Is there anything interesting in Chiclayo? Nope. Ok, ok, there is a witchcraft market, some cathedral and two or three old buildings. But around the city there are few places worth visiting. Such as Túcume, the valley of the pyramids.
A bit of Wikipedia. There were different peoples living there. In the order: Lambayeque/Sican (800-1350 AD), Chimú (1350–1450 AD) and Inca (1450–1532 AD). On the surface of about 220 ha (540 acres) one can find 26 major pyramids and mounds from Lambayeqe/Sican period. The other name of the place is Purgatorio, Purgatory – the same as the hill in the center of the site. Wikipedia mode off.
I was walking to the museum from the nearest town. On the both sides of the road dried corn fields. The asphalt overblown with sand. Vultures and burning sun over my head. As in a film.
I managed to get to the museum for 5 soles. About 1.5$. Instead of 12 soles. Thanks to my French student ID valid till the end of the year. In Ecuador there are no discounts for French students.
I was told that there are two trails. You can buy tickets for one of them or one ticket for both. I have no idea how they control it. It’s difficult to watch over people running freely on over 500 acres.
Pyramides are… well, rather were. Few years ago many of them were destroyed. Following the heavy rains, they got damaged and someone somewhere decided that it was not possible to save them, so they just rased them. Till today no responsible person was found. There is a memory board in the museum about it, though.
They melted. The pyramids are made out of adobe, a dirt brick. Dried, not-fired. It melts under the influence of water. Normally it doesn’t rain in Túcume. Normally.
Few centuries made their work and today Purgatorio looks rather like hell than a human dwelling. It’s still an amazing view – definitely worth seeing.
Another pre-Inca archeological site is located in Sipán. What was there, however, was dug out and moved to Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán (Museum of the Royal Tombes) in Lambayeque. The findings from the graves of the lords of Sipán from the Moche culture are impressing. The museum from the outside not really and it was the only picture I was allowed to take as I was made to leave my camera and cellphone before the entrance. And it’s said to be one of the best museums in the world…
In Túcume there is, however, the living element. Maybe besides the cemetery of naked dogs which guarded the museum from it’s beginning. There are the vultures flying above the whole terrain and some funny owls living in the ground between the paths. Flying meerkats.