Cascas and Contumaza are only 7 1/2 miles apart on the map (or 12 kilometers). The more important statistic is that Cascas is at about 4,000 feet elevation while Contumaza is around 9,000 feet. Contumza is a cool-to-cold mountain town. Instead of grapes and fruit, the crops are wheat, potatoes, and barley. Some of the rural people still dress in a sort-of-traditional manner, but using modern colorful fabrics. This was an important overnight stop on the old Moyobamba Route in the 1800s. But modern roads from the coast to Cajamarca no longer pass through here. It truly has the feel of a town well passed its better days.
The totally unpaved road from Cascas to Contumaza winds it way up the mountain. In many places it is just one lane wide and there are drops of up to 1000 feet to the side. It's not the worst road I've been on ... but it is on the list.
Contumza is built on hills so the many of the streets go up and down. At this altitude walking around can be very tiring.
Local farmers bring goods to town by donkeys.
But in front of one government building it is prohibited to tie your animal up for more than fifteen minutes. I wonder where the police pin the ticket to on the donkey.