Tuesday 9 November 2010

North Peru: surfing and archaeology

Huancachao, home of a great surf break, and some amazing adobe archaeological sites.

Huaca de la Luna (The Temple of the Moon) is a adobe (mud brick) temple built in stages from 100 to 700 AD.  Archaeological work to unearth the site only began in 1991, and revealed amazingly intact paint throughout the temple, and a huge multi-tier façade, the bottom tier of which was only uncovered in 2007.

Work is yet to begin on the adjoining Huaca del Sol, seen at the back of the photo below.  This whole area is an archaeological goldmine, just waiting for someone to fund the digs.

We visited the rainbow temple and the only palace that has been unearthed from the giant complex of palaces called Chan Chan.  It is the largest adobe city in the world, and covers 36 sq km.  The partially restored Tschudi complex we saw was massive, and wasn't even the biggest in the area.

From Huancachao we travelled to Mancora, Peru's answer to Byron bay, near the Ecuadorian border.  Great surf and a party atmosphere.  I hired a board, but lacked any real surfing fitness so the paddle out battling a strong current was tough.  Below is the view from our hotel, which opened straight onto the beach right at the surf break.

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