Cajamarca is where Pizarro captured the Inca ruler Atahualpa. Knowing that death was imminent he offered up a ransom for himself. He said that he would fill a room floor to ceiling with gold and twice with silver. It took about a year for it all to trickle in. Only then Pizarro had him strangled. The booty amounted to around 6 tons of gold and 12 tons of silver. All of this was pre-Columbian art melted into bullion.
Tomorrow I will catch a 5:30 AM bus (if I wake up). I didn’t think to bring my travel alarm. I am heading farther into the mountains to the northeast of here. My destination is the very remote citadel ruins of Kuelap… a 12 hour bus ride. It is said, by my trusted Lonely Planet guide book, that this site is matched in grandeur only by Machu Picchu. This fortress receives remarkably few visitors because of its remoteness. This stronghold was constructed between AD 900 and 1100 by the pre-Inca culture of the Chachapoyas. Becuase of the area that I will be in (no www), this will be the last post for a few days.