Chiclayo

Trip Start Aug 05, 2005
1
8
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Trip End Aug 21, 2005


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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'm still moving very slowly. I eat a health bar & orange juice. Everyone tells me I look much better- I now have color- I was gray like the Lima sky yesterday.

We head out to Tucume- a vast adobe temple ruins built by Lambyeque people, but added onto by later civilizations- Chimu and then Inka. 26 temples in total. Dan was one of the dig leaders back in the early 90's. We came across some folks he knew and they led us up and down and round about and end up inside one of the temples- they call it Temple of the Birds- that's been excavated. They removed some mummies and found some beautiful colorful bird mosaics. They'd been covered with backfilll by the Inka at a later date and preserved. Then they lead us down and over and under and up then down again to the temple entrance where a huaca was located amid several sacrificial burials which were being unearthed. Then we walked a major arc around the site through a small village to get back to our starting point.

So now it's noon and I'm thinking lunch- but Dan says we're off to the Royal Tombs museum-lunch is on Peruvian time- about 2pm.

Royal Tombs museum is very new- a dark pink structure with a long ramp entrance up the side to take you to the top of the building. The internal layout is designed to walk you down through the layers of the dig to the Big Man himself- El Senor Sipan- just like the original temples.

There's a guard with a wand at the entrance making sure we have no cameras, back packs, land mines, bazookas, AK 47's etc., etc., etc. He begins to object to purses after several folks have walked by with them. What's that thing about give a guy some power....One person actually had a small camera dangling from her hand as she spread-eagled her arms for him to wand her-he missed the camera!

Anyway, the museum itself is a work of art- beautiful contents, beautifully and informatively displayed, walking us through the excavation process showing excavation photos, mock ups, and then all the bejeweled riches. Very impressive!

Lunch finally! At a very nice Peruvian style restaurant called Fiesta. Meal is served family style. I'm still not doing real well, so I pass on squid, ceveche, goat and duck- and go for the yucca and rice. Tom and Linda are vegetarians, so they have their own large vegi pilaf meal. They happily share the bounty with me. Linda says they frequently get huge portions on group trips like this. She figures they're making up for the lack of meat with quantity. I also have 2 cokes- I'm now fully convinced of its medicinal properties. I feel pretty good after lunch, but my innards are still grumbling at me. I'll have to ask Kirsten about side affects of the cipro.

On to...ah, yes another museum. This one- Sican Museum- is also new but less spectacular than Royal Tombs and more or less dedicated to Sican- which apparently is another term for Lambayeque people. This museum focuses much effort in "how to"- how they made metals, pots, etc. focusing a bit on that aspect although they also have their tomb mockups an jewelry.

At the end of the tour, we're entertained briefly by a man dressed in Lord of Sican finery. He's giving a speech but in Spanish don't have a clue what he said. After the photo op, we chip in the tip and move on.

The bus goes to Chiclayo but not to the hotel. Instead, Dan takes the team to visit a witches market where you can pick up charms etc. He warns everyone though to strip off all jewels, back/fanny packs, watches, wallets, etc. Nothing valuable except for a few Soles in your front pocket. I decline the opportunity and stay in the bus to catch up my lost day in the journal. Glad I did- I had to run to the little johnny. A few folks bought a few trinkets, but it was a lark not a bigi deal- apparently not the usual crowd since it was late in the day.

Dan gives a lecture before dinner on Tucume that he would have given the night before if we hadn't arrived so late. Lots of photos of him 10-15 years ago before & after his doctorate when he accidentally met Thor Heyerdahl in Chiclayo & learned of the plan to excavate Tucume. Thor invited him to participate and that really kick started quite a career for him.

So, tomorrow on the road again; bus to Trujillo with plenty to do en route- call at 7, luggage at 7:30, bus at 8:30- the usual routine. I'm glad we're not flying this leg of the trip.
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