Wednesday, December 12, 2007

T is for Trujillo

As I have been tying up loose ends before Caleb and I head north for our extended stay, I was reminded of one final trip we recently took which never received any blog time.

A couple of months ago, we visited the northern coastal city of Trujillo, with a side trip to Chiclayo. Trujillo is roughly 8 hours by car from Lima (being the "rich" Americans that we are, we decided to fly instead). The day we arrived was also the day dedicated to celebrating the life of Santa Rosa de Lima. She is the patron saint of Peru with a shrine in Lima. She is also the patron saint of the police and there is a particularly large celebration in her honor each year in Trujillo.
Santa Rosa de Lima in all her glory

don't be put off by the riot gear, this was a celebratory processional

We next ventured out to the Temples of the Sun and the Moon. These temples were constructed in roughly 600 AD by the Moche culture, though very little is actually known about these people or this time period. Luckily, thousands of ceramics survived this period as did the two temples leaving behind far more clues than were left by many other pre-Columbian cultures who inhabited the same and surrounding areas. As you can see from the photos below, many of the decorative frescoes and much of the structure of the temple has also stood the test of time. This was a fascinating site to explore and all the more interesting because of its remoteness and limited tourist draw.

these frescoes are at least 1500 years old

us on the backside of the temple

sometimes no rain is a good thing, erosion has been tremendously slowed

The next stop on our visit was the Chan Chan Archaeological Zone. Chan Chan was built in 1300 AD and was the capital of the pre-Columbian Chimu Empire. In addition to being a Unesco World Heritage Site, Chan Chan is also the largest pre-Columbians city in the Americas and the largest adobe city in the world. The Chimu were eventually conquered by the Incas. The Incas were much more interested in expanding their kingdom than acquiring wealth so much of Chan Chan's gold was left intact until the Spanish came and pillaged the entire city. Over the years, Chan Chan has also been the victim of grave robbers and thieves. Some examples of the riches can be found in museums throughout Peru and the world, but much of it is lost forever. Despite this, the ruins of Chan Chan are vast and extremely impressive.

Caleb walking amidst the ruins of Chan Chan

more ruins - notice the fish design

us at Chan Chan

an underground fed water source in the middle of the ruins

The next day we visited Chiclayo and several surrounding sites. The most impressive of these is the tomb of Sipan and the museum dedicated to the contents of this tomb. The tomb was discovered in 1987 and consists of several chambers filled with the remains and artifacts of various rulers. Excavation continues at the site and a new tomb was discovered in the last few months. The recovered artifacts are housed primarily in the nearby museum (sorry no photographs allowed or we could wow you with images of a nearly unparalleled collection of gold, other precious metals and semi-precious stones), though they have been displayed in major museums all over the world. If you want pictures, the discovery of the tomb was covered extensively in National Geographic in 1988 and 1990 with tons of accompanying art or you can click here.

the museum - the exhibit inside was really spectacular,
sorry you'll just have to take our word for it

site of the original tomb - the skeletons are replicas (we saw the originals at the museum)

the site is still being excavated

We also visited the local marketplace which is known for housing the largest concentration of practicing herbalists and witchdoctors in Peru. There were all sorts of plants, bones, pieces of animal (some dried, some still juicy) and various talismans and charms available for purchase.

witchdoctor stall

The final stop on our visit was to the, apparently, famous King Kong factory. The King Kong is a dessert made from something that is supposed to be shortbread, but isn't, layered with manjar blanco (Peru's not as good version of dulce de leche - I think we've mentioned this before), peanut flavored paste or various types of jam. Anyway, the dessert is so sweet it made our teeth hurt to eat it, but it is sold everywhere in the region and the locals LOVE it. Oddly enough, apparently when the movie King Kong aired in the city in 1920 people compared the shape of the dessert to the great ape and the dessert was forever dubbed King Kong. We don't see the resemblance, but maybe it was shaped differently or at least more ape-like 80 years ago.

the famous to some San Roque King Kong dessert factory

king kong desserts - if you see a big monkey staring back at you let us know


Linsey said...

Note: I have no doubt whole posts will be forthcoming about being separated from Kenny for 3 months (so many you'll probably stop feeling sorry for me, try to resist that) but for now, we are still under the same roof and also that doesn't fit my "C is for Christmas" posting scheme so they'll just have to wait.

KatyStrattons said...

I have stumbled onto your blog (from where, I really couldn't tell you) and I love it. What a fun experience. I have a do you get the cute striped background? I can't figure it out on blogspot. I just started a blog. Please let me know if you don't mind. And, I swear I'm not some weird stalker. Just a stay at home mom outside Houston.

Celia Fae said...

Yeah, cute stripes.

I love the history lessons and awesome pictures of things I have never seen and probably never will. The photo of caleb walking is a keeper.

Looking forward to musings about being separated from the lovah. Maybe they'll make me like mine.

Nortorious said...

I wish you had taken pictures inside of the museum. That would have been fun and risky. I did it once and got kicked out.

Nate and Sina said...

M is for Marriage? Just a thought.

Ilene said...

So that is what the "T" is for in "Christmas." I was wondering.

Not everyone gets to be on the backside of a temple. All I have is a bruise on mine.

Jake said...

Sooo cool! Thank you for sharing your adventures. What a great life you lead and I love that you seem to really appreciate your amazing opportunities!

Heather said...

Are you kidding me? You don't see the big ape himself. He is clearly sitting right there with Ann Darrow in fist.

Don't go!

Adrianne said...

You're too clever for me!!

Paige said...

Linsey you are giving to Holly! See Blogger addresses blog

Christie said...

Hi Linsey,

I think I am giving to you for Celia Fae's gift swap. Is the address you put up on the address blog correct? Shoot me an email and let me know where to send your gift:


Tammy said...

Wow, what a cool life you have! I love that all of these people are living in South America, how fun!! Happy holidays!

Hollyween said...

Got your gift!!!

LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much. It's totally my style.


Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations