Heading to the sea, we took a night bus to Trujillo. This lovely little town had some excellent restaurants (and cocktails) beside a quaint sea side. Excited about being near the sea again 3 of us hired body boards and went out to test the Peruvian waters. Unfortunately it was hard to catch good waves and a strong current kept pulling us down the beach. It was still fun to try though! The scrummy mango and strawberry daiquaris also helped the situation!
Day 2 was back to exploring ruins. We went to visit Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the world. Built around AD 1300 and covering 28sq km Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. At the height of the Chimu Empire, it housed an estimated 60,000 inhabitants and contained a vast wealth of gold, silver and ceramics. The wealth remained undisturbed after the city was conquered by the Incas, but was taken by the Spanish. As far as ruins go this was of a ginormous scale, of which we only saw a small part. Huge walls lined massive squares decorated with pelicans and other signs of fishing. It was quite incredible. Restoration has been done, and some part of me asked how accurate it was. There seemed few examples from what had been discovered to what was restored. I guess they knew what they were doing though.
In the middle of this vast city was a lake surrounded by reeds. It added a lovely effect to the impact of the adobe. We were shown around one palace of the city, of which there were 9. Apparently when one king died, this was closed off with all his wives and closest advisors buried with the king! A new palace was then built for the new king. A very different world.
After a brief Chinese lunch we got local buses to the Dragon Temple. Again an adobe ruin, this was tiny in comparison to Chan Chan. Having not hired a guide we did not learn much about the temple. However, it was beautiful in its own way in detail. The top of the temple also gave stunning views over Trujillo. A bit ruined out, we soon departed and headed back to the lure of beach and cocktails.