Sunday, February 8, 2009
i went to a waterfall today to avoid crowded beaches, which fill up during weekends in the summer. peru is full of narrow mountain valleys where people have been living for thousands of years, planting crops on terraced hillsides overlooking steep canyon walls. the waterfall comes from a glacial lake and people tap the creek below it to water their crops. living at the bottom of canyons is dangerous as they suffer from floods or, worse, huaycos, which are mudslides. when rains hit barren hillsides, there's no vegetation to absorb the water and they come tumbling down, causing destructive slides that rumble on for miles. the valley i visited today was green and relatively stable, i think. lots of figs and chirimoyas among the patchwork of terraced crops. up close to the falls, the force of the plunging water created a wind tunnel that made my dog's ears go flap, flap, flap.