From Kuelap we drove back down the long road and then headed to Leymebamba where we spent the night. The hostel was very comfortable and had plenty of hot water despite being pretty far out. The night air was cool and pleasant. Since we had a late lunch, most of us just had a light meal. The soup was yellow, maybe squash, and had lots of flavor, pasta, and noodles.
After a good night’s rest we broke fast with fried eggs, rolls, orange marmalade, coffee, and tea. Then it was on to the first of three stops. The museum in Leymebamba explains the finds of mummies near Laguna de Los Condores. It really was quite fascinating to see the actual mummies on shelves in a closed controlled environment. Many were wrapped in the original cotton having been wonderfully preserved for a thousand years. Sarcophagi have Bee found as well. These were placed well up a cliff and were used to bury the important dead. A hollow bottom held the bones in fetal position. This is a model I could photograph as that was not allowed in the museum.
On the way back to town we stopped at a woodcrafter to view his workshop. Miguel Huamán Revilla worked as a tour guide at the museum and decided he could use his carving skills to make replicas of the finds in the area. After some trial and error and with encouragement from a colleague at the museum he gave his co-worker one to sell. An interested visitor quickly bought it and more requests came in. Soon the demand outdid the supply.
A leisurely lunch of chicken, rice, and salad was followed by a visit to the women’s cooperative where they make beautiful textiles. This enterprise, too, was a development from the exhibits at the museum! Female guides started examining the textile finds and decided to recreate them. The spin their own wool to weave materials for bags, straps, etc. Since the wool process is labor intensive and the dying not an exact science they don’t use much wool. If it sits around too long insects eat it. Therefore, they use a lot of synthetics to weave their wonders.