Trujillo and the temples of the idiotic archeologists

Trujillo Travel Blog

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Emily next to the sacrificial altar (left)

Trujillo was a pleasant surprise. When we came into the bus station we were not impressed with the city at all but once in the center of the city it was quite nice. Trujillo was pretty expensive in general and crappy hostals were way over priced and shady located so we decided to spend a few extra soles and stay in a swanky place. Woo hoo!! We spent the first afternoon walking around the city and eating every chance we got. The food was great in Trujillo, especially the pasteries, which were in fact "mouthwateringly" ridiculous. The city was bustling on Friday night with everyone spending their paychecks on shopping and dinner and drinks (we had to wait in line 20 min for an ATM).

The outer façade of the last temple of the temple of the "Moon"

The next day we visited two (pre-Inca) ruins outside of Trujillo and were blown away. The first ruins were called Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temple of the Sun and the Moon), and it was anything but. The "archeologists" that named it called it the temples of the sun and the moon because it looked like temples for the sun and the moon of other places in Latin America, though this had nothing to do with this particular civilization. But we digress, the temple that we walked into was in fact 5 temples, one built on top of another every 100 years. So they would build a temple, with halls, walkways, sacrifice platforms, and painted walls (of blues, yellows, reds, etc), and then every 100 years, fill all the halls with bricks, thus making a new foundation, and start building a temple on top.

Chan Chán ruins
The only reason why we could see the different temples (e.g. temple 3, 4 and 5) was because robbers made tunnels through it, thus allowing to see lower levels. The halls were decorated with intricate drawings of their main God, which was a mix of a puma, lizzard, octupus, and some other animals. In addition, everything was made out of adobe bricks as they lived in the desert, which withstood time amazingly well (dating as far back as around 0 AD). Finally, between the temples, and buried under a desert remains a city of where thousands of people lived, which they are just starting to dig out.

The second ruins that we visited that day were named Chan Chán, and the Chimú lived in it. It is the largest adobe city in the world, and large it was. Like the temples it was surrounded by huge walls to protect it from the wind and the sand, but this was were even taller, at some 20 feet.

Danilo at the Chan Chán ruins
 It is rather impossible to describe as it was just a city, with residential areas, administrative, a pool, and even the cementery which of course the Spanish raided (couldn't do without it!). Notable of the Spanish raiding this time around was that not only they took the gold, but also the people. That is the definition of bad karma.

And so dazzled we returned to Trujillo to have more pastery, more food, and some long overdue beer drinking. It is notable that we went to a drinking establishment for the first time on our trip. We've had beer and wine and pisco with meals but we had yet to go to an establishment for the sole purpose of having a beer. We are los-ers.

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Emily next to the sacrificial alta…
Emily next to the sacrificial alt…
The outer façade of the last temp…
The outer façade of the last tem…
Chan Chán ruins
Chan Chán ruins
Danilo at the Chan Chán ruins
Danilo at the Chan Chán ruins
And the award for the ugliest stat…
And the award for the ugliest sta…
photo by: Paulovic