"There is a chicken's foot in your soup."
"Well, that looks like a brain in yours."
Hmmm... "Yes it does, but it isn't. Enjoy your claw!", I chuckled as Andrea pushed the floating foot around her bowl. Also in the soup were potatoes, noodles, carrots and herbs, and despite the intruding appendange it was quite good. We had, as usual, ordered the dish of the day after collapsing into the wobbly wooden chairs at a popular little restaurant having just spent three hours on our feet at a first class museum. The museum of the Real Tombs of Sipan in Lambayaque (20 minutes from Chiclayo where the night bus had delivered us to at 5am that morning) was quite strict - The ticket issuer explained that the only photos we were allowed to take were of the outside of the building and of the baggage check room. "Why would we want a photo of the baggage check room?!"
We headed toward the museum entrance but were ushered down the ramp to the baggage check room by a security guard. "Wow, they sure think this room deserves a spot in our holiday album!" And then, when the lady there confiscated our camera, the penny dropped - photo equipment was to be left there while one explored the museum. It is irritating not being allowed to take photos, but this is certainly a much more effective way of enforcing the rule than the method employed in Italy. In Florence, the statue of David is guarded by a troll of a woman who stalks around it barking "No photo" and thus everyone plays a sort of a hungry-hippos game trying to get the sculpture into a shot without getting spotted and yelled at.
The museum houses the artefacts from the most important archaeological find in 30 years. In 1987, they decided to excavate a huge mud pile (the first century temple's adobe bricks had turned back to sand over 1900 years) in neighboring Huaca Rayada and found 12 tombs, including the King of Sipan's undisturbed by grave robbers. Thousands of ceramic vases, pots and sculptures were discovered, many completely undamaged and so detailed and advanced that some wouldn't be out of place at Pottery Barn today. As were gold, silver and bronze jewellery, weapons and ceremonial pieces. Like the Egyptians, the Sipan royalty were buried with their wives, servants and guards as well as animal offerings, all there to serve them in the netherworld. And the museum professionally displayed the original bones and artefacts; life size models of the tombs at the time of discovery; and how the tombs would have looked on the burial day. To top it off, the last room housed an animatronic spectacle with all the dead people in their heyday playing music and listening to the king. We were well impressed. And when we went to retrieve the camera, the museum employee who checked it out insisted that we ensure that it hadn't been interfered with and was in good working order, so Andrea tested it and we got that coveted shot of the baggage check room after all.
The second course of the dish of the day held no surprises and we caught a 'combi' (I'm chuffed that they call minivans combis here like we do in SA) back to Chiclayo where we watched Barcelona beat Man United in the Champions League final. There, we also wondered through the Mercado de los Brujos (Witches Markets), a marketplace for shamanistic herbs and potions but the only elixir which we splashed out for was Coca-Cola.