August 5, 2006
This morning, Robyn, Fransisco, and I met up to go on a tour of the ruins near Trujillo. A bus first took us to a few Huacas, which were ancient temples and living quarters. Most of the architecture was original, including the painting. The fact that painted adobe could last thousands of years made the trip interesting.
Everywhere we stopped, there were a few hairless dogs. The rumor was that the dogs were bred by the Spanish because they threw off lots of heat. People with arthritis could then throw the dogs in bed with them to sooth their joints. I'm not sure if that was true, but one thing was clear: the dogs were ugly as sin.
In the middle of our tour, we came back to Trujillo for lunch. We got dropped off in front of a school, so we played on the playground for awhile and watched a bunch of middle-aged men play soccer on a basketball court. When we were walking back toward the bus, we saw a bunch of the soccer players getting drunk in a bar, so we joined them. They were too inebriated to make much intelligent conversation with, but at least they were in a cheerful mood. The entire bar was filled with scary stuffed animals like a deer head with white eyes, deer paws used for hanging stuff, and a fox whose butt was placed directly above us. It was quite a classy joint.
The highlight of the tour was Chan Chan, the largest ancient adobe site in the world. It was filled with huge courtyards and long, ornately decorated walls. Toward the back was a large pool originally used in religious fertility ceremonies. Now it's just a fun place for the hairless dogs to swim. The last thing we saw was the Chimu lord's tomb. It was surrounded by 44 secondary tombs containing women, guards, and all kinds of other cool stuff for him to take with him to the next life. The place seemed quite large, but only a small percent of it has been excavated to date.
The last stop of the day was to Huanchaco, a small town on the coast. A lot of people were surfing there, but the big attraction for people to do was rent a small reed boat and take it for a spin on the ocean, just like the ancient people did.
When we got back into Trujillo, the three of us looked for bus tickets out of town with big plans for the next few days.
The photo album for this entry is here.