Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Truly Trujillo

I’ve never been to Trujillo, Peru. It's located on the northwestern coast of Peru and is the 3rd most populous city in Peru.  It's in the La Libertad region, which reflects its political history as the cradle of liberty.  Trujillo gained its independence from the Spanish in 1820.

I arranged a private tour with a great company called Trujillo del Peru, for about 20 of us.  This is a great tour company - on time, responsive during the booking process, professional.  Their two buses they provided included a driver and an English speaking tour guide.  The guides and drivers wear company shirts so you can easily recognize them.  Our guide on my bus was William.  He clearly loves his work, and is full of knowledge about the area and everything we saw.  He was born and still lives in Trujillo.

Our tour included visits to the La Huaca del Sol (temple of the sun) and La Huaca de la Luna (temple of the moon), Chan Chan, a UNESCO world heritage site, the city plaza of Trujillo, a visit to a restored wealthy home alongside the plaza, and a lunch visit to Huanchaco Beach, where these cool reed boats are still used for fishing (and tourist photos.....)

The two temples - moon and sun - are ongoing archealogical sites.  These temples reflect the civilization of the Moche people, of the pre-Columbian era, and 1,000 years before the Incas.  Moche lived here from 200-900 AD.  They were a kingdom of autonomous cities sharing a common culture and were agriculturally based.  They hunted, fished, developed elaborate and sophisticated irrigation systems and held ceremonies, including sacrificial rites to offer to the god that would bring rain, as this is a place where there is very little of it.

Chan Chan is another archeological site situated about a 30 minutes drive from Trujillo.  It is the largest adobe city in the ancient world, and to walk through it would take about 3 days.  We just saw a very small portion of it.  This complex was created by the Chimu people, who were the grandchildren of the Moche.  They lived here peacefully, much like the Moche, from 900-1400 AD.  Many were artisans and this culture was similar to the Moche, but they believed in the power of the sun, moon and tides for their beneficial rains.

Reed boats with their nets

Inside Chan Chan

Pieces of furniture from the house on the Plaza de Armas

This chair has beautifully embossed leather works

This is the liberty statue in the middle of the Plaza de Armas

A hairless dog at Chan Chan.  It's just sleeping....

The courtyard inside the house

Sugar cane

Don't you just love kids, bikes and dogs running along a dirt road?

Beautiful frescoes inside Temple of the Moon - look how well the colors have survived

This honeycomb sort of design reflects the worshipping nature of the Chan Chan society - sun, moon, ocean, tides.  This is a netting design.

Long walking paths inside Chan Chan.  There are miles of this.

A reed boat

Painting of what a Moche woman might look like.

Bedroom in the house

I saw lots of bugs!!!

Adobe and brick walls are the norm here

Salaverry Port - the gateway to Trujillo.  It's a tiny little port and very barren.

More of the Temple frescoes. 

The cathedral in Trujillo.

Plaza de Armas

More Chan Chan

This one is the Temple of the Sun.  This is where all the administrative stuff was handled

Temple of the Moon

It's hard work handling a reed boat.  And really uncomfortable to sit on.

Plaza de Armas

Pristine Chan Chan

A view of the Temple of the Sun from the Temple of the Moon, with the city of Trujillo in the background.

Huanchaco Beach

Ah, dinner last night on the ship.  Salmon.

This was a water purifying station in the plaza house.

Close up of art work in Chan Chan

Corner altar at Temple of the Moon

That little pile of rocks near the center of the photo is where the sacrifice ceremonies were held

Close up of artwork at Temple of the Moon.

Now, this is a picture of a stack of money.  You see, the bank owns this house on the plaza.  It's good because there's lots of money to keep this house restored and cared for properly.

This frescoe tells the story of how the Moche society functioned.

The order of the importance of the gods, animals, etc in Moche society.

Snort wanted to try out a reed boat. He said it was too scratchy.

Plaza de Armas

This was my lunch at Huanchaco Beach.  It was prawn ceviche.  It was yummy.

Chan Chan

You can see how the layers have protected Temple of the Moon for so long and so well.

Local beer for lunch.

Artwork murals along the highway

Some drawings depicting how fish run up the Humboldt current and meet the warmer waters of the north.  Chan Chan.

Dining room of house.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Man oh Manta

The evening we were in Panama we had a Panama Hat night in the dining room. Everyone got Panama hats to wear and to keep. They’re pretty nice actually!  Last night was our second gala night so I’ve included a little food porn here. And at midnight last night, we crossed the equator. Since this was our ship’s last time through the Canal before she is turned over to the German company who bought her, the captain thought the transit should be memorialized with a photo of all of the passengers and crew. We all received a complementary copy of it as well.

For a quarter of the cost of a ship tour, Kathi, Patty and I hired a taxi this morning to take us around Manta, and up to two towns - Montecristi, and Chorillo.  These towns are known respectively for their "Panama" hat making, and for their agave fiber products.  We also stopped above the town for some nice views, and then toured around Manta for a bit.  For three hours, it cost us each $25.  When we were dropped back at the Plaza in town where the shuttle bus was, we spent a little more time browsing and shopping at the craft vendors who had set up shop there, just for our ship.  We were the only game in town today.

View of Montecristi

Man showing agave fiber after it's been bleached and boiled

Alfaro Museum above Montecristi

Our ship photo commemorating the Prinsendam's final Panama Canal transit

Workers in the agave fiber factory, spinning the fibers from the bleached plant leaves

There's a whole row along the beach of beat up and abandoned boats - some are being restored
Patty cannot decide on which Panama hat to buy

A man working hard on finishing a hat.  They are called Panama hats because they were/are sold in Panama, but the hats actually are made and come from Ecuador.

Agave fibers

Funky crabs we saw at a tabletop vendor in the middle of a traffic roundabout.  They were still alive!!

Our certificate for crossing the Equator

Tagua nut, looks like coconut and is very hard.  Is used to carve jewelry, and make buttons
Eloy Alfaro, great hero of Ecuador and early president

Snort thought he might try on a hat.

From left to right, Kathi, Patty, little lady making hat, me.
We thought this was an interesting street sigh.  Still can't figure it out.

Agave fiber loom

From the museum above Montecristi

Different bleached fibers

Inside the church in Montecristi

This little woman works bent over at nearly a 90 degree angle.  She works like this 6 hours a day

The town square in Montecrisiti.  This town is renowned for the Panama hat making.

Our table at dinner.  Standing:  Roy, me.  Sitting L to R Andrea, Jim, Patty

This is a cool statue in the middle of a roundabout between Manta and Montecristi

Our taxi driver, Fernando

Making agave mats

The agave factory

Here's some more of those crabs

Double chocolate cheesecake.  OMG, it was delish.

Filet mignon Oscar.  That's crab meat on top, and bernaise sauce.

It was raining when I took this through the window of the shuttle bus on the way back to the ship.  Manta is known for it's tuna fishing industry

View of some tuna boats at our pier