Sunday, 4 March 2012

Trujillo and the Huan de Luna

Christmas tree sponsored by the Smurfs
Trujillo is a fairly small, easy to explore town whose main square was nicely decorated with many different corporately sponsored Christmas trees.  In fact, this seems to be the norm in Peru as we saw a few towns with Christmas trees and all their decorations were company sponsored.  A great way to make a town look in the Christmas spirit without the council having to fork out for it....

The best one by far was the tree advertising the new Smurf's movie - it had about 9 smurfs the size of small children around the tree, with a Smurf house as well - it was very realistic and impressive.

Colourful fresco at Huan de Luna
Asides from the Smurfs, the main attraction in Trujillo is to visit the nearby Huan de Luna (the Chan Chan ruins are also close by, but even though they are impressively large, they've been almost completely washed away by natural means and damaged by Spanish grave robbers who deliberately redirected the rivers water flow to pass through the once impressive mud brick structures).  So we jumped in a collectivo and went to visit the Huan de Luna.  The admission price included a free tour, and since we were the only ones there, we had a private tour with Ruth who was a fantastic guide.

The fascinating thing about the site is that it's still being excavated, so far only two of the five levels of the main pyramid structure have been dug out.  Each level dates back 200 years and is better preserved than the previous one because each level was completely filled in before building the new one on top.  Although it's only partially excavated, the complex is massive with impressive frescoes and paintings that have been unearthed, many depicting war scenes and ritual sacrifices.  It was well worth the visit and in 20 years or so when the rest has been exposed and restored, it will be one of the must visit sites in Peru.  That's our prediction anyway...

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