Day 19 : Trujillo, Peru

Getting to Trujillo, we had our first experience with the Peruvian Bus system. Oi! I, (M) got a scratch on my leg that got infected in about 2 minutes. Two greasy-haired, smelly men that sat in front of us, smashed us with their SUPER EXTRA-reclining chairs that no one else seemed to have.  Picture: our seats do not move or recline At ALL.  Theirs (special? broken?) recline ALL the way back - and we mean all the way back. Their heads were in our laps. Tough Luck Gringos.

 So we are cruisig along, trying to sleep while War of the Worlds blasted so loud the TV vibrated.  Who knew Tom cruise could yell Spanish fluently.  At apx 1 am, Our Bus crashed into a pile of rubble that was randomly placed in the middle of the highway. The sounds of screams and little Peruvians flying up into the air and filled the silence. The bus was now high-centered on top of the rubble which broke through the radiator, and punctured a tire. Turn an 8 hour ride into 12. Amazing how normal these incidents become. If you even plan on self planned travel, throw your time schedules out the window and roll with it. This is way more entertaining. Hoards of people were trying and push the bus as it teetered ... liquids spewing all over the place. And here we are, Standing on the side of the road, in who knows where...watching it all happen without a lick of Spanish. We didn't take any pictures because it would have been weird and honestly it was too dark. But we have added some imagery to help you visualize it. 

Start with this.....
...Then add this...
...End with this.

You get the idea.  Taxi cabs started circling like sharks, picking up people that knew where they were going. No one could tell us where we were. Neither of us speaks Spanish and none of them spoke English.  Shit.  I dont know how many other ways we could ask "Where are we?" or "How far is Trujillo?"   

Long story short, hours later we were bussed to an undisclosed bus station, where we ended up sleeping, not IN the bus station per-say, but outside in the lot. They emptied the bus, locked the gate, turned off the lights and the station mamager went back to bed. So there we slept, in white plastic lawn chairs, locked in by a giant fence, alone...until 6am the next morning. (Mind you, we were supposed to arrive at 11pm - so time tables be gone.)

The best part is, we had NO idea where we we didn't dare venture out until the bus station opened the next morning. And it gets even better....we then hailed a cab, told him the name of our hotel and he drove about 4 blocks and stopped. Seems we were less than a 5 minute cab ride from the crash site to town and 4 blocks from our actual hotel - while we slept in the cold dark of the ababdoned bus station lot. Oh the joys of travel. Most exciting 30 sols ($3) we've ever spent.
WELL, ANYHOW...Trujillo is so much better than we expected it to be. A colorful and beautiful colonial city with brightly painted architecture and a relaxed feel. We spent one day in the downtown area and took a day tour of 2 ruins. The ruins here  are very different than the ones we've been seeing. These are OLDER than the Inca sites we saw around Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Not as grand, but still impressive given their age.

Brian got the Guinea flu and had to hold up for our first night in our hotel room. Ironically, we caught the Husker bowl game on Spanish ESPN. Vamonos Huskers!  Costigo!  What are the odds? Thanks for tuning in. Adios!

The Plaza de Armas in Trujillo. Decorated for Christmas which seems so funny with it being so tripical.
In Trujillo's Plaza de Armas. Christmas scenes set up all over the park. For our Iowa friends!
Downtown Trujillo. Auhh, a boy and his mule. You just Don't see enough of that.
Buying a little schwagg at Temple of the sun. Buying a monkey for my collection. If you blow into his butt he whistles.
Huaca De Sol y Luna - Trujillo. Grounds of the Sun and Moon temple. A pre-Inca Site ()... Pre-Inca - think about that for a second. The Temples of the Sun and the Moon are more than 700 years older than Chan Chan and are attributed to the Moche period.
The Gift shop at Huaca Arco Iris (The Rainbow Temple) - another Pre-Inca site. Located about 2-3 miles NW of Trujillo.
Uncovered portions of the Templs .What we have here is a proven history of human sacrifices. So far only 30% of the Temple has been excavated. It will take a further 20 years or so to uncover what they can.
Downtown Trujillo. The architecture is so fun. Stand in the right spot and the glamorously colonial streets of old Trujillo look like they’ve barely changed in hundreds of years. Well, OK, there are more honking taxis now – but the city still manages to put on a dashing show with its flamboyant buildings
Cathedrial in Plaza De armas, Trujillo. All the buildings are colonial, painted very bright vibrant colors.... They look like trendy wedding cakes.
Peruvians love Big ass doors
The complex houses 2 pyramids of the sun and the moon, two amazing buildings where ancient priests used to carry out bloody human sacrifices. Moorish @ Huaca De Luna Human sacrafice pit.
Best veggies in the world here. SO glad Bri finally shaved! (Lunch Break)
A Really Ugly Peruvian dog. That are called the Peruvian Inca Orchid dog. Hmm. Hare are some lovable facts about them: they are national dog of Peru. An American named them. Not all are hairless. They are rare. Incas used them as bed warmers and hunters. They have rabbit feet. They need to stay out of the sun.
The Croc (Rainbow temple)
The Rainbow Temple at Huaca Arco Iris - Peru North Coast. All sand/adobe. I Can't believe it's still standing. Dating from the 12th century, it is one of the best preserved of the Chimú temples – simply because it was buried under sand until the 1960s.
Pre-Inca trash cans - ha
We then moved on to Chan Chan - the largest adobe city in the ancient world (Pre-Inca site).
Chan Chan. El Niño floods and heavy rainfall have severely eroded the mud walls. Today, the most impressive aspect of the site is its sheer size. Built in 1300 AD and covered over 17 square miles. it housed an estimated 60,000 inhabitants and contained a vast wealth of gold, silver and ceramics. The wealth remained undisturbed after the city was conquered by the Incas, but once the Spaniards hit the stage the looting began - the damn Spaniards again
We were with a group of fun haters - so we had to take pictures of ourselves. (Chan Chan)
Oh Hi. Meet the Mayor of Negative town. This guy was a buzz-kill.
A nice surprise inside the ruins. Way in the back 40. A ritual pond used by the royals of the city. The Chimu capital consisted of nine major subcities, also called royal compounds. Each contained a royal burial mound filled with vast quantities of funerary offerings, including dozens of sacrificed young women. The Tschudi complex is the only section of Chan Chan that's partially restored. It's possible that other areas will open in the future, but until they are properly policed and signed, you run the risk of being mugged if you visit them.

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