Easter on the Beach

Once again, I seem to be losing track of time here in Peru.  There is always something going on, and as you might have notice I have not done a great job of keeping up with blogging.  Sorry about that.  I will try to summarize the last few weeks as much as I can.

Easter (which was already two weeks ago now!) was a lot of fun.  A big group of my friends went to Trujillo and Pacasmayo for four days.  Trujillo, the third biggest city in Peru, is located on the northern coast and Pacasmayo, a smaller beach town, is about an hour and a half north of there.

We bused overnight to Trujillo and immediately went to our housemate’s family home there, where we were greeted with a nice breakfast.  After checking into our hotel, we all headed over to Chan Chan, an ancient city of the Chimu civilization, which is one of the native societies that existed in Peru before the arrival of the Spanish.  The site was interesting and our guide taught us a lot about what the representations and areas meant.  The most impressive part to me was when we saw the artificial wetland that the Moches had built within their palace.

CHAN CHAN PIC
Part of the maze-like interior of Chan Chan

After touring the ruins, we headed to the beach.  It was too cold and overcast for us to go swimming, but we all had a blast playing goofy games.

BEACH PIC

The next day, we got up early and went to see more ruins.  This time, we went to Huacas del Sol y la Luna, two structures of the Moche civilization that made up their capital from the first century A.D. until the ninth.  Only the Huaca de la Luna is open to the public.  It was an interesting, multi-level temple where the Moches used to perform human sacrifices and other religious rituals.  Unlike Chan Chan, where the paint had long ago worn off, some of the designs in Huaca del Sol still were in color, which was really impressive.

A centuries old carving of the God of the Mountain
A centuries old carving of the God of the Mountain

We spent the afternoon in the modern city of Trujillo, visiting the Plaza de Armas, the central square of the city (and any city in Peru founded by the Spanish.)  It was a nice park area, surrounded by some beautifully colorful buildings.  Since we had such an early morning though, we spent a good chunk of the rest of the afternoon napping.

Plaza de Armas in Trujillo
Plaza de Armas in Trujillo

The next day we headed to Pacasmayo.  Our hostel was only a couple blocks from a really nice beach.  The first day there, we hiked way up to an emptier spot on the beach, where we played soccer, threw a frisbee around, swam, and relaxed.  For a late lunch we had some delicious ceviche, before heading back to the beach to catch the sunset.

PACASMAYO PIC 1

PACASMAYO PIC 2

We spent the next day mostly on the beach as well before finally heading back to Lima.  The weekend was a lot of fun and fairly relaxing too.

The past two weeks have not been quite so relaxing.  I had my first test this week (in the form of a “reading control,’ where you are tested solely on the reading material through a few essay questions.)  I spent some time preparing for that, and I hope it paid off.  I have another one next week in a different class, so I am still busy hitting the books.

It is hard to believe I have already been here a month.  Although the temperature has dropped a little, it still feels like summer here.  I have started settling into my classes and a routine though.  Hopefully I will have some more exciting adventures soon.

 

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