Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

we could show you pictures of pyramids, but hereĀ“s someone naked instead...

OK, this is how the pyramids looked like

well, in the old days they used to be decorated like this

After the dismal train ride from Riobamba we got stuck in Alausi instead of being able to move on to Cuenca as we had planned. The only good thing about Alausi was that we met some very nice people on the train, including a couple of Australians on a one year trip and an English guy who has the been the exception in that he was on a normal 2 week vacation (and is in the weed wacker business, seriously :) We had a very nice dinner and chatted about different experiences. Nevertheless, the train ride made us decide that we were done with Ecuador. Three weeks was a good amount of time there. We started studying bus schedules and figured we could get to the city we wanted to go to Peru first by changing buses 4 times over 28 hours. The first ride at 7:30 am (actually didn't leave until 8) took us to Cuenca. The bus was extremely crowded and we got separated when Charlie went to put the bags under the bus and I got a seat but he didn't. It was a four hour ride so this was very concerning and I tried my best to complain in Spanish since the ticket was relatively expensive. The ceiling of the bus was so low he head was scraping the top. He ended up getting a seat after about an hour and we got a seat together towards the end. After an hour layover the next leg was from Cuenca to Loja for another 4 hours or so. We were sad we didn't get more time in Cuenca since it supposed to be one of the prettier colonial cities in Ecuador. Charlie thought the scenery from the bus was very pretty with very green mountains and valleys. I guess I was sleeping or zoned out because I don't really remember it. It was getting in dark in Loja when we arrived and we decided to take an overnight bus to Peru instead of staying the night in Loja. We had a four hours in Loja and went to the city center, had a fabulous dinner that consisted of 3 different kinds of corn dishes (this is where the corn had been hiding - everywhere else it was rice, rice, rice). The city was very cute with a very lively main square where the favorite past time was for children of all ages to chase each other around the circular center of the plaza. The 8 hour bus ride to Peru started out great. We had very comfy seats and it left on time. Unfortunately, although they turned the lights off, indicating sleep was appropriate, they soon turned on music. Loud music. And then picked up extra passengers who tried to sleep in the aisle and used Charlie's leg as a pillow. Oh well, we had to stop at least twice before the border, first for a police pat down of the boys and then the second for some kind of passport check. We finally got to the border at around 3 AM. We were the only North Americans on the bus, so we took the longest to get the various exit and entry stamps and fill out forms. We had to wake up the guy on the Peruvian side of the border who showed up with a sheet wrapped around his neck. After examining Charlie's passport and then some sheet of paper on the wall, he started asking about a visa. Charlie didn't need one for Peru and I finally remembered enough Spanish to say no necesito (which isn't even proper) but was enough to convince him since he was obviously more interested in going back to bed than checking into it further. We got to Piura, Peru around 6 AM and in an hour found our way to the next bus to Chiclayo. We were very tired but I couldn't sleep because I was too interested in watching the Vin Diesel movie they played.

We had a couple of things we wanted to see in Chiclayo and after much needed showers we went out to the Sipan Museum. The ride there was as interesting as the museum intself since we took a local minibus that they stuffed 20 people into. The museum was very nice - it had lots of artifacts from the Royal Tombs of Sipan that were presented very well.

The next day we took another minibus to Tucume. I thought 20 people was a lot, but this time they managed to fit 27, including someone carrying a live turkey. The site was from a pre Inca culture that built huge walls and pyramids. Unfortunately, the adobe they used didn't stand the test of time and are now just huge piles of dirt. We found it interesting that all of these ancient cultures probably thought of themselves as permanent even though they only lasted for a few hundred years. Makes you wonder...

This was the first place we came across the Peruvian hairless dog. The first one I saw I thought had been shaved. Turns out they are the national dog and have been around for centuries and hang around a lot of these sites.

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