Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
Trip End Sep 18, 2008

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Where I stayed
Piramide Real

Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not such an early start this time.  At this stage, it's worth noting that we were woken up by a rooster at all sorts of crazy times this morning.  Though instead of saying Cockadoodledoo, the rooster, who of course speaks Spanish, says kikiriki, kikiriki!  Hmmm... no matter what language a rooster speaks, it's still pretty annoying when it's only 5am!!  We had breakfast next door to the hostel.  Very quick service - so much so that the eggs weren't cooked , but it was ok.  Breakfast cost $3 for 2 eggs, toast, tea and freshly squeezed juice.

We walked to the tourist office - the lady there was really helpful.  We got info about the plethora of archeological sites nearby.  On our way to getting transport, we stopped at a supermarket for 4 mandarins and a bottle of water - 50c for everything!  We are starting to love this place.

The common method of transportation is a shared car to particular destination.  You just jump in!  There are particular stops you go to to get collected but you just check the destination (they normally shout this out to anyone passing by) and in you get... for 50c per person!

We arrived at Lambayeque, a town about 10 minutes from Chiclayo.  There are 2 great museums here.  The first one we visited was the Bruning National Archeological Museum which has a range of items collected by a German chap called Bruning.  It has a great collection of gold artifacts. 

The second museum is the Royal Tombs of Sipan National Museum.  Unfortunately there were no cameras allowed in the museum, in fact you had to leave ID with any checked-in bags for some reason, even though they gave you a numbered ticket.  This place was one of the best museums we've been to.  It showed step by step the excavation of the Lord of Sipan's tomb.  This tomb was one of the few that wasn't raided by grave robbers.  It was only discovered in 1987.  The museum had an amazing collection of head-dresses, breastplates, earrings, nose rings and all manner of ornaments, many made of gold and silver.  It even had the remains of the bodies themselves!  The details concerning the excavation were incredible. 

One item looted from one of the tombs was recovered with the help of the FBI some years ago.  The item (a hip protector) was sold on the black market to private collectors for $1.6 million USD!  The museum is well worth a visit if you're ever in Northern Peru!  All the signs were in Spanish, however we bought a book which had excellent descriptions of each display.

We then headed back to Chiclayo for a late lunch.  After another excellect meal - duck for Taj and lomo fino saltado for Olivia (slices of steak with tomato and onion).  Very tasty!

We walked to Mercado Model (local market) to look for Shaman stalls, but unfortunately the market was huge and crazy busy (Saturday shoppers).  We walked for an hour and couldn't find anything.  We did however see all sorts of wares including a huge amount of different meat and fish (including all parts of the body) and the largest number of shoe stalls Olivia has ever seen!

One thing to note: When we were in Cuenca, we saw a couple wearing matching jackets, the inscription saying they were on a world tour!  We saw them again in Chiclayo... wearing the same jackets... nice!  Are they following us?!....

We then made a quick trip to the supermarket (Olivia loved it... ok, so did Taj), then it was back to the hostel to catch-up on a couple of things and watch cable TV... with English channels, yay!  (we were watching CNN which had world weather - NZ looked cold!).

Note:  Taj was sneezed on by a homeless guy, although were not sure if it was an attempt to get attention in order to get money.  In any case, we didn't stop to check!   
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