Trujillo Day 3

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


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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Big production this morning trying to cash traveler's checks- again- not much cash. I needed to pay the bill so stayed firm that they needed to cash for me. The desk clerk sent one of the bellman with a bill to get change- maybe a nearby bank. So, I waited 15 minutes. Eventually, he returned, cash exchanged for check, bill paid, change returned and finally off to breakfast.

Today is a light day since we need to be at the airport about 3pm to catch the flight to Lima. Our first stop is the Cassinelli Museum. This is a private collection put together from dealings with looters. The "museum" is in the basement- small- below a Mobil gas station. Just pots/ceramics, but row after row of shelves packed with an extensive collection across diverse cultures, including some we haven't seen outside a real museum. From the travel writeup, this guy has even more, not just ceramics, stashed away. It would make a great real museum- someday when he dies I guess. The tour takes about 30 minutes.

Then we drive to Chan Chan, the ruins of the Chimu city. I've been looking forward to this visit. There's one palace well excavated-named Tschudi Citadel for a Swiss diplomat from 19th Century in Peru who was also a scientist and did much to advance the study of Peruvian flora & fauna as well as local customs of diverse cultures.

This is a large walled, self-contained palace. Apparently, a system where the lord still owned his palace after death and the heir would need to build his own- much like the Inka. There are 9 palaces plus other incidental areas incorporated into the "city". Each palaces is separately walled in- but they're huge! There's the typical entryway & courtyard- looks like a small chariot race would fit- storage areas and then a second inner courtyard. At one end is a sunken garden that was dry for centuries, but just recently began to get wet- like a little square lake of their own. They're designed to pull water from the ground- they're dug out below ground level- and act as gardens etc. But the water table dropped too far and the gardens were dry. Recently the govt set up an irrigation project to bring water from a river to feed/supplement 3 other valleys. The water table has risen because of the irrigation of crops and slowly the sunken garden has come back to life. But it's gone beyond being a garden and has so filled that it's now a marsh pond- with tall rushes in one end, water lilies and ducks in the other. It's become its own micro-climate and eco-system.

After the temple we rive over to the site museum. It's very small and the only thing worthwhile is the scale sized relief of Chan Chan. They put on a show talking through the process of growth for the city until it was conquered by the Inka.

Next for today is Huanchaco, a fishing community on the ocean just down the road. We have lunch at a restaurant facing the ocean- second story with wide window and balcony for viewing. Plenty of delicious fish dishes. Then we walk up the beach for a demo of reed boat sailing. They're basically ultra light surf boards and still somewhat used. They might be more of a tourist icon than real fishing boats- they're a lot of models for sale to us tourists.

The town has the feel of 60-70's hippie-dom- even to the beaded string bracelets for sale. Saw a marijuana leaf silver necklace. But also some aspects of surfer world. This place is probably packed in the summer.

Off on the short ride to the airport. And here we are- waiting again.

Flight to Lima was very uneventful. Then the usual luggage routine & off to the buses and the hotel. We're back at the Las Americas about 8:30. I start putting together a laundry bag filled with knickknack souvenirs to check here since we'll be back at the end of the trip. I'll leave my baggage downstairs this time- had lotta fun lugging it up and down when we stayed here before.

Waiting for luggage- 9pm. I've ordered a sandwich. Sense & Sensibility is showing so I watch to the end. Luggage finally shows up at 9:30.
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