Pyramids and pottery

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, April 8, 2006

So we took a bus over the border into Peru following the shores of Lake Titicaca, stopping briefly in a horrible town called Puno to view the unique Floating Islands. The islands belong to the Uros people and about 200 people live on the islands today and they used these islands to isolate themselves from the Incas. The islands are literally floating and are made of totora reeds which grow in abundance in the shallows of the lake. They pile layer upon layer of reeds which rot from the bottom upwards and a new layer needs to be put down every month. They use the reeds to construct little huts to sleep in, canoes, which last up to 6 months, and you can even eat the reeds...not very pleasant, but nutritious Im sure! There was even a little school and clinic all made from the reeds. It was fascinating to see.
It was then onto Cusco for some belated birthday celebrations with friends and to book our Inca Trail hike for the 26th April and then onto Trujillo, 560k north of Lima on the coast.
Trujillo is in the far north of Peru and is really famous for nearby archaeological sites which are over 1500 years old! The town itself is pretty small and has the usual attractive main square complete with cathedral and surrounded by elegant colonial mansions all painted various pastel shades which are typical of the area and a nice place to wander around for a few hours. The following day we did a full day tour of the nearby ruins from the Moche era which is famous for all sorts of ceramics depicting daily life as they didnt have a written langauge. The highlight for me was visiting the Sun and Moon pyramids made from 140 million adobe bricks. Excavations have revealed beautiful mosaic freezes along its walls with colourful geometric designs of fish, birds, scary masks and animals. This was discovered only in 1990 and it is still being excavated today. The enormous old city of Chan Chan which contained 50,000 residents in AD 1300 was also interesting, although today its really only a vast area of crumbling walls.
So it was then back south by bus to Lima for the Easter weekend....
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