THE ACT Email Transcript


From: Chris Helson
To::Gary Ziegler
Sent:4:51 PM +0100 6/13/02
Subject: Cota Coca

Dear Hugh and Gary,
I have been reading some of the media reports of your discovery of a new Inca site.
I have attached a few pictures taken from video. I took them at a site just above the final steep drop to the Cota Coca river where it intersects with another river. We were walking from Choquequirao to Corehuayrachina dropping down into the Cota Coca Canyon through jungle.
I was working on a project to web cast a live video link using a satellite phone from the Corehauyrachina Site on the 27 March this year, and travelled through this site on the 26th March. We only just made it across the Cota Cota river and heavy rain prevented us from returning back the same way and we travelled out through Yanama and Huancacalle.
The images in your articles looked familiar and I checked back through my tape footage. Is this the same site?
best regards
Chris Helson

Although I don't recognize any of the images, it seems as if you may have passed through part of Cota Coca.. Do you perhaps have the exact location by UTM coordinates or could mark in the location on the topo map to e-mail me?
We original located and visited the site last year then returned in April for a detailed investigation a few days after you passed through. I saw your names in Fruelan Muno's notebook at Corihuyrachina. It must has been a great adventure. We just caught the end of the rains on the way in. Had you been a week or so later you could have filmed our work and seen the site exposed. The official report is available at the Royal Geographical Society Website website if you have not already found it
best, Gary Ziegler

I just popped your last image into photoshop for an enhancement. I now recognize the site you visited as Pinchu Unyoc, a huaca or shrine to the spring there and some wonderful terraces on a hillside about 1500 feet above the Rio Blanco on the Victoria-Choquequirao trail. Hugh reported this site in 1982 and Vince Lee mapped it in 1996.

Thanks Gary
Yes this sounds like it, with a spring at one end. Could you tell us where Cota Coca is in relation to Pinchu Unyoc and to Fruelan Muno's house? We didn't have GPS just a hand drawn map from Percy Paz Flores. We were due to go to Jerusalem and within an hour of the Corehauyrachina story appearing we were on the way to Heathrow and at Corehuayrachina 7 days later. We now have (bought in London on return) a 1:100000 map edition 1-IGN series J631 sheet 2344. We have been trying to find our exact route, the heat, altitude, rain and all that climbing disoriented us a little. If you could find the time to send us grid references for Choquequirao, Maizal, Pinchu Unyoc, the platform at Corehuayrachina, and for Cota Coca we would have a much clearer understanding of our route, and update the map on the web site. We did manage a live video web cast from Corehauyrachina, a project much more about the nature of news media than the site itself. It is part of TV Swansong a web based art project called The Act, a virtual 'heroic/ romantic' trip that explored something of the reality/ unreality of the global News media. Something I guess you will be getting used to given the all coverage you have in the UK. Its going to be getting quite busy in Vilcabamba. The web site isn't finished but will be soon, but their is quite a lot to see: and .. Let me know if you need any images / footage, its a long trek to go back and get the image you wish you had taken.
Thanks again for getting back to us with this information.

I am attaching a work up from your topo with the route marked. I am wondering if your focus is to illustrate the exaggeration of the NGS powered media concerning Corihuayrachina? You may know that a number of us were upset about hyperbole over the size and importance of the site.
I will check out your web site. let me know when it is up and finished. We may well need images sometime. It would be great to do a production with you if the opportunity arises. You do seem like our kind of folks.
You are welcome to my photos as well if something more is needed for the web site.
best, Gary

you may be interested to see the video on the BBC site ( ) that was used on BBC World to cover the Corehauyrachina story it opens with footage from a helicopter (supplied I think by Percy Paz Flores) of Choquequirao, the bbc reporter telling us "this is the place local Indians call Corehauyrachina". chris

Unfortunately, my system would not play the video link at the BBC page. I noticed that I am in the photo of work at Victoria. The other photo identified as Corihuyrachina is actually of Choqueqirao. I did enjoy the photos at your site.
best, Gary --
Gary Ziegler
Adventure Specialists
Bear Basin Ranch Westcliffe, Colorado
Colorado, Peru, Copper Canyon
719 783 2076
Archaeo-tourism, the concept of including paying participants to fund research and finances our Inca Research Expeditions.