From Quebrada we headed south, following, in reverse, the course
of the Rio Yanatile. When we reached the town of Amparaes--almost entirely built with stone from past Incan dwellings--we headed up a smaller dirt road, up into the Cordillera de Lares to our northeast. Hours later we disembarked at a campesino stone hut beside a lake. Here we stayed with Sr. Don German Cardeña, a gentleman most knowledgeable of local legend. His very house was atop what had been an Incan living and burial area. And the lake here was the famous "Puno Cocha," the place into which legend had the Incas themselves, on their way through this place on their flight toward the east, throwing their excess "chuño," dehydrated
potatoes that in bulk were weighing them down and impeding their
flight towards the selvas, the jungles. Paulino himself waded into its waters, bent down and extracted from the perpetually frigid waters at lake-bottom the blackened skins of chuño still there.

The next morning we went further, on foot, toward the northeast, to the ancient, and still-inhabited, town of Huaylla, where we enlisted the services of a local man to accompany us, and, continuing onward, just before we came to the Rio Mapacho, there we found ourselves in the midst of a complex of Incan ruins. This was the site of Tambocancha. It was almost fully covered in thorny "maleza," weeds and undergrowth. We carefully uncovered enough of the site with expertly wielded machetes to be able to document through film and photograph what had once been a major center, guarding the approaches to the highlands from the jungles to the east. It could have well been a an important regional center in the Inkanato, the Incan times, maybe a capital of the Antisuyu, the eastern quarter of the Incan world. It had walls with many niches, large and small,
all well-built of well fitted-together stone. And its location placed it right across the river from the Cordillera de Paucartambo, upon which was the Incan "Camino de Piedra," the road of stone which traversed the crests of that range. And it was this Incan road that went ever northward, as had we, toward the jungles of Callanga and Mameria with their ancient stone "masma" constructions and storehouses; through the Meseta of Toporake, with its broad barracks-like structures, and onward toward the Timpia, and the Lago de Angel, and the "plataformas" of Ultimo Punto, where we would one day begin again our quest for "Paititi," for even further reaches of the ancient Inca into territory still blank on the map...

~ Greg Deyermenjian