We´d heard about Huanchaco from some people in Chiclayo and decided to skip the city of Trujillo and head to the small coastal town of Huanchaco...... one of the best decisions we´d make in Peru !!!
15.11.2007 - 20.11.2007 20 °C
The bus down to Trujillo was easy and uneventful and we soon arrived in the city, jumped in a cab, and headed straight back out again, towards the coast and towards the fishing village of Huanchaco.
The hostel we´d wanted to stay at was full, so we ended up having to pay for a hotel for the night (which wasn´t cheap) The Village looked pleasent enough though, so we walked around town and headed to the beach, where we had a cheeky cerveza at a beach front bar.
We watched the surfers doing their thing on the great waves, backed up by the odd fisherman on his reed boat in the distance (which was something a little bit different to say the least!)
The Fishermen went out in the morning on their "hand made" reed boats to fish and then in the evening, they surfed the waves back to the beach with their catch and then they´d sell it to the local restaurants.
This we gleaned having chatted to a local restaurant owner, who´d bought his fish an hour or two earlier. Sure enough, a half an hour later Steph and I were eating said fish... which turned out to be some of the best fish we´ve had in a long time (having also watched it being barbequed on the parilla by our friendly asadoro come restaurant owner!!)
We were going to enjoy this place... we could tell !!!
The Fish was called Corvina and it rivals Kingclip (from South Africa) as far as we´re concerned as some of the best fish we´ve eaten on our travels ..... so far of course !!!!
The next day we decided to check out another hostel nearby and whilst stmbling around town we happened upon a friend from Banos on the way around town.
Ross (an Aussie) was staying at the Casa De Suiza Hostel, so having met the other guys he´d been travelling with, we decided to check into the hostel for a night (it was cheaper but not necessarily better that was for sure!)
It wasn´t the cleanest hostel we´d stayed at and Steph wasn´t too impressed, however, it was cheap and we decided to stay there for the night.
We managed to drop off our washing also and then having chatted to the rest of the guys at the hostel, I managed to wangle a guided tour of the Chan Chan archaelogical sites nearby (with an English speaking Guide) for 30 Soles Each..... not bad going ... even if I say so myself.
We grabbed a bit of breakfast in the cafe next door.... nice place called the Chill Out Cafe..... the bus picked us up and we headed off to Trujillo.
Our first stop was the Moche site called Huaca De la Luna.
We walked up the mound of Adobe bricks and then were confronted by some incredible Painted friezes. The paint work was all original, as were the colours, and consisted of numerous animals, faces and symbolical images vibrantly painted and looking as if they were only a few years old!
To say they were about 1500 years old... their condition was immaculate and a credit to the Archaeoligists who´d painstakingly uncovered them!
At the site we also found out that they had discovered about 42 skeletons that had been sacrificed within a short time period. The archaologists reckoned this was as a result of the El Nino effect that caused the locals to panic and sacrifice more than the usual amount of people and had caused the sudden movement of the people from here to the Coast and Chan Chan.
We unfortunately couldn´t visit the Huaca DEl Sol as the site was being excavated at that very moment and since it is the largest Huaca in the region we´re sure it´ll surely turn up some fantastic finds since it also has been relatively untouched by the grave robbers!
A great start to the tour......
As per usual for the Peruvian tours... we were dumped at a tourist restaurant for our lunch... however then we headed off to La Huaca Arco Iris.
For this leg of the journey we were joined by a few other tourists and funnily enough Emi (the Brazilian Lady from Cuenca and the Nariz Del Diablo) was sitting on the bus. Small world or what !
The Rainbow Dragon Temple (or La Huaca Arco Iris) belonged to the Chan Chan Complex and was Built by the Chimu Empire some 2000 years ago.
It was however one of the best remaining examples of Chimu Architecture and had some of the most intricate and most complete wall friezes in all of South America.
The temple is called the Dragon Temple due to the dragons that surround it´s main central platform, on top of which it was hypothesised that sacrifices and other religious ceremonies took place.
From the top we could look over to the East towards the city of Trujillo (not too appealing) or to the West the ruins of the massive complex of Chan Chan.
This was to be our next stop and so having filled up on pictures of the architecture and masonary work, we headed back in the bus to head off to Chan Chan.
The Massive Chan Chan complex runs from the sea to the main road from Trujillo to Huanchaco (they even managed to build the road directly over some of the ruins !!!!
Anyway, what remained of this massive citidel is mostly now crumbling away and had to distinguish against the desert sands. However, nearer the sea, the complex remains pretty much as it did some 2000 years earlier.
Because of the size of the complex, we only toured around a single temple as this had been restored and remained fairly much intact.... there are another 8 similar temples on the site however in differing states of deterioration!!!!
The single temple was huge however and more reminiscent of walking through a maze or Labyrinth than through a ruined temple.
Having been given the rundown of the Chan Chan Temple and once again heard how grave robbers had desicrated nearly all of the sites at the comples and that as a result very little was left for the archaeologists, we headed off back to Huanchaco.
It was a good day out, however by the end of the it... we were all ready for a cerveza or two by the beach.
We hit the village of Huanchaco that night and all got royally pissed !
It was a great night and HuanChaco was great value as it was the quiet period so we had the run of the bars (all 4 of them )
The following day we decided to go for some much needed breakfast at the Chill out cafe next door to the hostel.
Whilst nursing my cofee, I noticed that there was a deal going on at the chill out where we´d get a room and all (Yep... ALL) our meals for.... now wait for this............
25 Soles !!!!!!!!!!!!
25 SOLES !!!!!!!!!!!!
Now think about this for a moment............
25 soles is................
4 pounds Sterling !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ALL for 25 SOLES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This had to be the deal of the century as we´d already been eating there and knew the food was great... so we asked to see the rooms.
5 minutes later all 6 of us grabbed our rucksacks from the Case De Suiza and shot next door to the Chill Out !!!
There were only 2 rooms so Steph and I shared with Siana (an American) whilst Ross, Kingsley (English) and Lynon (American) crashed in the other room !!!
We all couldn´t believe our luck...
We all soon decided to stay in Huanchaco for a few more nights and hit the beach bar soon after to admire the surfers doing their thing on the great waves over anothe cheeky cerveza or two !!!
That night, Kingsley, Ross and Siana decided to hit the big metropolis of Trujillo (at about 1am in the morning!)
Steph and I had purchased a bottle of "Bubble gum wine" which was 8 soles (1.50 for a litre) and tasted like bubble gum.... however we were tired so we left the other three to head into the city.
The following morning we heard the results !
Ross and Siana had got a taxi back home about 5 in the morning from a night club where they were the only Gringos. Kingsley on the other hand had been destracted by some beautiful ladies and had suddenly realised, at about 7 in the morning, that he was in someone else´s house.... somewhere near Trujillo..... with no money...... and no idea where he was staying..... he couldn´t even remember the name of the village we were at, never mind the name of the hostel ,)
The man clearly has some good Karma going for him as he turned up an hour later outside the hostel.... having had the taxi payed for him by a local guy at the party, told the taxi driver that he wanted to go to " Cha Cha Cha " ??? Wherever that was supposed to be!!!! Luckily the taxi driver was a good one and dropped him off in the centre of Huanchaco.. right next to the Chill out Hostel !!!
How lucky was that!!!
So sometimes it´s good to remember that not all the locals here are robbers and mggers and the good stories are often forgotten amongst all the bad ones !!
Two nights later and having dragged ourselves away from the Chill out.... We did however manage to leave Ross, Kingsley and Lynon still there as Lynon had met a local guy and the Lads had decided to stay at the Chill out for another week.... or two.... and learn some Spanish !
They found a Spanish school and I couldn´t recommend a better place to chill, Surf, drink, eat and basically be merry !
Huanchaco was definately the highlight of my Peruvian journey so far and if it carried on like this.... I was going to love the place !!