Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chan Chan y Huanchaco

While in Trujillo, we took advantage of a day trip to Chan Chan, the largest pre-columbian city in South America. Chan Chan (Chan = Sun) is an archaeological site less than an 1 hr from Trujillo (northern Peru). 

Chan Chan was constructed by the Chimor (the kingdom of the Chimú), a civilization which traces back farther to the older Moche civilization. Built around AD 850, as the imperial capital, it was estimated that around 30,000 people lived in the city of Chan Chan until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470. 

Walking around the ruins, you see the extreme decay due to climate (eg el nino) and also past looting, causing the ruin to be largely rebuilt.

There is a tiny museum with some artifacts and fine pottery. The tour leaves you with some unsatisfying facts and theories (practiced human sacrifice, mummified their kings, etc, etc.)

Due to its scale and unique standing, it's unfortunate that the site is not as preserved or taken care of as other popular ones (e.g. Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo). In any case, it was great to step back in time.

We finished the tour by visiting the beach town of Huanchaco.

squirrels represented the land to the chimu
in front of the rainbow temple
the symbol in the center is a dagger used for human sacrifice - eek!

peruvian hairless dog

almacenes - depository or storage

Trujillo, Peru

Colonial, old school cafes, casinos. Welcome to Trujillo.

On the Go: Mancora - Trujillo, Peru

rice paddies in peru

trujillo meat on a stick vendor represent!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bienvenido a Peru

Sweaty, sore butts and the scent of ye olde cheese under our clothes, we arrived at our destination - Mancora (a touristy beach town in northern Peru - the home of some of the tastiest and freshest octopus and ceviche). After 9 hours on the desert road (leaving Cuenca, Ecuador around 7AM), we still had no clue where we would rest out weary heads. Out of 10 - 12 hotels we contacted, the only speck of hope was a hotel that had availability. Cedric spoke with a travel agent who mentioned that the owners had dogs and that it would be best for us to just show up.

Luckily, by the time we arrived, the only room available was extremely basic (cough, horrible) and there was a yelping dog on the property.

Luckily, there was going to be a wedding the next day that would take over the entire hotel like a bad case of the chicken dance.

Luckily, the only thing that they had available was a room in a vacant little beach house next door. Would we like it?

They threw in breakfast to make us happy. We knew it would be tough traveling in South America. ;)

Paradise in Mancora. All smiles...



We stayed 3 days, then 5, then found it extremely difficult to ever leave with sunsets like these...

On the Go: Cuenca - Mancora, Peru



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