Ruined out in Trujillo

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Chavin Hostel

Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trujillo is an overnight bus ride from Lima, north along the coast. It is now a major tourist town thanks to the discovery of Chimu (pre Inca) and Moche (pre Chimu) ruins in the area - ongoing excavations are still unearthing more ruins. Every second building in town is a casino - apparently ruins and gambling are a good holiday combination.

In the morning we took a tour of the Moche temple of the moon, which dates from 600AD and is still well preserved in parts thanks to the custom of periodically filling in the temple and building a new one on top - intricate paintings and carvings on lower walls still survive. The adjacent temple of the sun was not so lucky - after the Incas finished looting it, the Spanish diverted a river over it to try and wash the gold out. It now resembles a large pyramid mud heap.

In the afternoon our group - us and a dutch family - are joined by a large group of loud horrid tourists (who didn't make the morning tour as they were sleeping off their hangovers). We visit the ruins of Chan Chan city - in 1300AD this was a city of 30,000 Chimu people. Of the eight palaces they have discovered, only one is excavated and partially reconstructed.
At the archaeological sites, they have the slightly freaky looking Peruvian hairless dogs - luckily the horrid tourists are shrieking with repulsion so we get plenty of photo opportunities.
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