Peru - Breathtaking... travel blog

Arequipa's scenic airport

Our hotel in Trujillo

The pretty plaza...

...and Cathedral

 

 

 

 

Parades on Sundays are popular in Peru

 

Huaco de la Luna

Amazing Moche art

 

Still digging

 

Our guide Yolanda shows us around

Moche descendants

 

 

 

Bottom row - the losers

Hairless dog (a lazy one)

Chan Chan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in Trujillo

 

 

 

 

We crashed the country club

What traveller's wear to the country club

Dale got the caddy

 

Dinner at Fiesta

Happy dessert

 


North American airlines could learn a few things from their Peruvian counter-parts. We've had 4 internal flights and each one has been right on time! We flew from Arequipa to Lima, had a short stop over and then flew on to Trujillo which is located near the ocean in Northern Peru. No more altitude insomnia issues! We've been here for 3 days and have really enjoyed the experience! The city itself isn't very pretty but the main plaza is gorgeous with brightly painted colonial buildings and a Cathedral surrounding the large square. It is nice both day and night. We're staying in the Hotel Libratodor, right on the plaza. We spent the first afternoon relaxing by the pool and then had a great meal at Chelsea restaurant which was very English pubish. We were the only ones in the restaurant which was a bit weird but we figured it was because there was a live concert in the back room of the restaurant that night and everyone was coming later. While we ate we were entertained by the "Tribute Band" warming up and playing our favorite tunes from the 70's and 80's. Name that tune over dinner! The next day we were picked up by our guide Yolanda for our tour of the Archaeological sites of the area. The main reason we wanted to come to Trujillo was to see Chan Chan, the ruins of a pre-Incan civilization called the Chimu that Dale had read about. But we were pleasantly surprised to find out that there was a pre-Chimu civilization dating back to 100-800AD called the Moche and it turned out to be a fascinating learning experience. We started with a visit through an amazing new museum on the site of the Huaca de la Luna (Temple of the Moon). The museum is full of pottery and illustrations of the tiles and walls in the ruins. The Moche were a strange society. They built a temple/palace for their king and when he died, they plastered over the walls and filled in the temple with dirt and rocks and then built a new temple on top of it for the new king. The different levels of the temple are really well preserved and the tiles on the walls tell the story of this bizarre culture. The area is in a desert and life was good except during El Nino years when there was too much rain. During those times, competitions were held where 2 men would fight each other and the winner would be the one who pulled off the other guy's hat or pulled his hair. The losers were tied together with ropes around their necks and taken to the temple where they were sacrificed to appease the gods who caused El Nino. When the weather was really bad, women and children were also sacrificed. The pottery is extremely well preserved and quite amazing. People had pottery artists make bowls and other vessels with their likeness carved into them and had this done throughout their lives. So each piece of pottery has a distinct, unique face on it. There is still lots of excavation left to be done both at the Huaca de la Luna and then at the Huaca del Sol which hasn't been started on yet. The Moche civilization eventually fizzled out (maybe they sacrificed everyone during a really bad storm!) but there are still descendants of the Moche living in the area. It is interesting to see them because after seeing the pottery, their features are instantly recognizable. The Moche were succeeded by the Chimu civilization that was around until the 1400's when they were "assimilated" by the Incas. The Chimu ruins are a place called Chan Chan, a walled city in the middle of the desert, again with some well preserved walls with intricate designs of pelicans, spiders, squirrels and fish. It was another really interesting place to visit. We finished up our tour with a seafood lunch at the beach town of Huanchaco. We're staying there for a couple of days and the day of our lunch was cloudy and misty which made the town look a bit dreary and run down. Oh well, we'll be staying there anyways! As Ann said, it will probably look better on a sunny day. We didn't have any plans for our last day in Trujillo so when we found out that there was a golf course in town, we asked the hotel to call and see if we could play a round there. Turned out that it is a private Country Club but they agreed to let us play (happy to take our money) so off we went to crash the Country Club. We got some rental clubs (which we're pretty sure were probably some unsuspecting member's clubs) and set off with a caddy in tow. They recommended we take a least one caddy because the layout of the course is a bit tricky so Manuel came along, carried Dale's clubs and gave him the scoop on the course. Pam and Ann managed on their own..... It was an interesting course, long and skinny with fairways shared between holes. A fun experience and definitely something most people don't do while in Peru! We had our last meal with Ann at Fiesta Gourmet restaurant, a bit of a jaunt from the hotel but well worth it. Another amazing Peruvian meal but Ann found out the hard way that you have to watch out for the hot peppers! Ann is heading to Lima tomorrow and we'll be off to the beach.



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