December 1st, 2008


Thanksgiving was great this year. We joined some friends for a relatively large (20 ) community gathering of foreign service folks, other ex-pats and lots of children. Since this is the beginning of the summer season, dinner was served outdoors on the patio complete with turkey, all the fixings, and our vegetarian supplement.

The next day we were off on our travels - this time to the north coastal area in Peru to the city of Trujillo.

Trujillo is a kind of cool city in the north of Peru with civilization dating back 12,000 years. One of the high points for us is that it has a rather attractive central plaza with colonial buildings surrounding a large park area. Our hotel faced onto the plaza and we were fortunate enough to get the room in the hotel with the enclosed external balcony.

These balconies are an archetectural feature around Peru on colonial buildings and - we now know - make for a lovely shaded a private area for the inhabitants to watch the world. Or a place for a glass of wine and a peaceful viewing spot to watch over the plaza.

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So what does one do in the Trujillo area? Since we are big beach fans we headed to the coast to visit the town of Huanchaco. This is a fishing village where they still use the totora reed boats (see more exotic pics of these at the Lake Titicaca post). The boats in Huanchaco are a bit more humble than in Lake Titicaca but are also used by the locals - and for rent to the tourists - for surfing. They are called caballitios, or little horses, and according to the guidebooks their use can be traced back nearly 3,000 years.

Surfing on a caballito:

Beach parking for the totora boats:

Richard considering a dip in the sea even though the sign says no jumping from the dock:

And me in classic tourist pose:

Our favorite pastime, sipping on a beverage and watching the sunset:

Trujillo really is known for its culture and history. It is home to Chan Chan, the world's largest adobe city, which we passed daily by taxi but did not actually enter. It is also home to the temples of the sun and the moon. The temple of the moon, or Huaca de la Luna was a very cool historic and architectural site made more interesting by the fact that archeologists are still in the process of unearthing it. 600 years of inhabitants built temple upon temple and thus far five overlapping temples, built in different periods, have been identified.

From the outside it is not terribly impressive, but how good will any of us look after 1,500 years?

Once I was an anthropology major - you would think I would look a bit more outdoorsy for a visit like this and leave the purse at home....

Workers still excavating by hand in the beastly desert heat:

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