Tren Andino
Tours Tren Ecuador

J. LORENZO SAA  B.

THE CAMINO REAL (THE ROYAL ROAD)

4* CAMINO REAL;Using the existing 'chaquiñan' footpaths during confrontations with the SHYRIS and INCAS, COMMANDED BY THEIR CHIEFTAINS..., led to calling the route the “ROYAL ROAD” and/or the “King’s Road”, which has been the name used to the present day. (To the South:"Inti-nan", or "Capac-nan”...after Manco-Capac, the "supreme" chief).

It is relevant that the mountains we now call the Andes, were “christened” during the early Spanish Conquest as the "ROYAL range", although Cieza de León, in his chronicles in 1552, was already calling them "the Andes"; and it was basically along the range where the Spanish name was used of "ROYAL Road"...

...This "ROYAL Road" basically runs in a STRAIGHT line, lengthwise (1*), along the abstraction of the extreme inclination (slope), of the many step 'hillsides' in the rugged Andean terrain – still barely passable for today’s hikers (2*) -; this is why, to reach places otherwise physically unattainable. They built wooden STAIRWAYS, apparently with room for one foot on a rung, and lashed together by cords; this made it possible to climb any slope or cliff along the way, and could also be removed to prevent / slow access for any potential enemies.... Alternatively, where necessary, cords, ropes or vines were anchored by stones or tied to trees or logs to create bridges; sometimes, logs were used to cross a river or gully, as a good enough solution..., for at least the first 50 years of the Conquest / colonization by Spain and even to "our" times...

(1*)...The concept of a zigzagging road ('winding'), to get up steep slopes, in a succession of inclines planes, laterally alternating, was introduced into the Americas by the Spaniards; since the native peoples / communities did not use WHEELS ...

(2*)... I am not surprised that we currently have major world and even Olympic champions who have won more than once, in “marathon” (Rolando Vera), or and “marching” (Jefferson Pérez) racing, since their organisms developed for millennia to “condition” them exceptionally in their character and physical stamina by the nature of their daily lives...

4*...The longitudinal route that inter-connected each mountain valley with the next along the essential Andean part of the Audience continued from Pasto to the South, along the old “Inca’s Royal Road"; linking the current cities of Popayán, Quito, Riobamba, Cuenca, and Loja before reaching the Peruvian coast in the region of Piura. "... It is significant that, due to the similarity of the goods produced in the regions along the route from one Andean valley to the next, traffic mainly involved persons rather than goods of any kind. ". J.P. Deeler

...This longitudinal route became, in the 18th Century, very strategically valuable when the colonial fleet was threatened by pirates, and it was used as an alternative to ocean shipping, during various periods, linking Cartagena with Guayaquil along the Andes. J.P. Deeler

...J.P. Deeler, in his book: "Genese de L'Espace Ecuatorien"; tells us that: "...in 1739, an English attack to Porto-Belo, was the cause for re-routing cargo ships from Spain along the overland route to Bogotá and Quito then re-embarked in Guayaquil for Callao. Cargo for Spain also went through Quito on the reverse route..." J.P. Deeler

During the 18th and 19th centuries, this route was used by "chasqui" messengers bearing the "Primary Indian Post" and later the "Royal Mails”, bearing official correspondence from the Court, between the central command and the Viceroyships of New Granada and Peru, by stages, through Bogotá, Popayán, Pasto, Quito, Cuenca and Loja, also known as the mountain and valley route, continuing along to Piura, then along the coast down to Lima.

...The Camino Real was also the obligatory route for Baron Alexander Robert von Humboldt; and for Aimé de Bonpland*
*(His physician and naturalist 1733-1858?) ...

Rev. A. N.; Bulletin Decrees #25, box # 4 Volume 1, Decree #201, Page # 510 of 19 Nov. 1680. Madrid Decree: "... It is not advisable to open a roadway from QUITO TO THE SOUTHERN SEA, so what has been built should be demolished, as protection against pirates...".

 

E-mail: loorsaa@gmail.com

 

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