My first time ever in Peru landed me in a town called Trujillo. The place is extremely desolate and in many places severely impoverished. I scored an all-day shore excursion that would take me to some of the most significant historical and archaeological sights in Peru. Along the drive we saw little to nothing in terms of scenery. The dry conditions allowed for mostly dirt and a few cacti on the sides of the road for a good portion of the drive. Without much warning, about halfway through our trip to the first stop, greens and crops popped up in place of the brown rocks and dirt. Without much rain, the fields rely heavily on the large ditches to carry water to the thirsty harvest.
Our first stop of the day was at the Huaca Cao Viejo and its museum. The beautifully preserved site offered us wall carvings and paintings complete with real human foot bones, as well as the original grave of the Dama de Cao, or Lady of Cao. This estimated 25-year-old woman held significant standings at the time of her death 1700 years ago, evident with her embellished jewels and well-preserved body tattoos, still faintly visible on her dry skin. The 4’7” royal lady is available for viewing in the museum, very well preserved due to the dryness and warmth of her tomb.
Our second stop took us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Chan Chan Temple, the largest Pre-Colombian city in South America. Highly renovated, it offers a mostly accurate understanding of what once was. Near to the ocean, many of the carvings showed representations of sea life in the forms of fish, seabirds, and fishing nets.
Our final stop along our historical loop allowed us to see the Huaca de la Luna, or Temple of the Moon, just mere football fields away from its neighboring, Temple of the Sun. This was the most impressive of the Temples we visited, as it is the most grand in size, hosting over 140 million adobe bricks.
Although my knowledge and understanding of the significance of these sites has a lot of growth potential, I still enjoy being surrounded by the lingering history of the ancient past.