The past couple days I have been in Huanchaco, a small beach town outside of Trujillo. The main reason people visit either of these towns is to visit the surrounding ruins.
I arrived on the night bus from Huaraz with two French guys and a Spanish guy, so we decided to visit the Chan Chan ruins together. I have to admit, I wasn’t overly impressed. Part of it was surely that we decided not to spend the extra money to hire a guide (being that there wasn’t a common language between all of us that we could listen in), and so we were basically wandering around a big mud-adobe area that was, well, pretty ruined. You could only sort of imagine what it must have been back in the first century when it was built.
The main complex, the museum, and two huacas (temples) are all included in the entrance ticket, and crazy us decided to try walking between them all. It was a LOT of walking, and we ended up skipping out on the last huaca because we were pretty unimpressed and the ruins had thus far not been worth the effort!
So we all separately made our ways back to Huanchaco. I spent some time walking along the beach. It was nice to be on the ocean, but I have to admit that it really made me miss a lot of people from home, our random trips in college to Charleston or Myrtle Beach, or spring breaks in Florida. It would have been nice to have someone to share it with.
There’s really nothing much to do in Huanchaco, so by 9pm we were all back in our dorm, all on our netbooks just making use of the hostel’s wifi!
Today Oriol (the Spanish guy) and I headed out early to buy our bus tickets for tonight and to visit the Huacas del Sol y Luna. These were much more impressive (to me) than Chan Chan. The Huaca del Sol is just a huge pyramid. The Huaca del Luna you can actually go inside, and what I liked about it was how well preserved all the murals were. They were all over, and many still retained their color! It was definitely more interesting.
We took lunch in the Plaza de Armas in Trujillo, which is surely the only nice place in the city! The buildings around it are colorful and it looks really nice! The lunch was different. I got the famous Peruvian dish, aji de gallina, which was fine enough. But the soup I got before (it was a cheap 4.50 soles set lunch) came out complete with an entire chicken foot still in it. The little chicken claw was sticking out of the soup staring me down the whole time and kind of made me lose my appetite!
Then it was back to Huanchaco again. While it is definitely nice staying by the sea rather than in Trujillo, it is a bit of a pain getting the collectivo back and forth between them (about 30 minutes each way). The collectivos get very crowded, and the seats are so close together it is impossible for someone with even slightly long legs to fit in them! Today we somehow found ourselves squeeze into the back seat multiple times, which meant crushed legs and banging heads on the ceiling!
All in all, Trujillo was a pretty necessary stopover on my way up the coast, but it’s been gray and the ruins weren’t exactly life changing, so I am ready to head up the coast to Mancora tonight!
Accomodation: Hostel Naylamp – 15 soles/nt for dorm; right on the beach, has wifi, hot water, all the regular necessities, a nice courtyard with hammocks. Breakfast not included, but has a decent cafe that is open all day. I’d say it’s probably the best deal you’ll find in town.