Chan Chan

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cloudy day everyone, but it got really hot in the end. The newspapers keep taking about the "extended summer" in Peru, but apparently Autumn is round the corner and will hit heavily with rains and winds at the end of April.

Another squashy bus ride took us to the ruins of Chan Chan this morning. We made the effort of going ourselves to avoid the expensive tours that go from Trujillo and the "total tourist in South America" feeling. However this UNESCO accredited site is the closest to arriving to the mafia headquarters if you do it independently.

The bus drops you off on the main road in the middle of the desert where there is a sign that says Chan Chan but points in no direction. The only person there is a taxi driver that immediately tells you its 2 kms and that he will take you for 5 soles (1.25 euro), when the bus for 2 had cost half the price all the way from Trujillo.

Anyway, as we had been warned that robbery did occur along those 2 kms (probably a rumour started by the mafiosi taxi drivers of Chan Chan) and to avoid getting lost in the middle of no where we accepted the "extorsion".
2 minutes later we arrived at the main entrance and the taxi driver tried to sell us everything from restaurants and hotels to tours to the end of the World...without success of course after the con. Had he offered a reasonable taxi fee for 2 kms distance we would have asked him to drive us back to Trujillo later. Sorry Americo (that was his mafiosi name) tip!

Now comes the best part! You arrive at this UNESCO accredited site, and while you are buying your entry ticket a guy that calls himself tour guide explains a bit about the place and says that he will be happy to guide you around the place for 25 Soles (5 euro). Given the entry ticket for 4 sites is 11 Soles (2,5 euro) he must be out of his knockers. We obviously said no and thought it was cheeky as the guide in Huaca de la Luna had been free with the entrance and only worked for tips apart from his salary.

Now listen to this! We walk another 10 metres where they check your entrance tickets to this UNESCO accredited site, and the guy that checks the tickets asks us if we thought the other guide was expensive. We said yes, and then he said he would take us round for 15 Soles as he was not accredited as a guide! Cheaper but given its all a con we decide to go to internet later and study "wikipedia" for more time instead of feeding these bastards!

What a difference between the professionalism of Huaca de la Luna (sponsored by France) and this mafia accredited by UNESCO...

Anyway, having got through the several layers of "corruption" into the site the place is quite incredible with regards to the size of it. We attach some information for those interested. Its incredible as only about 10% is visible to travellers, with the rest still to be uncovered or restored. The palace we visited was part of a religious site and burial place of one of the kings.

Chan Chan information in Spanish:

Chan Chan information in English:

With our visit finished after about 1 hour, we decided to visit the "surfers paradise" of Huanchaco which is a couple of kilometres away. You should of seen the faces of the mafiosi taxi drivers waiting for us as prey. They knew there was no other way out of there except on a taxi...unless you decide to walk.

And so we did. Bollocks to the taxi drivers and their expensive fees. It was 1pm, sunny and Marcos had his Inka Trail metal walking still prepared for any peruvian willing to get close to us on the 2 kilometre walk back. Nothing happened of course...Sorry again Americo!

Back on the main road, we caught the public bus and arrived at the beach side. Its a truly relaxing place. Its full of hostels and seafood restaurants with plenty of surfers on the boards all day long. We could have easily have stayed there for a few days of rest if we were not on our way further north tomorrow.

Just in case we had a great ceviche next to the beach (all sorts of seafood mixed in a slightly spicy sauce). Delicious and for 16 Soles (4 euro), and definetly fresh from the day as the fisherman were bringing in the stuff.

We are back in Trujillo now, and will have an early evening to watch a film on the sat TV. Early tomorrow we move to Chiclayo which is "only" 4 hours bus ride away. We are hoping to visit the ruins of Sipan on the same day in order to keep moving North and get to Ecuador by the end of the week. "Niu countri" in sight!
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