After having spent two wonderful days vacationing in Mancora
, it was now time to move to my next destination- Trujillo. Since I had only a month to spare, I did not have the luxury to spend more than two or max three days in any city. This was very surprising to the other
backpackers I met, as all were travelling for a time span of more than 3
months across South America and had enough time to spend as many days as they preferred in a city they found interesting. Initially when I was making the itinerary for my trip, I was under the impression that this is way to long a time to travel alone. But now after talking to
so many backpackers, my perception has changed.
I had bought my ticket for Trujillo a day in advance(though I was initially planning to buy it at the spot), and thank god that I did. I was particularly insistent on buying a ticket for a bus which left in the morning, as I wanted to avoid overnight travel. But every bus company I went to, mentioned that they had buses which left only at night. Finally after an hour of searching, I found out that a company called ‘El Dorado’
in the morning at 9 am. This bus required us to change buses in Piura(3 hrs away from Mancora) and get into another bus of the same company which would finally reach Trujillo at 7 in the evening. Since this was the only option I had, I purchased the ticket for 50 soles(USD 17). By the way, the seller was so fascinated that I was from India that he spent 15 minutes telling me all about his love for Indian movies and for Kareena Kapoor(a famous Bollywood actress
) and made me listen to Bollywood songs from YouTube while singing along with the music. I literally had to tell him that it was time I left, else I am
sure he would have started showing his dance moves in those songs as well ;).
So one thing that I have noticed about the Peruvian buses is that they
leave right on time, and this bus company was no different. I think
thanks to my nationality, the ticket seller was kind to me and had alloted me the front seat of the upper deck. It was an amazing view of
landscapes that I was able to see, all thanks to the seat.
Exactly 3 hours later we were at Piura and then had to wait an hour for the next bus ride to begin. In between that time, I managed to go and find reasonable local food as I was starving to the core. I love the fact
that 2 dollars can get you a good size meal anywhere in Peru.An hour
later, I was settled again in the new bus prepared for my next 6 long hour journey. Somehow the bus journeys do
n’t bother me much as most of the time I spend in writing my blogs or reading books and also seeing the scenery around. And so before I knew it, there I was in Trujillo
. By the time we had reached the bus station it was around 6 pm.
I had realised after the mistake I had made in Mancora, that I should pick up my bus tickets in advance and thus as soon as I got down from the bus, I asked the taxi guy to take me to either the office of CIVA or Cruz deal Sur.My cabbie was an old guy(I prefer experienced drivers as they seem safer) and he started cribbing about the fare discussed initially since he was not aware that he would have to wait. Plus after buying the ticket, when we went off in search of my hostel, it took us another 30 minutes to locate the address. I was scared he is going to ask me get off the cab and to find my own way, and thus had all my angry Spanish words ready in hand. Thankfully the situation never came and he dropped me at the desired address.
That’s another story that for a minute I got a scare when after I rang the bell outside the house, a person in broken English told me I had the wrong address. Whatttt….. But immediately the door was opened and another lady came out and apologised for the confusion. It was the right address and she led me to my room… Finally, I was here at my hostel called The Florian B&B, Trujillo.
|Plaza Armas, Trujillo
The good part about the room was- I had a living room AND a private
bathroom, the bad part was that there was no hot water to take a shower(
by the morning there was no water at all). The good part was that my
bedroom had a television, the bad part was that the television had no
English channels. The good part was that I had a kitchen and a microwave in it, the bad part was I had no food to warm up in it. The good part was that there was wifi, the bad part was that it did not work.
But with all the ups and downs I still managed to have an amazing night’s
sleep since I was super tired. That’s all that really matters in the end
i.e. to be fresh for the next day.
|Freedom Monument at Plaza Armas
I was up by 8.30 am and took my time to get ready. I was out on the road searching for a taxi by 10 and asked to driver to take me to the main square from where all the city tours left. The reason I decided to take a tour was because in the broken Spanish that I speak and understand, I inferred from the driver’s words was that the main city tourist spots were in the outskirts of the city. If I had to go and see these sights by myself, I would be spending around 30 soles on taxi rides apart from
more that I would have to pay for entrance fees and guides(English guides charge extra money). Instead if I went along with an organised tour, I would pay 30 soles( don’t forget to bargain with the agencies for the best quote as they always start with a higher price) and this would include transport AND an English guide as well. Hence the latter it was.
The main city square is called Plaza Armas, and is always bustling with activity. As soon as I reached I booked my tour and immediately a mini bus came to pick me. The bus already had 8 other tourists and all from various different nationalities. Till the time we reached our first spot, most of us had briefly exchanged our travel stories.
Our first stop was the Huaca de la Luna and the Huaca del Sol ruins. The same were about 20 minutes drive away during which our guide(Henry) gave a wonderful brief history of the ancient civilisation, about what to expect at the sight and also a brief about the city Trujillo. He was really very informative and answered any and every question that any tourist had( Yours truly had the maximum questions but of course).
|Mueso de Huaca del Luna and the ruins.
We bought our tickets at the counter for the museum and the entry to the ruins for 15 soles and then had half an hour to explore the museum on our own after which we were to meet our guide at the entrance of the ruins.
I am not sure if it is because I am traveling alone, or if I have become
all grown up, but I actually found the museum very interesting. I was
never a museum kind of girl and would walk in and walk out of a museum in 10 minutes tops. But here I was spending each second of the restricted time that we had been given in reading intensely the placards describing the many artefacts that were on display. The museum was descriptive and also gave a very good idea about what the Moche civilisation was all about, about their religious beliefs, their practices, their temples etc.
|That’s Henry with the group.
Now that we had an idea of what we were about to see, we went to find our guide who took us straight in. The ruins were actually exactly that.There was sand all around and then you saw some steel sheds covering small areas which were either the temples or the residential area of the people in those days. There is desert all around and one feels like as if in Egypt.
Henry gave us a very descriptive tour of the ruins and mentioned facts like how the priests of those times were considered to be very powerful as they would perform ceremonies to please the God and to ensure that the God was happy so as to bless the people with enough rains for them to do agriculture and grow crops.
Water was the most important element at that time and hence if in a year there were no rains, the people would assume that the gods were angry and thus the priests would do all kinds of animal and human sacrifices to please the God. The ruins showed paintings and tombs and artefacts that the archaeologists have discovered over the years. In fact there still is massive archaeological work in progress as there is still a lot being discovered with every dig.
It is said that at one time when there was no rain for a long time, and when human sacrifices done by priests also did not work, the people decided to stop believing the priests and instead decided to move to another place to follow other preachers. Thus they all moved from Huaca de Lunas to another place which is called Chan Chan.
This was our next stop in the city tour. But before Chan Chan we stopped to have some local lunch in the town. 45 min later we found ourselves in Chan Chan. Like Huaca de Lunas, Chan Chan also was in a desert and there were palaces built by the Kings which were strewn across Trujillo. We visited one of these palaces, and took in a bit of what the people of Chan Chan believed and followed. Henry told us that it was a culture amongst the people that once the king died(due to any reason
) , his wife and his loyal ministers and servers would be killed and buried close to the king. Then the son of the king would take over and would have to build a new palace for his people. This continued and as such there were around 12 palaces around Trujillo of the Chan Chan dynasty.
|Water storage area in Chan Chan Palaces
Each palace occupied a wide area inside which there would be the ritual grounds(huge with a capacity of around 7000 people), private religious are for the king and his priests, temples of several gods, a well with water stored and the Kings residential area. We took a good hour to walk around all of the place after which we found ourselves back in the bus heading to the last stop before heading back and that was Huanchaco Beach.
beach which is around 20 minutes away from Trujillo town, is where most of the
tourists prefer to stay because of the close proximity to the waves. This town is very famous for surfing as well. There are many
hostels in this town and you will find small little cafes and
restaurants all around. We were given half an hour to take a walk around the beach before we headed back to Trujillo.
I walked in the beach for a bit and then settled in a cafe for a cup of coffee. It had been a great day and I needed to celebrate with a fresh cup of coffee.
At 6 we were back in town and before heading back to the hostel to get ready for my overnight bus to my next city, I decided to walk around the famous Pizzario street and get some dinner packed on the way back. The street is very famous and is super busy all the time. There are restaurants and casinos that majorly fill up the two sides of the road. Definitely worth a visit.
At 7 I was back in my room, had my dinner, relaxed for a while till it was time to leave for the bus station.
A day well spent in exploring Trujillo. Pat on the back for the great work ;).
Now am all set for my next city i.e. the capital city Lima. Great hopes for this city.
Keep reading on for more on Peru.