Shamans n Bees
Trip Start Jan 08, 2007
139Trip End Oct 01, 2007
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I had a quick investigation of the other sections, tasted some dried catfish, bought some tasty local choccy in the form of hard dark balls containing a lot of granulated sugar in before making my exit through the brujos area. Before escaping into the light, a male Shaman who I asked what all the sulfur was for [when rubbed on arms n neck it helps with pain apparently] offered me some black market trinkets stolen from the archaeological site of Sipan. He had a clay monkey head, rattle and a bone whistle among other random items, all of which I declined gracefully and went in search of sustenance.
A short bus journey out of Chiclayo is the Sipán archaeological site discovered in 1987 after an influx of beautiful artefact's on the black market were spotted by local archaeologist Dr Alva. These earthen hills turned out to be both pyramids and a royal burial site. After checking out the dig reconstructed with replicas (although I think some of the Skelly's may have been real) the next step was to climb the hill (actually a crumbling pyramid) to get an aerial view of the area.
After dousing myself in water kindly left in the road for me(nearly losing camera in the process- what am I like) and passing a few of the swarm off onto the locals(who were less than impressed)I escaped to the safety of some random blokes hut. With a smile on my face as usual when you can´t do anything else but laugh all I could think was "F**king waste of time that Shaman was"! Ha.
Assessing the damage which, turned out pretty minimal considering the black, buzzing cloud spinning round my head moments earlier I started picking out the 50 or so stings left in my shirt... The problem with bees is when they get pissed off enough to attack they actually commit suicide on stinging you and in that instant release a pheromone advertising to the rest of the hive exactly where the intruder is and hence the direction more soldiers need to be sent. So the few random stragglers hungry for a piece of the action forced a hasty retreat on the next bus back to town where I could lick my wounds from the war, I was never going to have won without a can of RAID in my back pocket
Slightly vexed at not being allowed to continue onwards at the site (The pic on the ticket looks good so I can almost imagine it) and not to be beaten I went straight to the safe Museo Tumbas Reales De Sipán in Lambayeque. For once the guide didn´t lie and this really is a world class facility. I was thoroughly impressed by the wealth of artefact's Dr Alva salvaged by the amazingly beautifully crafted objects he discovered and the layout of the museum mimicking the order they were removed from the tombs. The main tombs of the Lord Sipán and priests had both soldiers buried to guard the occupants, animals such as llamas and dogs, women, children and offerings of food as well as numerous jugs, shells, jewelery and clothes placed both above and below the corpse in layers.
The jugs depicted the various stages of life all the way from birth to adult hood and finally death and I was surprised by the impeccable craftsmanship and labor that had obviously been the norm in 300AD shown in the gold and blue stone jewelery which, looked modern even by todays high standards.
The complete archaeological process is explained in great detail and the museum even had some pieces the FBI located.