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Cajamarca |

Our next destination was Cajamarca, a highland city, surrounded by hills, where the Spanish first conquered the Incas in 1532, and therefore the Inca empire came to an end. This region has a strong dairy agricultural feel to it. A very picturesque setting. We had fun exploring the local market which is famous for its cheese. More about cheese later.

We were walking along the square minding our own business when all of a sudden I got approached by this Peruvian journalist who wanted to know where we were from and could she take a photo of us to place it in the social column of the local paper. What a laugh! Of course we volunteered. At least we can say that we got a mention in one of the Peruvian papers. Quite a funny moment. . .

In the afternoon we went to explore the countryside around here. Firstly we arrived at this large rock surrounded by cacti which had all these little windows or holes in it. It was called Ventanillas de Otusco which was a secondary ground used between 1130BC and 1240AD. Now listen to this. People were first buried in the ground by the river for 2 years and then the bones were dug up and moved to a window in this rock. It would be buried with ceramics etc. 337 sets of bones were found here. How strange! This was also a great administrative and relaxation centre for the sovereign during the Inca empire!
We then travelled along through sugarcane, rice and vegetable farms, spotting the odd woman washing clothes in the river to arrive at a Swiss dairy farm which produces Swiss cheese that is distributed all over Peru. The Swiss farmer travels over and back during the year. What a great set up he had. Of course we just had to sample the cheese. Great! A little unusual to see Swiss cheese advertised in Peru though!

Locations Visited: Cajamarca

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