The Diary

October 13th 2003 Cont'd

We carried on down the Panamerican, intending to visit the Tucume archeological site, before heading onto Sipán, another archeological site to camp for the night. But we missed the turning (it's the big huge massive junction where the old Panamerican joins the new Panamerican) and headed through Lambayeque and into Chiclayo. We found a hotel that allowed us to use their car park for a couple of hours, wandered around town, went to the market and bought some veg and fruit (Sue couldn't bring herself to buy any "fresh" meat from the market), had lunch and checked up on emails. We still couldn't find any road maps for sale.

We then headed out of town for Sipán, also known as La Huaca Rayada. The site was discovered in 1987 by grave robbers. As objects then started to appear on the black market, local archaeologists realised that a burial site must be being ransacked. A number of tombs were found, including a royal Moche burial, the Lord of Sipán. This was the most interesting tomb, and supposedly the most intact one in Peru. Lord of Sipán was a divine Mochica leader and accordingly he was buried in all his finery - along with three women, two assistants, a servant, a child, a dog and two llamas who were all buried alive with him! In one corner there was also the skeleton of a warrior guard whose feet had been amputated, possibly to stop him running away. There were a number of other excavated tombs also, all within the Moche pyramids, which from a distance look just like huge hills with various caves (see the middle two pictures below).

When we arrived we were surrounded by kids, wanting to guide us through the ruins and look after our car. We spoke to the guard about camping and he opened up the gates behind the visitors centre and allowed us to camp there, safely locked away from all the kids! We were able to use the visitors centre toilets and shower (no, Ed still hasn't fitted ours). There was no charge as such for camping, but a donation was gratefully received. (The site is guarded all night)

We had the place pretty much to ourselves as it was late in the afternoon. We wandered around and were eventually collared by Julio (see pic above). He wasn't supposed to be guiding but he was very knowledgeable and determined to show us around. He was a funny little chap and worth the entertainment!

Click here for the Sipan Gallery