Trujillo, Peru – Deliquesced Moche pyramids and: Stuck

The Moche pyramids
Two adobe pyramids of the Moche culture in the south of Trujillo are washed away from rain and covered by sand for the most part. The Huaca de Luna and the Huaca del Sol – names are completely fictitious – are about 700 years older than Chan Chan. Huaca del Sol that suggests to be Peru’s largest building, isn’t explored yet and its remnants can only be seen from outside. Huaca de Luna is partially cleared of sand, its interior can be visited. It must have been a ceremonial centre and a tomb. During generations five pyramids were built, one covering the other completely. Hence the detailed coloured friezes were partially excellently preserved. There is no reconstruction in Huaca de Luna, only preservation.
The admission fee of 10 PEN includes a guide, it’s not allowed to enter without. A tip is expected anyway. Our English speaking guide is listless, arrogant, and has a cold. No good combination to alleviate our guide allergy. “The Spaniards took everything from us”, whines the obviously thoroughbred Moche/Chimú (at least his nose looks exactly like those ones on the friezes). That is true. But he keeps the fact that grave robbers from their own ranks ply their dreadful trade still today. Remaining finds from the graves are exhibited in the museum on the opposite side, 3 PEN. Earlier travellers camped on the ruin’s parking lot (S 08°08’12.7’’ W 78°59’31.5’’).

We follow Pan Am south. Before we head back into the mountains we want to enjoy the Pacific one more time. We simply turn right through the desert to the sea. We find tracks that we can follow. After kilometres they disappear into nothing, there is a cemetery of dry branches and trunks between us and the sea, which nearly make access to the beach impossible. It’s hard to believe it’s driftwood. More probable it must have been a plantation that was abandoned and withered.
As we think to have found a passage we already sink to the axles into the sand. It is so soft that all dodges don’t help. Joerg shovels half of the desert, and the sand boards are deployed for the first time. Unfortunately it doesn’t work on the first attempt and we have to dig again. It could have been faster though. Enthusiastic about the desert we forgot to reduce tyre pressure – something we usually do even when road surface changes. Now we have to pay for our carelessness. It works on the second attempt, but suddenly we don’t want to go to the beach anymore, but rather turn into the desert. The area is called Pampa Blanca, but don’t dare to go there without 4WD (S 08°48’10.7 W 78°41’08.2’’).

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