Monday, 17 March 2014

14) Leaving Huanchaco

It better not be down that road...
FUCK it's down that road

I got my ticket and spent a couple of hours touring the ruins. They are certainly a spectacle to behold. It was knocked up by the Chimor, a pre-Incan civilisation and they did a pretty good job of it too, though I honestly do not know what they were looking at when they carved the birds into the stonework because they are a pretty shit representation. The fish are good though, and it's all well preserved after it got abandoned when the Incas did turn up. For S5 (about 1.50) you get a ticket to 4 different archeological sites, and once I'd finished Chan Chan, I haggled with a taxi driver to take me to the other 3 then back to Huanchaco. The first stop was the Dragon Temple. It's not very big at all and situated slap bang in the middle of a busy urban area, but is pretty none the less and does offer some good views from the top. I suppose it is called the dragon temple for all the dragons carved into it and not because they sacraficed dragons there.
Next was another temple, again in an urban area and contained in what felt like a cheap car park! It is bigger than the dragon temple and slightly better preserved. There was only me and one other man there, who said he'd seen me on the trek to Chan Chan. He was an architect and had some impressive drawings of the masonry and carvings. We had a short conversation in a mix of broken Spanish and English; he'd never heard of the Puya before! I left him to his work and the final stop was the museum of Chan Chan. It is well kept and apart from Chan Chan, probably the only one worth visiting. It gave a history of the area and displayed many things found during the excavation. I bought a souvenir of the ridiculous looking bird and headed back to Huanchaco.
So sacred
There I toured the town some more, visiting a beautiful church on the hill above the town. It was quaint and surrounded by lush gardens, each pillar covered in declarations of love between young couples. I sat for a while admiring the view whilst a man clanged the bell every minute or so with two rocks. There was a parade going on somewhere in the town (they do love their parades), and it was getting closer. About 5 minutes later I realised I was in the middle of a funeral, when the casket started making a beeline for the church. I scarpered sharpish, though I didn't look particularily out of place. I don't know if it's standard for funerals but I hope it is. What seemed to be about half the townsfolk had been parading through town with the coffin followed by a brass band which were belting out some cracking tunes. There were tonnes of people following in tow, none dressed formally and the whole affair seemed light hearted. I certainly wouldn't mind going out that way.
I descended to the beach and strolled along the peir, watching some Pelicans feed for a while and people fishing en masse off the peir. Before long I found Jamie in a bar on the beach and we sat for a while relaxing and watching a wounded Pelican amble slowly down the beach past all the crowds of people. It stopped a few feet from us because the bar owners hairless mutt was barking frantically at it. When it got near though, the bird stretched its humungous wings and the dog shat a brick and shut up then. I went back up to the church to watch the sunset over the horizon, and the bloke was back clanging the bell again.
It was to be my last sunset in Peru, but with each clang it felt like it was the last sunset ever.

You're coming back tomorrow...right?
We ate a decent meal at the hostel with Erik, said our goodbyes and took a taxi to the bus station. We were cutting it fine, and first of all stopped at the wrong station illiciting some panic. We needn't have worried though, we got to the "El Sol" station with 15 minutes to spare, but didn't end up setting off for another 45. This was more megabus right here. The attractive stewardesses of Movil Tours had been swapped for a balding, moustachioed man with a beer belly, and the bright orange seats were squashed in tight. The 12 hours passed slowly, and the interior of the bus was roughly a thousand degrees. I sat there with my legs being squished by the woman in front, sweating slowly, trying to find an arrangement of my appendages that didn't cause too much pain. Oh well, onward to Tumbes.


  1. Did the bird look like Jack drew it?

    1. Now that you mention it, it is similar to the ones he makes you feel obliged to stick on the fridge

  2. Bless him. I like the ones he does with pasta and doilies.