Friday 6th June 2014
Watako Beach to Huanchaco, Peru
We left the beach at 7:00am this morning after a very early breakfast and set off to the south. The day was overcast and cool even though we are still in the tropics. We drove through many little towns and a couple of larger ones. The towns in this part of Peru are very messy and are surrounded by rubbish in piles. At around lunch time we stopped at the Lord of Sipan Museum in Lambayeque. This museum celebrates the archeological find at Sipan about 10 km away and it is a stunning place with many artefacts and valuable pieces that have been restored. The contents are very well displayed and include simulated tombs showing, in actual size, how the bodies etc had been found, and then the actual skeletons were displayed. There was even a simulated 'court' with life size models that moved. The Spanish missed Sipan when they were looting all the gold back in the 16th century and they moved past here and went direct inland to Cajamarca in the highlands. No doubt the populace were pleased about that at the time. After we had been guided through the museum, we continued our trip south. By the time we reached our destination it was after 8:00pm and it was our turn to cook dinner, so we cut up and prepared with help from the others in the group.It was after 10:00pm by the time we sat down to eat and after washing up it was quite late. All the others upgraded to a dorm but we were camping so we set our tent up and had a drink before going to bed after midnight. A very tiring day!
Saturday 7th June 2014
Huanchaco, Peru (near Trujillo)
Up for breakfast early today as we were going to visit two ruins today with a guide. At 9:00am we drove in the truck to the first of these which is just on the south side of Trujillo about 15-20km away from where we are staying. It is called the Huacas del Moche (400-800AD). There is a Temple of the Sun - the largest adobe structure in the Americas (11 levels - not open for visiting) - as well as a Temple of the Moon (smaller - only 5 levels) but has many frescoes on the walls. Each level was used for 100 years and then was covered over with the new level which was built slightly bigger in size all the way around. Thus the structure is an inverted pyramid. This is an amazing sight and, as it was only found in the 1980's, is still in the process of being uncovered. There is a mountain behind the Temple which was worshipped as a God and so no rock was taken from it -not even for building material. The adobe bricks used to build the Temple and other structures were made from mud mixed with llama faeces. They have only survived because of the dry climate. After our visit there, we drove to Chan-Chan, the capital city of the Chimu Empire (900 - 1450AD). We visited the only palace that is still there. The others have all vanished because they were all made of adobe bricks and the rain has mostly finished them all off over the centuries even though this area is a very dry part of this country. The main river from which all the irrigation in the area happens comes from the mountains over 700km away. Both of these sites are very impressive and the Chan-Chan ones are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We had prepared a packed lunch and ate it while we were out, then came back to our camp. We then went for a walk in the town and then came back for a drink before dinner. Another Tucan truck and also a truck from Dragoman arrived this afternoon and filled up our campsite with tents and people, unlike last night when there was only us and one other person camping. Dinner is in the campsite then tomorrow we head to Lima.