FEBRUARY 11 DAY 16.
Peru here we come
Salaverry is a port located in the city of Trujillo. It is an archeological center of the pre Inca era….Incas are a well known civilization that dominated this area from the 1450’s to late 1500’s and built the city of Machu Pico.
The Chimus (sounds like the whale at sea world) the civilazation prior to the Incas, migrated to Trujillo in 900AD building the largest ancient city out of mud in the world…..making Trujillo the capital city of the Chimu people
…..now archeology is really not my thing …. but here we are….entering the port of Saliverry ….
….it looks like we docked in Egypt …..The entire area is covered in sand …miles of it..right up to the tops of the highlands …. I expected to see a camel come over the horizon ….
….so time to explore this 1000 year old tribe… and again….we are officially welcomed by our masked greeter
….then the local musicians and dancers … young children performing in traditional costume
And then off to Chan Chan….a UNESCO World Heritage Site named in 1986… an ancient city of palaces built out of mud by the Chimo people. It is also known as the labyrinth city because of its size and complexity . It was built between 900 AD and 1450.
….Chan means sun, for the sunny climate in the area ….and as you enter Chan Chan you see nothing but sand
…. and with all that sand comes mud …adobe…an ample natural resource for adobe bricks and mud walls.
The Chan Chan area is positioned about 1350 meters from the sea….Less then half a mile….an ideal location for fishing.
so ….the Chimu people” set up residence here” for the sun, sand and water.
Mud walls enclose 8 square miles of buildings including small huts, medium sized adobe brick homes and palaces of the nobility. 20,000 Chimus lived in the city and another 50,000 in the surrounding area.
Perfect trapezoid walls were constructed with mud and pebbles at the base and adobe brick to support the structure
So time to enter the city itself…
Truthfully, I was not quite sure what to expect …. part of me thought it would be like seeing Cleopatra …with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton come out in a chariot ….
….instead there are many partially built walls depicting rooms….. I found it hard to decipher …. let alone think of it as a city of palaces…..
there was a roof at one time of bamboo and reed …today what is there is to protect the ruins.
The Chimu people inscribed beautiful intricate reliefs and patterns on walls. The detail and meaning is extraordinary.
Animals and symbols of daily life are depicted throughout the city of Chan Chan
A diamond pattern is used throughout the city depicting fish nets…. horizontal lines are used to depict waves of the sea
Fish are inscribed swimming in two directions. representing the flow of two currents in the region.
….and three steps representing the three wars during this period …900 to 1470 AD
The Chimus built an elaborate water system ..a reservoir to capture water, one of four, with a complex irrigation system and 133 wells.
These early civilizations were amazing for there time…. very hard to really grasp. They collapsed at the hands of Spaniards in the 1500’ and a large wall was erected around the city to protect it from pirates. Peru gained its independence from the Spaniards in 1863
Trujillo today is the country’s third largest city located 350 miles north of the capital, Lima with a population of 900,000. The city is made up of sandy areas, mountains and jungle.
The Pan American Highway, constructed in 1936 comes through Trujillo. It is 18,600 miles running between both America’s…14 counties….from Alaska to Chile….the worlds longest motorable road.
Trujillo is a city of 900,000
And one of the many roundabouts in the city commemorate the ancient civilization
…..like other cities in the region, the economy is supported mainly by agriculture…rice, cucumber, sugarcane…. they are the number 1 exporter of white asparagus worldwide.
Diet consists of chicken, many different types of quinoa and OVER 3000 varieties of potatoes….a favorite meal is fried Guinea pig. (Yuck)
The average income in Peru is $7000… and many of the homes on the hillsides are occupied by the impoverished. They are incomplete because they are built as they have money…. probably something we could learn from.
….the country struggles economically and that shows in the surroundings.
Besides archeological sites Trujillo is known in the region for its beaches and the longest waves in the world…..
And just maybe ….all these long waves have something to do with why they have so much sand. Something to think about.
Interested to see Lima next …