Tucume and Tomb of the Mr. of Sican

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

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good day to visit the Moche pyramids around Tucume and the Musuem of the Lord of Sican.

However not a good day for the "surtidores" (they guys that fill the mini vans with passengers) as they committed the error of holding Veronikas arm to convince her to get on one! You should have seen their faces of terror when Veronika shouted "Que no me toques!". 

About 6 "surtidores" had charged to our taxi at the bus terminal when we arrived. Veronika even had her door locked and the window nearly closed. One of them put his arm in to unlock the door and be the first one. They all jumped and pushed around her until she gave the shout. Then suddenly there was silence and 1 metre of space around us. We calmly borded the mini van with luxury first row seats!

From the pictures you will detect that there is a beer and a huge piece of meat. Of course that was not our breakfast but our dinner last night. We went to the same place we had tried for lunch "La Parra" and with no exageration it was probably the best meat we have had during our trip...including Argentina and Paraguay.

Together with it we indulged in some Peruvian red wine (from ICA) called Tabernero, which is proud to have the gold medal of the Madrid wine fair. We wondered if it was Madrid (Mexico) or Madrid (Spain).

Anyway, back to today. We first travelled 35 kms to Tucume to visit and climb a few of the pyramids (or huacas as they are known here). To be sincere, from the bottom the place just looks like a site with huge piles of sand dissolved by the rain. However, if one makes the effort of climbing the 2 miradores which have been constructed on mount Purgatorio, the view is just incredible.

The culture here was still the Moche one, and each pyramid was dedicated to the sun, moon, sacred animals, and some of them were huge burial places for the monarchs, etc. Sadly the place still needs a decade or more of slow arqueological work in order to appreciate it greatness. But with a bit of imagination and the drawings in the museum its easy to guess what it looked like.

By the way, the phrase of the day came out of the mouth of the tourist information guy at Tucume. He stated "Im happy we were conquered by the Spanish, as they brought a lot of new things, culture, religion, etc". He said it! He was very proud of a religious image which was in the old church of Tucume and now in the new one, and which was brought by Pizarro and his men.

No doubt in 10 years this will be the second Machu Picchu type attraction of Peru and the whole area will benefit greatly (Trujillo, Chiclayo). Good proof of it is the new Musuem of the Lord of Sican which is 12 kms from Chiclayo at Lambayeke.

The amount of original jewelry and objects that can be seen at the musuem is just outstanding. The museum is built like a pyramid and you start on the upper floor and walk downwards with all the explanations. The influence of the German Musuem of Mainz and the Spanish support is evident all over. They just forgot one thing...no English explanations.

The main problem with all these sites is that they have suffered hundreds of years of thieves (huaqueros) so a great amount of the treasures have dissappeared. Dont blame the conquistadores this time round...its the locals and the international collectionists.

At the end there is even a room with all the characters of the museum (dead king, soldiers, priests, wifes, etc) that sort of come a live with music and lights. It reminded us a bit of the little shows at Disneyland...

Link with picture of show at end: http://www.go2peru.com/spa/cix_foto1.htm

Official webpage with information: http://www.tumbasreales.org/

In conclusion, a great day of visits, and hardly any other tourists! If we add the fact that we had lunch at a place recommended by our hotel receptionist, and that it turned out to be excellent and cheap...what a day! (Restaurant is "Ricon del Pato" at Lambayeke). Duck is a typical dish in the criollo region...and delicious with all sorts of sauces.

Another fun experience was riding on the mototaxi around the place. They only charge 1 Sol in the city and it moves around nicely.

Final note: most of the locals have english language names for some reason or the other. We have seen:
- Jhon (spelling like this) James Lopez
- Henri Valiente
- William Gonzalez
- Peter Rodriguez

It must be the similar fashion as in Spain where names such as "Jeni" and "Desiree" have appeared...

Tomorrow we part for Piura, very close to Ecuador, where we will stay the night and pop over for a "niu countri" the next day.

Cheerio until then!
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