I can’t believe it has been almost a month since I last wrote about our Peru trip. Already the details are getting fuzzy and does anyone care about reading about it anymore?
But, I’ve been persuaded that we will appreciate having a written record later on so onward, forthwith I go.
We were still in Lima on my last post. Beautiful and relatively clean Lima, in retrospect. Oh, how I will miss thee.
I mentioned how Day 2 wasn’t over? How I was about to have my scary moment #1? In truth, I’ve never been more scared in my life. Horror films can’t compare to the true horror one feels as a scared to death mother.
We were on a trip of a lifetime. We wanted to milk as much as possible and decided that an over-night 10 hour bus ride to Trujillo was doable. Mind you, we had just spent the day sightseeing and day before that traveling to Peru. Now, we were about to go on a midnight bus ride.
Soso did not handle the 10 PM wake up well at all. If she had cried and whined, I would have been fine. No, she was shaking like she had the chills with her eyes wide open and her pupils dilated. She kept mumbling random things that didn’t make sense.
The symptoms may sound familiar to those of you who’ve had over-tired children. It was my first time. Perhaps if I wasn’t so tired myself, I would have been more calm. Perhaps if we had been home, near her pediatrician and a pediatric ER, I would have been more calm.
I don’t know what scared me more. The shaking in spite of the fact that I was holding her tightly, trying to give as much warmth as possible. Or the opened eyed stare with crazy mumblings.
You know how they say in time of crisis, you can have super strength? Well, I had my version of it. I, who these days can’t hold Soso for more than 5 minutes, held her and rocked her for 20 or 30 minutes.
Now, D kept reassuring me that S was over-tired. But, I was in a foreign country and I was scared that something was wrong with my baby. I couldn’t calm down until she stopped shaking and fell asleep, two agonizing hours later.
I should really write a book about how NOT to do a trip to Peru. The over night bus was fine. It was comfortable and clean. They even provided a light meal and snacks. BUT, yeah that’s right a big BUT… 10 hour bus ride over night is a lot handle. Especially back to back 10 hours of traveling. Ten hour bus ride that turns into 12 hours because there was construction on the road is kinda like purgatory. A 12 hour bus ride that culminates in Soso throwing up all over the bus, herself and me is… I don’t know, extended purgatory?
Let’s just say, not fun. Although, I’ll take a throw-up over the shaking, crazy mumbling any day.
We finally pulled into Trujillo around 10 AM. The hotels allow for check-in and fortunately, there was laundry service… albeit it took almost 24 hours to get our clothes back.
Finally, Trujillo! Trujillo is another coastal desert city. What do I mean by coastal desert?
Coastal – Huanchaco Beach
Trujillo is the third largest city in Peru and one of the oldest Colonial cities in America. As such, it is known for many examples of fine Spanish Colonial architecture.
Plaza de Armas during the day and at night.
The Cathedral with the classic yellow facade.
It was one of the first cities to declare its independence from Spain and even served as a temporary capital of Peru.
Currently, it is an important economic hub of Northern Peru. Trujillo is one of the largest producer of asparagus. It is exported to US and other countries. There’s also a robust tourist industry between Huanchaco, a famous surfing destination and the architectural sites of the ancient Moche and Chimu civilizations.
Near Trujillo is the largest Pre-Columbian city in America, Chan Chan. Below is a model of the city.
Chan Chan also known as the “mud city” due to being built entirely out of adobe was the capital of the Chimor Empire. The city covered about 7.7 square miles and was the capital of the Chimu civilization. At its peak, up to 30,000 people lived in Chan Chan. The city remained active until 1470 when the Chimor Empire was finally conquered by the relatively new Inca Empire.
Intricate carving like below covered some of the walls. Seabirds, fish, ocean and other sea creatures were a common theme.
The walls surrounding the city were as high as 60 feet tall.
Warriors of Chan Chan guarding the entrance of the central plaza.
The burial chamber of a king. There is a theory that once a king died, a new citadel was built. There are 11 citadels in Chan Chan.
Chimu people built intricate irrigation system to farm as well as to create reservoirs within the city. It was such a surprise to see this “oasis” in middle of all the mud and dust.
I will end this post with a picture a Peruvian hairless dog, that happened to be at the entrance. Kind of weird, no?