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Published: September 1st 2011
Next stop was Huanchaco, a beach town right next to Trujillo. The long drive (starting at 6 am) was made even longer by an hour long detour me made due to getting lost. We drove down one road, back up it, down another road, back up it, and then down the first and back again before finally leaving that area by the exact way we had arrived. It must have looked a bit sketchy because we were stopped by the police and the policeman got on the truck, demanding to see everyone´s passports. We kept them all in a safe in the floor of the truck so it took forever to get them all out and then the policeman looked at 3 before giving them back and getting off the truck. It was ridiculous. But we were finally on our way again. We stopped in another town along the way to visit an interesting museum about the Lord of Sipan and the Moche people (a pre-Inca culture). Back on the truck for another 6 hours or so and we finally made it to Huanchaco. We were supposed to camp for the two nights there, but we arrived so late that most people couldn´t even think about setting up a tent and sleeping on the ground, so we all upgraded to rooms. We found a delicious pizza place for dinner and then even though we had done nothing but sit on a bus all day we were all tired just went to sleep.
Another day dedicated to history. We visited the Chan Chan ruins from the Chimu culture (also pre-Inca) and we only saw 1 of the 9 complexes and it was the second smallest, but it was still huge. I was more interested in the next ruins we visited, Huaca de la Luna, because it felt more real and old. Most of the Chan Chan ruins had been rebuilt so they were still really interesting to see, but at Huaca de la Luna there was still original paint on the walls and there were archeologists there working on uncovering more of it. Excavation was also just starting on the Huaca del Sol site which was very exciting for our guide and other Peruvian historians. Our afternoon was then free to explore the dreary town of Huanchaco. The only reason really to visit the town would be for the surfing, since there wasn´t much else to do and it was cloudy and cold. But we did walk down the one main street and explored the markets that were along it. At the hotel we had a little chat about the options for activities in our next stop, Huaraz. We can visit some more ruins, go ice climbing, biking, or hiking. It is the center for trekking in the Cordillera Blanca so I am very excited for the activities!
Our second to last drive day, thank goodness, and it ended up being 6 hours shorter than we originally expected! There was a newly paved road up through the mountains or something that made the trip A LOT shorter. I had also managed to actually read some on the drive (very exciting) which also helped make the drive seem shorter. My current book is called Mountains Beyond Mountains, by the same author as my last book. It is very interesting as well, about a doctor (Paul Farmer) who worked in Haiti and then later Lima, fighting poverty as well as diseases. We ended up arriving in Huaraz around 3 instead of 8 or 9, so we could get a view of the city before dark. The city is in a valley surrounded by the mountain ranges Cordillera Blanca (white) and Cordillera Negra (black). Even though I come from Alaska where we see mountains daily, these mountains are incredibly high and they were gorgeous. At our hostel (Joe´s Place) where we will be for the next three nights, we talked again about the activities possible for the next 2 days. I decided on ice climbing tomorrow and the hike to Lake 69 for the next day. I wish we had more time here because I would love to go on one of the 4 or 5 day hikes in teh mountains, but that will have to wait for another trip.
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