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Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 392-393 – Peru – Trujillo

I slept well and we arrived in Trujillo mid-morning. We caught a quick taxi to our hostel where the owner greeted us warmly and checked us straight in before inviting us to take breakfast regardless of the fact that we were only staying for one night. We got showered and then set straight out to secure our bus tickets for an onward journey to Mancora the next night. While more trouble than it needed to be we eventually got it sorted and made our way into the centre of town.

We had a cheap lunch and then decided that we had enough time to squeeze in the Huacas Del Moche. These are two pyramids / temples – one to the sun and one to the moon – built by the pre-Incan Moche civilisation. While not much to look at from a distance inside they have uncovered reliefs with the paint still preserved that are really quite impressive given the time that they date from. We caught a collectivo back into town and after a long hike, the purchase of 2kg of Strawberries for £1.50 and some more odds and ends we eventually reached our hostel and retired for the evening.

After breakfast we arranged to head out to Chan Chan with Mike and Phil, 2 Swiss fellas staying at the hostel. We followed the owners’ directions and hopped on a collectivo out to the archaeological area. We were dropped in the middle of the 14 square kilometre area and approached by a taxi driver who offered us a good deal for all the main sites so we hopped in and went to the first – the museum – to pick up our all inclusive tickets and see how the pre-Incan civilisation responsible for the city used to live. Then it was out to Nik-An Palace – the main event really and a huge expanse of walled former city.

Poor weather hampered any potential for photos but it was still impressive to wander amongst it. Restoration was relatively tasteful and enough to give you an idea of what it was probably like. As with all ruins it would have been amazing to see the place in full swing at its height though naturally unless you were some divinely elected (apparently) ruler life would probably have sucked.

We moved on to 2 more forgettable temples (Arco Iris and Esmerelda) and in the latter found a litter of newborn cross-bred puppies which proved far more entertaining. The Peruvian dog is a strange pooch – almost furless aside from a fetching Mohican they radiate a remarkable amount of heat and have rough skin that looks almost armadillo like yet is nothing like as tough.

The four of us were dropped back in town where we grabbed a cheap Menu del Dia before going our separate ways and pottering about for the rest of the afternoon. Later in the evening we visited a quiet little restaurant in a stunning multi-courtyard compound with antique style furniture (it may well have been for all I know) and great abstract artwork adorning the walls. My meal was delicious – Fettucini with tenderloin strips and mushrooms in a creamy sauce. We then returned to the hostel to await the 11:30 bus which turned up after midnight but eventually set off and got us to Mancora without incident.