The truck goes over a pass situated at about 3000 meters on the Andean continental divide. To the west, the town of Celendin (in the department of Cajamarca) is still visible at the bottom of the mountain range. To the east, I can see a dramatic yet spectacular terrain. The mighty Marañon River seems a brown small snake down there along the deep and wide canyon.
At the other side of this great river (now the department of Amazonas), clouds cover a dense highland forest that reminds me the Amazonian jungle. This is the entrance to the Ceja de Selva or eyebrow of the Amazon.
It is the first time I cross the highlands to the Ceja de Selva, and I can not help being amazed by this striking view. And these superb views will continue all along the Utcubamba River valley crossing rough roads on sheer cliff faces on my way to the archaeological site of Kuelap and Chachapoyas, the capital city of the department of Amazonas.
This is the land of the Chachapoyas people or Cloud People as Morgan Davis calls them (1). This is a remote region, and it would be tough to reach it especially if you take the route Cajamarca – Celendin – Leimebamba – Chachapoyas (as mentioned in this post), but it is worth trying it due to the amazing scenery. A much easier yet less spectacular road is the usual one from Chiclayo. I would recommend to start with the difficult stretch and then, on the way back, to go down towards Chiclayo.
(1) Davis, M. 1985. Chachapoyas: The Cloud People: An Anthropological Survey. Monetville, Ontario, Canada (Self-published).