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Published: April 9th 2011
Huanchoco, Peru – 6 April 2011
Tom and I are keeping up with the young ones, who have all been fantastic. It’s pretty interesting during our evening dinner and outings together, because the 20 year olds have all travelled, mostly by themselves, but in tour groups (which is safer, particularly for single girls) and they are all adaptable, cope well with the cultural variations, and are doing really well with the Spanish language. Tom and I are constantly accessing our Spanish Phrase book (thank you Adam for giving it to us). It’s been lots of fun...the group have been lots of fun!
The Huanchoco Hotel where we were staying, was one street back from the beach and just around the corner from a Chocolate Restaurant. We soon learned the breakfasts of freshly squeezed fruit juice; brewed coffee, fresh fruit, eggs and lemon grass tea was fantastic for our 2 breakfasts while in Huanchoco.
Huanchaco beach is a summer vacation spot located in the northern city of Trujillo. Huanchaco is famous for a few things but particularly for being a surfer's dream spot and its caballitosde totora (reed boats). Every day fishermen use their "Caballitos de totora", reedboats shown in
ceramics that date from 500BC.
The most famous food here is the ceviche which is fresh, uncooked fish, soaked in a beautiful marinade and mixed with onions, served with sweet potato and roasted corn. We loved it. This was washed down with the famous Pisco Sour which I also loved.
Huanchaco is nearby the very famous ruins of Chan Chan, which we visited. It has 9 palaces; the most recently uncovered was in 1998. The site worked on by archeologists is about 20 square kms. The king had 50 concubines as well as a wife. The Chimú race believed in the second life so when the king and queen dies, there were 48 people sacrificed, including the concubines, chef, maid etc, everyone who they would need in the next life. Most of the tombs had been raided so all the jewellery, pots and money was gone. The city wall was 12 feet high and the walls of the palaces were 6-8 feet. All was made out of the local sand/dirt. The patterns on the walls represented their cultural base which was the sun, moon and sea. .
Other sites we saw were "El Muelle", or the pier, which
is a landmark of Huanchaco. This steel pier was constructed in 1891, it is 108 meters long. It was purchased by Victor Larco in 1902. Due to an economic boom in Huanchaco in 1914, the pier finally became property of the state in 1923. WE paid .50 Sol to walk on it. The second oldest church in Peru (1535-1540) overlooks the pier & bay.
Throughout 2008 the town underwent significant improvements with all streets being paved with decorative bricks and the main street landscaped with plants. It is a place where the people from nearby Trujillo built their holiday houses so many of the houses were empty.
We also went for a 20 minute drive in a local bus, to colonial Trujillo which was built between four Chimú archaeological sites. The elections are this Sunday so there were lots of demonstrations. We saw a large group of construction worker union members with their hard-hats on. The group found a cake and coffee place so we sat down and enjoyed ourselves. This was just opposite the central church. There were a lot of people our including the politicians. Check out some of the photos of buildings in Trujillo.
The weather was overcast and it rained over night. The second day there, the sun was out and was much warmer. I went to a yoga class with 4 other girls. My hip loosened up nicely. Tom went to the Church on the hill and took some more photos now that it was a sunny day. This was just before our departure from Huanchoco.
We caught the bus at 12.MD. It had better facilities than a plane, with WiFi, fantastic leg room, recliner seats and movie screens. We all sat upstairs. I was given the front seat which was pretty good although a little warmer than further back.
Our scenery was very, very dry hills each side of the road with sandy, and sometimes irrigated plains growing rice, corn and sugarcane. We occasionally came across a town. Several times we saw a group of buildings making up shanty town. Pretty terrible looking. There were a couple of rivers we passed. Why they were trying to farm this desert is beyond me!!! We also saw the desert joining the sea, which was pretty spectacular. We arrived in Lima at about 9.00pm after the very relaxing ride
in the comfy bus.
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