Before leaving Celendin, we wander down to the market to buy some books to send the kids in Chanchillo, do some other errands, and shoot a few photographs.
The photos include a little frivolous practice at shooting from the hip on the way to the market. (Rather than bringing the camera up in front of my face, I shoot more subtly, holding it by my side as I walk — with results that ain’t always as I’d like ’em to be.)
There are also routine market shots.
Among these are shots of a woman combining her duties as vegetable vendor and mother:
David, the owner, has Peruvian horses. He says our horse-owning friend in Pacasmayo is his uncle [perhaps literally, perhaps just the loose use of “uncle” for an older male who’s a close friend]. We enjoy talking to him. He grew up on the grounds, as his family has owned the hacienda since before it became a hostal as well. He’s a good guy, enjoyable to talk to, with a fairly benevolent spirit toward those less well-off. We ask him where in Cajamarca we should take our car for some minor work and a check-up. He takes it himself to his mechanic, it is magically back in front of our bungalow a few hours later, and the bill is only S./ 80 – plus David hands us S./20 the mechanic found under the seat.
We do go downtown, to walk a little, and re-visit the potter from whom we bought some things several weeks earlier. We have a pleasant snack in Don Poco’s near the plaza, listening to Billie Holiday.
But mostly we just relax. We sit around in the room using the Internet or working on video or stills; or we sit around outside, reading, or lazily watching a couple of horses munch on grass at the edge of the lawn, or playing with the hotel’s dog. In these pictures he seems to love Ragna and loathe me, but in fact he was as genial and sweet as he was un-handome.
We stayed, and ate, in the Hostal Celendin. A night’s lodging was S./37.50 [about U.S. $ 13-14 at the time], for a pleasant matrimonial room with a view of the Plaza de Armas, and places to sit on the balcony overlooking the courtyard. [See slightly longer discussion in previous section, XX.]
Hostal Hacienda San Antonio. U.S. $55 per night, for a bungalow with a fireplace and plenty of room. Incluido desayuno y caballos. Peace, quiet. Good food. Good showers. Good service. Friendly owner. Amusing dog. Highly recommended if it fits your budget. (It didn’t really fit ours, but we needed it after the journey from Chachapoyas.)
Note: If you are driving, note that at least as of mid-2008, as you drive from Cajamarca toward Los Banos del Inca, the turn-off toward the Hostal Hacienda San Antonio is unmarked by any sign for the hotel. It’s a dirt road going left at a right angle, just past a gas station on your left, and is marked by a sign for a restaurant. If you miss the turn, go almost to Banos del Inca then turn around, and on your way back the turn-off [now on your right and just before a gas station] is marked by a sign for the hotel. Turn right, then go maybe ½ km. to a T intersection, restaurant to left and hotel to right. Turn right and meander toward the hotel, which you can’t miss once you reach it.
We ate suppers at the hotel, and enjoyed them.
Pottery remains worth looking at while in Cajamarca – the prices are wonderfully low, but it can cost much more to ship your purchases to another continent. We bought a few sets of matched vases like these from Oscar Huacha [email@example.com – note that the e-mail address is correct with two c’s in his last name.] for S./ 170 – but shipping from Lima to Iceland was going to be around $500 for one set plus a couple of other items. (Shipping from Cajamarca to Lima is cheap, and we had no trouble picking up the items in Lima.) Presumably shipping to Iceland is higher than shipping to U.S. or U.K.; but be aware that shipping costs are likely to dwarf purchase price.