Days: 283-284 (5 April 2015)
Total distance travelled: 54,413.5 kilometres (33,797.2 miles)
Finally back close to sea level and what a surprise when the Easter Bunny even managed to find me in the dusty, desert girt town of Chiclayo!
We had arrived late in the previous afternoon, but had thankfully already had our lodging booked in advance, one of the few hostels in town we could find that had a kitchen… only when we arrived, there was no kitchen!
Settling on a dinner of tomato, cheese, beer and crackers, thankfully we weren’t too far from the fairly attractive main plaza… at least the following morning we had chocolate!
As attractive as its main plaza and immediate surrounds may be, it was more ruins that lured us here, the most famous of these being Sipan situated a little ways out of town.
That said, even though it wasn’t to be our primary interest, there’s nothing to stop us from enjoying Chiclayo all the same!
A short walk on a hot Sunday morning (Easter Sunday to be precise) took us out to where we hoped we’d find a ride out to the ruins, a task that proved fairly easy.
As with most colectivo’s however, they rarely leave until they are full, so as we sat there waiting for the van to fill, we began to realise how truly hot the morning was!
With sweat starting to bead and us looking longingly at the various drink vendors that roamed the terminal (we did doubt however, how cold their beverages might actually be), we sat there waiting…
Eventually it did fill and we were finally on our way.
The trip started smoothly in a very literal sense as we cruised along a well-sealed highway, however it was little time at all before we found ourselves gripping our seats as we turned off along a bone jarringly rough local road, our van weaving its way across whatever side of the road it desired in an effort to avoid the deepest, canyon like potholes!
We eventually made the town near the ruins, which in truth was a reasonably short journey, made to feel longer thanks to that horrible road.
A little further on, actually past the ruins was our stop, as a few hundred metres more on sat the museum with its attached ticket office.
Given that we were already there, we opted to investigate it first, before charging our way back down the road to view the ruins.
The museum, it was in fact pretty good.
Aside from some cool ceramics (this was truly some of the better stuff we’d seen in a while), there were items cast in metal, both precious and not so.
We were able to appreciate some of the bodies removed from the tombs and in some we’d not before encountered, there was even an area where select pieces of pottery had been re-created, and we were allowed to get all hands on and touch them!
The ruins themselves were something quite interesting, as much for how different they were to anything else we’d previously visited.
Initially, we explored the excavated tombs themselves, some with original pieces still within, but generally, reproductions of the artifacts we’d already appreciated in the museum.
We also found some unusual companions for much of this meander, in the form of some cool looking owls (I’d always assumed them to be mostly nocturnal, so we were surprised to see several during the heat of the day)!
The area was surrounded by what we’d assumed were weather worn hills, but in fact these hills, which were truly weather worn, were man made, the remains of the former temples of the site.
It almost seemed ridiculous, trying to imagine these as human constructs (when they looked so natural), but then, in seemingly random points, the soil will have fallen away and we could indeed view the stonework that lay beneath!
Our minds immediately began to wonder how many of the similar looking rocks formations we’d passed on the journey out here were in fact other archaeological sites, rather than rocky crags!
Finally content with the time we’d spent, we sat down to wait for a colectivo to ferry us back to Chiclayo, our original plans of then continuing on to another, apparently similar ruin site abandoned in favour of beer and lunch thanks to the heat!
We were able to tide ourselves over for a period of time thanks to a perfectly placed ice-cream vendor who was able to catch the foot traffic from either site, and finally, after perhaps 40 minutes, a colectivo did finally show and our time at the ruins was done…
* Our bus from Cajamarca to Chiclayo cost us $25.00 Soles per person
* The ruins of Huaca Rajada – Sipan cost $8.00 Soles each for entrance to both the museum & the ruins site.
* A colectivo from Chiclayo to Huaca Rajada cost $3.00 Soles per person in each direction.