Exit Planet Dust

Trip Start Jun 12, 2011
Trip End Oct 22, 2012

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, August 4, 2012

And so we find ourselves in Peru. Just a couple of short beach stops in the north to break up the horrendously long journey from Ecuador to Lima. 

First stop was Mancora, a beach destination that is now massively touristy and other than a haven for surfers and a great place to sample Peru's national dish of Cerviche (yum) there is little else to do.  We then hopped on a night bus for the long journey down the coast to Trujillo, and Huanchaco another dusty surf town surrounded by dry dessert lands. Huanchaco is an old fishing town and so is a great place to spot the 'Caballitos de Mar’ traditional style Peruvian fishing boats lines up along the bay, watch the surfers catching a wave in the sunset and again sample the cerviche.  We were going to take more surf lessons here but it was a bit chilly so we decided we can do more surfing in England at the same temperature and when we have more money and so settled for watching the pros.  We found a great little cafe which we frequented daily for their awesome breakfasts and the dinners there were fab too, all fresh and organic.

We also visited the Chan Chan ruins just outside Trujillo.  It was the capital city of the Chimu empire, which emerged from the Moche culture.  Built around 1100 AD, it was the biggest pre Colombian city in South America.  Now only a few sites bear any resemblance to its former glory and the most impressive is the Nik An temple complex.  Looking a bit like Tatooine from Star Wars it emerges from the desert with intricate carvings of animals in the walls.  Many of these have been restored and although there has been some poetic licence in the restorations it gives you an idea of life was like for this complex rule bound society where slaves carried produce back and forth while artisans and cortiers walked the streets slowly stopping only to give orders or chat with people of similar status.
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