Yat's Big Trip travel blog

Entering the Chan Chan archeological site

Beginning the 1km walk to the palace

First *distinguisable* structure...

Jason, Margaret and Ronan having a peep over the wall

School children running wild over the desolate sand piles

Approaching the sleek visitors' centre

Resting whilst waiting for our guide

Walking into the restored Palace

Motifs of sea otters on the wall

Standing in the arena...

...and looking to the left...



Idols guarding gate

Good thing about Latin America... you can touch the ruins!!

Fish motifs on walls, signifying importance of fish nearby on the coast

as were fishnets

U-shaped niches for idol worshipping (2 long vertical lines representing male and...

Love the soft roundedness!

Lots of symbols included... diamond shaped fish nets...

Can you see what this could be?


More pelicans with fish nets...

The unexcavated in front of the restored

Moving onto the great artificial *well*...

...providing fish...

...and platform for ceremonial sacrifices! Lovely!

Tomb of the King, buried with twelve concubines plus other goodies

Courtyard of storages...

and finally our cute little guide, Iris

After all the lazing on the beach and seemingly endless hours on the bus, it was time to do something cultural for a change. We hooked up with Avril and Jason's friends from Quito, a Dutch couple called Margaret and Ronin, and we made group excursion to Chan Chan - the star attraction to Trujillo.

There were many different and wonderful civilisations apart from the Incas in Peru, the ChimĂș people being among one of these. They were prominent in the areas between Lima and Tumbes (near the border with Ecuador) shortly after Christ, until they were conquered by the Incas around 1460. They were great builders, who managed to build a total of nine palaces for their various kings. Each palace was a sizeable city, sustaining a population of around 6000 people! Chan Chan was their capital, though power was transferred to Cuzco by the Incas, later stopped totally by the Spaniards. It is also the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas, as well as being the largest mud-brick city in the world.

As mentioned in the previous entry, the present day ruins did little credit to this engineering feat. The present day road in fact was built across two old palaces, this was discovered twenty years later, when excavation work took place in 1964. This is how prominently looking the numerous piles of sand hills of Chan Chan look!

Anyway, as we walked down the 1km dirt road to excavated and restored palace, now known as Tschudi Compound, the rubbles begun to take on the shape of old walls. They have done a good job of restoring the palace, showing clearing the corridors, arenas, storages etc, and even reconstructing some of the fishnet relieves found on the walls. Due to a lack of roof, and the partially erected walls, it was harder to comprehend exactly what it must have felt like to be in the palace.

Hence, our guide Iris - a small Ecuadorian lady (my shoulder height!) wearing a broad brimmed hat, and speaking rapid and rolled Spanglish - helped to bring the palace to life. She had a lot of information, much appreciated, but knew barely more than the prescribed texts, and was unable to answer many of our questions (well, she didn't really understand!). But still, I have learnt a lot about the building of Chan Chan by the ChimĂș people!

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