Loading Map...

Into Peru - and a detour to visit a museum in Chiclayo

Written on: Saturday August 30th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

To be honest, we´re not looking forward to Peru.  Travellers coming the other way never seem to rave about it like other countries, and it's a bit more expensive.  Still, it does have some of South America´s highest/oldest/best sights, so our aim is to do a few stops at the places we want to see over 3 weeks.    But we are so easily distracted! 

Some people have told us about a great museum we shouldn´t miss, so we make our first stop Chiclayo, arriving at an awkward 2am.  We are at our taxi drivers mercy when he tells us the hostel we want is closed and confidently takes us to another one.  Too tired to insist, it worked out ok because it wasn´t too much more expensive and besides, it had ESPN+ so Al got to watch some "life-threateningly important" rugby match.  The town is fairly industrial, polluted with thousands of taxis all honking their horns at the sight of our tourist heads bobbing above all the others.   It´s a Saturday, and every intersection has at least 5 schoolkids out there in uniforms with whistles, directing the traffic!  At the very busy crossroads they are housed little towers. The museum was worth the detour.  It displays everything found in an ancient royal tomb (pyramid style) and is well laid out so you can see how it was found, and how it has all been restored.  Most of the findings were discovered in the past 20 years, which is lucky because 2 tombs found in the 70´s were looted and little is left.  We teamed up with two american girls, and paid a guide who we geekily quizzed about the artefacts – impressive gold items such as headbands, bracelets, gold panels to cover their lower spine, and huge necklaces strung up of tiny turquoise beads.  The kings were buried with their wife, mistress, medicine man, servant, food and llamas – everything a man needs to survive in the next life. 

Afterwards we had lunch with our new museum-geek friends.  They are vegetarian, which can prove a little difficult here, especially in smaller towns!  They generally don´t consider chicken to be meat, and would certainly consider vegetable soup that had meat stock or a big meat bone floating in it to be vegetarian.  So she went ahead and asked for vegetarian pasta, and then listed some examples of meat?beef, chicken, pork? just so he got the message.  Ops – she didn´t mention ham, which is what arrived on her pasta!  So round 2, a new plate comes back looking suspiciously the same with the meat picked out, she felt confident she could sniff out any trace of that happening.   Ops – wrong!  A tell-tale piece of ham they missed appeared halfway through the meal.

The museum didn´t allow photos and town was so unimpressive we didn´t take one photo here (although I would have liked one of the kids directly traffic).  So no album this time.