Published: May 29th 2007May 29th 2007
Trujillo's main square
Our hotel was right on this beautiful square.
Today we are in Trujillo and it is not a great day. I am sure under different circumstances I would give this bright and sunny city a chance. Under the circumstances, I am looking forward greatly to returning to the Second Home in Lima. We were originaly going to be in Trujillo for two days and go on to Chiclayo for another two days. However, Alli got very sick in Lima and we pressed on to Trujillo. Yet, it is not grabbing us. We are missing the comfortable environs of Second Home in Barranco, and we know that Lima has much to entertain us with .. cinemas, shows, restaurants, museos, perhaps even a cruise to the Islas Palominos. I am also very tired and I am speaking Spanish all the time, but it´s hard for me ... hard work to listen and understand and tehn form sentences. Alli is very quiet because of her illness and there is no one I can talk to in English. So I feel a bit lonely.
I did manage to change our flights on my own, and get back our old hotel in Lima.
In one morning, we saw all
Remains of the sprawling seaside metropolise.
there was to see here that´s easy to get to. We started out with the Huaca de la Luna. At first, the two pyramids were imposing. They are entirely of adobe brick, but look almost like mountains. The Huaca del Sol is melting a bit into a true mountain. We had a guide who didn´t speak much English, about as much as I speak Spanish, so we spoke Spanglish to explore the site together. She showed us the many murals on the inside of the pyramid that have been found, and we learned all about the extensive human sacrifices that occurred here. As this was a ceremonial-religious center, everythign is related to priests, priestesses, and their tortured, flayed-alive and naked warrior sacrifices. It is very hard to imagine any culture .. though there are many .. that would sacrifice their own people. No wonder christianity sounded so good to people. At any rate, it was a small site and took only a short time. We saw maybe 10 other people there the whole time. Archaologists were busily working away on the Mochica city escavacation between the two huacas.
Next, Chan Chan. We picked up Harold, a guide who is
Alli & Shannon at Chan Chan
This is some kind of sacred pool at one of the palaces of Chan Chan.
a descendant of the Chimus, at the site museum. Then we went to the Tschudi Palace, properly called ¨Nik-An¨for house of the moon. The Chimu worshipped the moon and the sea and it is evident in all of their iconography. The size of Chan Chan is quite huge, 20 km and only 14km is presently being protected. One can only see three places within it and we saw teh largest ' one of the nine palaces. Each emperor would build a square enclosure surrounded by a high wall and inside would be his visitor´s plaza, his storerooms, servant´s quarters, rooms for the concubine, his own palace and his mausoleum. When an emperor died, all his concubines and some servants and warriors died with him ' and were interred in the palace. The palace becomes a mausoleum from then on, and other emperors visit to pay their respects. Children were also sacrificed on occasion, the Chimu were no less bloody than the Mochica (or any other empire). Finally, they were conquered by the Inca shortly before teh arrival of the Spanish and their city fell into dust and ruin, as we see it today.
Finally we visited Huanchaco where the
A surfer's paradise at the right season, but deserted during the winter. These are fishermen's boats.
weather was breezy, with blue skies over the waves of the Pacific ocean and the reedboats of the fishermen called the Caballitos Del Totoro. Well, the cebiche here is supposed to be great, but with my sickie by my side, we decided to just walk the length of the beach and then go home.
Once home, we strategized on our plan. We decided that Chiclayo could not be more interesting than Trujillo and Trujillo wasn´t that great either. With her sick, we wanted to be in a place where I could be more self'sufficient, and she closer to teh airport and good hospitals. We missed the personal touch of the Second Home, where we were treated like family. I don´t know if it will make a difference, but we were both anxious about the rest of the week and the idea of going back to a known place just made both of us feel better.
I do miss Michael and Tricia so much! It was so hard to say goodbye to them yesterday. They made the trip so much fun.
We had a cab driver all day for a hundred and twenty soles. For some reason, he made me very nervous. It all started last night at teh airprot, he grabbed our bags and insisted on taking us to the hotel. He offered a low price, low enough for other cab drivers to walk away .. 15 soles. He didn´t have his badge with him and his car was unmarked, but I did see his badge in his car finally, after he put our stuff in hsi trunk. His questions scared me, like were we with a tour group and did we have a reservation? almost like he was feeling us out to see if anyone would miss us. but we did get to our hotel safe. Turns out he just wanted to get more business with us, so we let him be our driver for the day around Trujillo. No reason to be creeped-out, but I was.
chan chan in no way can be a competitor with machu picchu. Machu Picchu has a glorious setting in the mountains and is surrounded by beautiful cloud forest, and a lot of trekking and activities. Chan Chan is situated in a dry coastal desert, so that even if they built up the tourist infrastructure, I do not think people would enjoy coming here. There is simply not enough to entertain the visitor beyond the ruins. It would be easy to tire of the ruins here too, as they all require much imagination. And unlike cusco, it is not an easy city to walk around.