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Stuff made of mud!

Trujillo is a costal city, famous for being home to the capital of the ancient moche and chimu cultures. This was pretty much why we were here too so shortly after arriving we hopped straight onto a tour to visit Chan Chan, a giant adobe city (adobe = made of dried mud) constructed by the Chimu people, which has somehow mostly survived over 1000 years of exposure to the elements. Now all that remains is a series of mud walls, loads of which have really intricate murals along them.



We only visited one complex inside the city (the city is made up of loads of complexes, stretching over 20 squared kilometers) and walking around the place was really cool, just the sheer size of the walls are impressive in themselves, some of them still standing at 50-60 feet high- and to think how long they´d been around for was cool too.



Around the outside of the ruins were a load of cool ´peruvian hairless dogs´, dogs that are born without hair, and evidently have a higher body temperature than normal dogs and so used to be used as leg warmers for arthritis sufferers. Brilliant.


The next day we went off to explore some even older ruins- the moche pyramids, two giant adobe stepped pyramid temples near trujillo built over 1500 years ago. These buildings have survived due to their location in the desert, where they were buried under sand for hundreds of years. Unfortunately our tour group had left without us (in typical peruvian fashion) so we were forced to wait around for a bit while the company sorted us out with a taxi to the site. Upon arriving we were taken around by an english guide who explained that the smaller Huaca de la Luna (temple of the moon) is the only pyramid that had been excavated, and that they still need funds to excavate the huge 41 meter high Huaca del Sol (temple of the moon). Which is cool in itself just to think that theres a giant pyramid just sat there and no-one knows whats inside!


So we were taken around the pyramid which is still really well preserved with loads of really intricate murals and mosaics, which have still retained their colours because they were all buried under sand. It was really interesting seeing all the different rooms (some found full of human sacrifices!) and ceremonial rooms and stuff. Apparently the Moche used to fill in their temples completely and then build a new one on top (hence the stepped pyramid shape), which means they cant excavate the whole thing without it collapsing, but the stuff they have found inside are pretty cool- including some pretty graphic erotic pottery.


The outside of the Huaca de la Luna was for me one of the most impressive parts, still made completely of dried mud, the outer walls are covered in brightly coloured murals and must have looked amazing at the time, it was really incredible how the colour had survived after 1500 years!


After the pyramids we were taken to a little shop where some guy blew an old trumpet for us, then we headed back to Trujillo for the night.

Posted by St Martins 16:09 Archived in Peru

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