Friday, 9 October 2015

The celebrity ruins of Celendín

the route from Celendín to Leymebamba
 photo - Omar Carbajal ©PromPeru 

About 100 kilometres east of Cajamarca, is the town of Celendín.  In the published reports of the expedition team’s stay in the area there are pages and pages with photographs and illustrations of the ancient stone burial towers or chulpas they investigated in nearby Chocta. 

In contrast, there are two paltry sentences describing the previous day’s explorations. One of which witheringly sums up: “some of these specimens seem to be archaic, although difficult to identify due to the scarcity of material”.  

In Hernan’s Anecdotes I found the story behind the story.  

The celebrity ruins of Celendín
In which a mysterious Inca city proves to be elusive - but at least there is some good eating for Hernan

We were already four months behind schedule when the Marañón River Basin Expedition arrived at Celendín. When Tello went out on expedition he resembled in some ways the great Don Quixote. Like that famous wandering horseman of La Mancha, he also followed his own fancies and predilections, and this often led him to make numerous unforeseen discoveries. It was one of the reasons why he was so good. He was not afraid to launch out on a spontaneous exploration, not knowing where it would lead him or when it would end.

As he went along making enquiries here and raking up snippets of information there, he would sometimes digress from his route whenever he saw ancient mysteries or riddles to unravel. He would make lengthy diversions along unfrequented footpaths, just on the mere chance that he might uncover something along the way. Of course this had much to do with our delay in reaching the town.