Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The photographer

Marcahuamachuco - David Almeida, Lima Peru

As I read through the Anecdotes I was struck by the dveloping picture of this band of brothers; their unique individual characters and the bonds that formed as they travelled the length and breadth of the country, working, eating and sleeping together.

In June 1937 Tello took off to explore Peru's northern coastal river valleys and the upper Marañon river basin. The expedition was to become one of the team's most important scientific endeavours, taking a total of six months and yielding a wealth of discoveries, all logged and illustrated by Hernan.

On the way back they stopped off at a hacienda just outside Chilia in the morthwestern highlands. By this time the expedition was reduced to a small core group and it's not entirely clear who the bumbling protagonist of this tale of manners is. But Hernan has some wickedly ironic fun describing ...

The photographer
In which it becomes apparent that archaeologists are not always good diplomats

We arrived in Yanasara, by car from Huamachuco, after having crossed the river Marañón in a basket sling bridge. Three days on horseback out of Yanasara, and we arrived at La Deliciana hacienda. 

Tello (right) and his assistant Mejia Xesspe crossing the Marañón.
 Hernan is seated behind, wearing his distinctive hat.

We were relieved to get to the property which was situated high up in the hills. We had no desire to spend the night further down in the muggy, hot air of the valley. It wasn’t the heat that worried us so much, as the fact that the valley lay in a zone well known for the virulent and debilitating ‘verruga’ disease.