As sick as a Peruvian Dog
Ahh Peru....it hasn't been all beauty comps and brick laying for moi in the last two weeks...in fact in the last week I was struck down by quite a nasty lurgy, the kind of stomach bug that I distinctly remember wishing for when I was back in Sydney and a tad bit chubbier.Yes, the kind of bug that makes the idea of any kind of food repulsive and the bathroom your new best friend. For three days and nights I was trapped in a hotel room in Cajamarca where I travelled from bed to bathroom and watched endless facinating shows on cable tv such as the 'Tara Reid story' or the 'Secrets of Lara Flynn Boyle' - lovely.
But thank god for drugs as Ed was finally able to rouse me from my sick bed to make the 8 hour trip south to the city of Trujillo and the beach town of Huanchaco. When we rounded the corner into Haunchaco I spied the ocean for the first time in almost 3 months and heaved a sigh of relief.......I am most definately a coastal person. I get nervous being up in those hills for too long. But the pleasure of seeing the water was quickly negated by the fact the 'beach' was dirty, covered in rubbish and the water was icy cold. The only people who were surfing or swimming were the pommy tourists who seemed quite chuffed with their tropical paradise - poor things really dont seem to know any better.
So beach plans shelved, Eduardo and I decided to go see the ruins that are famous in the area instead and they didnt disapoint. The first lot were whopping great mud temples out in the desert built by the Moche people about 800 years before the Spanish arrived. Because it almost never rains on the coast of Peru the mud buildings have survived reasonably intact with intricate sculptures and paintings on the way in bright colours. Mind you the Mocho were a bit bloodthirsty and fond of sacrificing large numbers of people each year to appease the gods and the weather. Next stop was the incredibly huge Chan Chan - a city spanning over 30 ks and was the capital for the Chimu people who supposedly arrived out of the ocean and set up shop. their cities and palaces were also made out of mud and incredibly have survived in parts also. The Chimu werent quite as bloodthirsty but were rather fond of mummifying their kings and digging them up each year so everyone could have a look.
The incredible mud city of Chan Chan
When we head to Chan Chan in the afternoon there are two more dogs that look exactly the same, this cant be a coincidence so I ask our guide Jose who says happily "Oh they're not sick, they are just Peruvian Dogs - they are meant to look like that". These dogs have lived with the Peruvian people for centuries and have turned up in artwork from civilizations over a thousand years old. Apparently they have high body temperatures and were very popular for snuggling up to at night - check them out - don't they look cuddly? www.travelblog.org/Photos/54759.html