We run into Sam and Erica who are overlanding in a great truck and XP camper at a campground in Huanchaco. I have to say some days it looks like a palace compared to bike travel. I’ve forgotten the luxury of having a refrigerator for food, a bed of your own and a small version of a closet filled with clothes and even a toilet. Wow, such luxury!
The four of us take a public bus to Chan Chan, the ancient ruins and UNESCO World Heritage site on a Sunday afternoon, only to find it’s closed for the day because of national elections. So we bus ourselves back to the beach and grab a frozen fruit juice, watch the pelicans and admire the reed boats.
We stop for a lunch of ceviche and fresh fish and watch the beach while we eat. It’s a relaxing and mellow day.
The next day we do it all over again and board the bus for Chan Chan, just a few miles into the town of Trujillo from our beach town. Thankfully the buses are empty today which is a big improvement.
Chan Chan was the largest pre-Colombian city in South America in its prime. It was built by the Chimor people and nearly 30,000 people lived here.
It was built of adobe on the western shores of Peru in about 850 A.D. and was occupied for more than 600 years. It’s hard to imagine how big it was since most of what is left has been eroded so badly by the strong storms coming in from the Pacific Ocean which is only meters from the ruins.
But what you can see is still really impressive. Some temples are miles across town from here, and there was even a small lake in one area of the city that is now being excavated.
There is so much detail and intricate work in the adobe. It’s beautiful.
We get to see a Peruvian hairless dog on our way out. He’s lingering and looking for food.