shop that sells the honey and coffee produced by PROSOYA.

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The restaurant where meals are prepared and served by and for the students.

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A bust of the PROSOYA founder.

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Some of the living quarters for students.

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Quito Quito Fruit – solanum quitoense, is a subtropical perennial plant from northwestern South America, and named after Quito, Ecuador that makes a very tasty juice or ice cream flavor. Below the fruit is new growth, and will turn an orange color when mature.

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Coffee production area.

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Plants for health, such as aola vera and other herbs.

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Area for growing fungus, mushrooms.

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Beekeeping.  The boxes are made in the carpentry shop.

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Fish hatcher with trout, below.

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One of the holding ponds packed with trout.

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Map of a nature trail that passes through the jungle to a lookout point.

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The dogs were eager to join me on the trail.

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The dense vegetation in the high jungle is a testament to the determination of the first German/Austrian settlers in the area.

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Huancabamba – Pasco, Peru

To travel from Oxapampa to Huancabamba it is necessary to first go to the taxi stand, and hire a driver to take you there.  It’s a fairly short drive winding through the countryside, but there could be delays from road construction, or the occasional cattle drive along the way.

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Below is the main park in the town of Huancabamba.  Following the road around past the gas station (left in the picture) will take you toward Pozuzo.

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An unmanned tourist information center next to the park.

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The little hostal/hotel where I stayed in Huancabamba.  It was very simple, and basic room, with a bed, small tv with just a few channels, and a bathroom with warm water.

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The bodega below the hostal, offering basic food, drink, and hardware supplies.

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A hillside planted with pine trees.  Pine makes the soil acidic and after a couple of plantings, the soil may become useless for farming.

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Huancabamba is a small, simple town as seen below from a distance.  Surrounded by moutains, valleys, lush jungle vegetation, and coffee plants.

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Coffee beans drying in the sun on a sports pad.

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Cage free; free-roaming chickens and roosters abound in the area.

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Taking a walk along the road from Huancabamba to Carolina, I happend upon a colorful butterfly.

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The two parakeets below were someone’s pets, sunning themselves on a ladder.

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Yanesha

While in Oxapampa, I was looking at the various tours Hostal Cruz offered and decided on Tsachopen (Sa Sho Pen) The Yanesha People are located near Oxapampa at the edge of the biosphere reserve in the high jungle of the Amazon.  The lady at the tour desk said there was a minimum of four people to do the tour, so I set out on my own, first with a moto-taxi, and then hired a taxi to take me there.  It turned out to only be a few kilometers away.

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All the pictures I had seen were of the Yanesha People in their traditional dress, back dropped by the lush vegetation of the Amazon.  I thought it was going to be like in Iquitos, meeting an ancient tribe out in the jungle – the real deal.  Pulling up in the taxi, there were a row of semi-modern houses, and a large bamboo structure for events where many of the Yanesha artisans sell their crafts.  The taxi driver and I were greeted at the door of one home by Charo, who was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, then went back and changed into her traditional dress, before proceeding to show me her handicrafts.  It wasn’t what I was expecting, but an adventure nonetheless.

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Charo uses natural plants, coffee, and beans to create the natural colors in the clothing she makes.

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Below is a hand-made braclet that I purchased from Charo, and will be for sale.

Project Andina buys direct from producers, growers, and artisans to help support communities on a local level, and foster entrepreneurship.

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The Yanesha people are an ethnic group of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest.  Located in three regions of Peru, with a population of about 7,000.  Their website.

Oxapampa, Peru

Getting There:

Flights: There are flights twice a week from Lima to Oxapampa, in the department of Pasco, but its $300 USD each way.  By far, the most economical transport to the region is by bus, around ten hours trip time.

Buses:  Four bus companies make the run each day, traveling only at night.  This is because the road is heavily traveled during the day by logging and mining vehicles, and excessive traffic just passing through Lima.  It’s much faster and safer at night.  All buses leave Lima between 7pm and 8:30pm and arrive in “Oxa” about 6:30am.

  • La Merced – Blue Bus, located in the La Victoria district of Lima, Block 15. La Merced is an OK bus, but others are preferred.
  • La Molina – Pink and Grey Bus, also located at Block 15 of La Victoria
  • Labato – Green Bus, located in La Victoria, Block 21, Good Company
  • Movil Tours – Located on Javier Prado, just two blocks from Cruz del Sur bus terminal. It is a bit more expensive, but awesome service.  It is the only bus line of the four that offers 180 degree seats.  Since the busses travel at night anyway, it is a great time to sleep.  On my trip to Oxapampa, I took Movil Tours.  Going, I opted for the lower deck of the double decker bus, which was 80 Soles ($25) and the seats were a comfortable 160 degrees. I purchased the ticket on their website, and left the return trip open ended not knowing when I would travel back…. On the return trip, I tried the 2nd floor with the 180 degree seats for 110 Soles ($34). Definitely the way to go for a good night’s rest.  If sleeping isn’t your thing, both upper and lower seats offer a tablet style screen with movies, music etc.

While most are sleeping, the route to La Merced, and Oxa winds over the Nevado Ticlio Pass at 4,818 meters (15,807 feet above sea level) The tracks of the highest railway in the world are located at the foot of Ticlio peak.  The bus is heated, and the altitude is hardly noticible just sitting.

Upon arrival at the bus terminal in Oxa, there will be small moto-taxis or Tuk-Tuks as they are called in India, for 1 Sol.  They can take you to your hotel, or to the taxi stand for onward travel.

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What’s the best time to go to Oxapampa?

Climate: Average monthly weather in Oxapampa, Peru

On average, the temperatures are always high.  Night time lows are cooler though.

  • Oxapampa has dry periods in May, June, July, August and September.
  • On average, the warmest month is October, just in time for Octoberfest!
  • On average, the coolest month is July.
  • February is the wettest month.
  • July is the driest month

Typical of most towns, there is a main square lined with restaurants and hotels, as well as small tourist shops.   Oxapampa was founded as a German/Austrian community in the 19th century, which shows in much of the architecture throughout the city.  Its primary staple is ranching and coffee.  Oxapampa is located in the (Selva Alta) or High Jungle area where the mountain foothills meet with the jungle._DSC0261

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Above: Half Timber style architecture.

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I stayed a couple nights at Hostal Cruz, on the main square.  It was clean, with spacious rooms, gift shop, and offered tours.  My main reason for traveling to the region was to meet with a coffee producer in Huancabamba.  I actually stayed in Oxapampa on my way back to Lima.  This is my first post in a series however, because Oxa is the first stop. Hotel prices range from the cheaper hostal to over $100 per night at the Egg Resort.

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The little booths are used during special events and festivals.  Hotels will fill quickly during festivals and concerts.

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Andean woman passing through the park.

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Mopeds and motorcycles are numerous, and a main form of transport for many people.

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Woman taking a break on her D’Onofrio Ice Cream Tricycle.

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Rustic table and stools.

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The church by the main square.  In older photo’s this church was covered with white siding.

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Oxapampa is a launching point into the Biosphere Reserve, and the Yanachaga Chemillen National Park, to see Flora and Fauna.  Much of the Reserve is closed off to human traffic to protect wildlife. Pictured below, a beautiful butterfly in a box being sold at a tourist shop.

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County Road 34

Driving along CR-34 last spring, on my way to and from Fly Ranch Geyser, I snapped a few landscape photos of the Black Rock Desert/High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area.  While not passable at the time, I wold certainly like to return and explore the area further.

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The area is very remote: No Services, No Water, You Will Be On Your On.

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Soaked with water from an abnormally wet Spring, these now dry lake beds and the shorelines were home to ancient people and animals that date back some 12,000 years ago.

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Several Places in the canyon, I saw steam billowing up from natural hot springs.

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Nine Mile Canyon

South-East of Price Utah is the small town of Wellington, Utah on U.S. Highway 6/191. A small brown sign posted on Hwy. 191 marks your turnoff into Nine Mile Canyon.

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The name Nine Mile Canyon is misleading, as it is actually sixty miles or more in length. Until 2004 it was an unpaved road, but due to the oil and gas industry, the road is blacktopped almost fifty miles into the canyon to the Great Hunt Panel. Despite being paved, it’s not a heavily traveled road, which makes for a leisurely day trip in and out of the canyon.

Nine Mile Canyon has been a major thoroughfare through the West Tavaputs Plateau of central Utah for nearly 8,000 years. On my trip, I ended up having to exit the canyon the same way I came in, as there was mud and snow well past the Great Hunt Panel.  When the road is passable, there are two other exit points.

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For longer stays, the Nine Mile Ranch offers a bed & breakfast, cabins and camping.

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There were lots of deer grazing in the fields and along the roadside…another reason to drive slower.

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The first petroglyphs start appearing a little more than five miles in.  The majority are not signposted, so you have to drive slow and look at the sandstone panels on boulders and cliff walls to spot them. The good news is that most can easily be seen from the comfort of your car right along the roadside.  I recommend however, a pair of binoculars and a camera with a zoom lens to really get a good view and great pictures.

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There are literally thousands of petroglyphs, and some pictographs higher up the hillsides, and in the side canyons for those that are able to hike.

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The petroglyphs and pictographs date back to the Fremont Culture 300 – 1200 AD and some historic graffiti from the 19th century pioneers.

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There are a few dilapidated old buildings along the road, one being a stage-coach stop.

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An alternate route out of the canyon is to Myton, Utah

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A side trip up Gate Canyon for a couple miles netted a few good photo’s of rock formations, but no petroglyphs.

 

 

At Daddy Canyon parking area there are the remains of an old ranch corral, and many well preserved petroglyphs, along with a 0.75 mile trail that runs along the base of the cliffs for up close viewing of the ancient artwork.

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Further down the road, the landscapes were beautiful.

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A short, steep path up the hillside leads to the Fremont Village, which most might find unimpressive; however, the views up and down Nine Mile Canyon are grand.

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The dwellings were rock overhangs, or pits in the rocks.

 

 

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I hope you enjoyed the photo tour of Nine Mile Canyon.

Fly Geyser

I had to take the shot from a quarter-mile out…

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The Fly Ranch Geyser sits on private property located 20 miles (32km) North of Gerlach, Nevada on the right-hand side of SR 34.

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The Geyser, man-made by chance, along with natural forces when in 1964 while exploritory drilling for geothermal  energy.  It was found that the water coming from the spring was a constant 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or 93 Celsius.  Water boils at 212 F. so a little shy of being useful for geothermal energy production.  The well was either not capped at all, or not capped very well.

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As a result, the constant pressure of the hot spring has been spraying mineralized water five feet or more into the air since 1964, depositing several inches per year.

Once owned by the Fly Ranch, the property has now changed owners. It’s new owners are the Burning Man Organization

I used a 250mm zoom lens, plus the camera’s digital zoom to bring the subject to me.

 

Eugene, Oregon Freeze

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Tree limbs were brought down all over Eugene and Portland from the weight of the ice. But on a coastal excursion, the oceanic climate offered a reprieve.  Pictured below is a Pacific Ocean sunset, just South of Newport, Oregon.

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RUPAC

 

Machu Picchu limeño – The Machu Picchu of Lima

 

The trip began in Lima, at the ZBUSS terminal, (Zitabus) at Jr. Julian Pineyro 440 – Rimac – Lima. There is also another terminal at Plaza Norte. Cost: Monday –Friday 7 Soles, Saturday-Sunday 8.50 Soles. DNI, Passport required.

After two hours of Jackie Chan fight scenes playing on the bus TV, we rolled into the city of Huaral, located north, in the state of Lima. We took a taxi a short ride near the Mercado (market) where fresh juice, fruit, and water can be purchased. There were several taxi drivers on the sidewalk and haggling over prices, (around 30-35 Soles each person). Luckily we had a couple from Huaral in our group, and they took us to the Tourista Terminal a short walk back down the road. There a couple of vehicles were hired as we had nine people in our group, for 25 Soles each. (Contact info: Jose Rafael P. Claro: 997277583 Movi: 995729290, or 7252578) Jose can haul up to 7 people, 6 comfortable plus gear on top, and can pick up/drop-off at the bus terminal if arranged ahead of time.

Matucana

For this day trip, my friend Gino and I traveled three hours by bus from Lima, passing Chosica, to the little mountain town of Matucana, which sits at 2389 meters, 7841 feet above sea level, and offers five different hikes or areas to visit. For this outing, we chose the hike to Antankallo waterfall, a short 2.6 km hike with an elevation gain of 361 meters, 1181 feet at the falls.

The trail is well groomed with some trashcans at the midpoint, and the falls. At one point, I rounded a corner and met three ladies from Lima on their descent, wearing flip-flop sandals, and flats. Not much foot protection, but it’s an easy to moderate hike, depending on your personal fitness level. After living in Lima for four years at near sea level, an altitude adjustment was a minor concern.

Matucana is a quiet town, where everyone was very friendly and talkative. Besides hiking, it’s a great place to purchase farm fresh milk, cheese, and butter without the hormones and antibiotics. Un-pasteurized, un-radiated, and I lived to tell about it.

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Lovely fellow-hikers from Lima on the trail.

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