A good sleep and a shower, bueno
Trip Start Oct 20, 2008
20Trip End Dec 06, 2008
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The first thing you notice about Chiclayo is that there are more taxis here than people. Impossible you may think but somehow true... Theŭ are everywhere; thousands of them. Little yellow cars just buzzing around tooting their horns until some god awful hour in the morning. Seriously, there must be more taxis here in this city, per capita than anywhere in the world.
I´d wager a deep fried Lama head on it;)
Now, imagine this weight of cars in a city with the least amount of traffic lights of any city in the world, and you looking at a pedestrian nightmare. Even now in this road side (I´d say internet cafe, but there ain´t no coffee here that I can see) internet ´place´, the smell of deisel and petrol fumes is intoxicating... Literally.
The second thing you ´learn´to notice is the odd hole in the pavemennet, as Ewa kindly pointed out to us as we left for our first excursion to Lambaque on this beautifully sunny thursday morning (I don´t mean to rub this in for anyone back in the uk, after the two days of sunshine we´ve had this year, and if it´s any comfort at all I´ve already had my come-upence in this respect in the form of a nice ´hot-pink´sunburn pre this entry).
Anyway, after picking up breakfast, which turned out to be just a giant, fat-saturated crisp, we successfully navigated our way through the heart of the city (with the help of our Lonely Planet guide) to the ´microbus station epsel´, and got there just in time to jump in the next bone-rattling, rickety old Dihatsu Hilux to Lambayeque. Home of the ´Museum of Royal tombs of Sipan´.
On our way there we bumped into our second friend of the trip Carlos. A student of biology at Lambayeque university who thankfully spoke a little English (notice how all our new friends will be similar in this way, due to our complete ineptitude in Espanola), and who kindly guided us through the dusty streets to the museum, even though it was going to make him late for class.
Thanks to Carlos we first began to appreciate that the people here were just normal people with normal lives and that not everyone was out to get you because you are a tourist.
Anyway when we were in sight of the maroon pyramid like building that constituted the museum, and in some way replicated the original pyramids in Sipan (which by the way means Temple of the moon), we said adios to Carlos, and made our way (after being stripped of any photographical equipment of course) inside.
It´s not until you visit an attraction such as this in the north of Peru that you realize how rare tourists are in this area, i.e. the treasures that they discovered in Sipan only 20 years are beautiful presented but it wasn´t until we went to the sight itself and met Miguel (God of tour guides) that anything we saw this day made any sense because the tours are in Spanish and so are all the exhibits.
Ewa was lucky enough to bag a local English speaker and force him to translate every piece of writing in the whole museum (taking a good 2 hours), where as me and Wojtek pretty much danced through the whole thing and went outside to cook in the sun, where we were ambushed by pre-pubescent Spanish girls who all wanted a picture with the first pasty white guys, it seems they'd seen in a little while.
Of course we obliged but I couldn´t possibly comment on whether they were hot or not because I couldn´t work out whether it was legal or not (but they were pretty hot).
We were one step closer to finding Wojtek´s wife anyway.
So after a stupid amount of time in the sun for a non-tanner like myself, Ewa eventually emerged with her new friend, (funnily enough named Carlos aswell), and after collecting our bags we again got abushed by more locals.
This time a group of students studying English and in need of some Guinea Pigs to help with their homework, so we went to a small city garden that they have dotted around in Peruvian towns, and each had an interview with a different student.
And at this point we, and I think I speak for the others, began to really relax in this different place.
We exchanged emails with Rachel, the best English speaker and leader of the group and German (that's how my students name sounded). Got a few recommendations on local food and then went for a well earned lunch.
For me this consisted of Cebiche Languistino, some large prawns with sweet potatoe, sweet corn and a yet as unidentified white starchy vegetable that was very nice indeed, in a tangy sauce with thinly sliced onions. Yum.
Ewa had a similar Cebiche with fish and Wojtek had a steak with rice and beans.
A nice day so far...
After lunch we walked around Lambayeque a while, we saw a funeral procession with a band that I thought was a political protest until I put my glasses on and saw the coffin.
Subnote Lambayeque makes the best damn coffins in South America from what I saw in their funeral parlours and from the parade. These things were like the gilt plate Lamborghinis of the coffin world (obviously without the wheels or the 350 bhp), but pretty fine.
We went to the cathedral when they had passed and Ewa went to pray while Wojtek and I checked out the exterior. I went in a little way to take a look at the frescos, but half way through this place of peace my sandals started squeaking on the marble floor and I beat a noisy but hasty retreat.
They really take there religion seriously here and you can feel a bit like an imposter going into churches to look at the beautiful architecture. As long as you are respectful to the people that are there to practice their beliefs you should be fine.
It´s late afternoon when we made our way back to the main road and listen out for the mini bus shouts of ´Chiclayo, Chiclayo´.
The bus dropped us off at a random place in our new home city and we found our way hope by trial and error and a little bit of ´donde esta Hotel tumi de Oro´
Despite not understanding a word in the museum it was an amazing day out.
In the night Ewa went to bed earlier and me and Wojtek had a late night amble around the streets, despite the lovely food chips (papas fritas) were needed and Wojtek grabbed a skewer of random meat from a street vender.
Eat now, ask questions later, Wojteks motto...
I just stuck with the chips and a piece of recognizable chicken leg. I´m not ready for the Guinea Pig just yet...
Lets see what tomorrow brings.