October 14th - 17th 2003
Leaving early, we headed back up the Panamerican to Túcume. After leaving the new Panamerican for the old Panamerican we hit our first peaje that was actually charging money (all the others we had passed through appeared to be non-operational). This was quite expensive for Peru at 7.50 Soles and the short distance involved.
Arriving at Túcume, another Moche archaeological site, we spent a couple of hours wandering around the site. A lot of the area is closed off as they are still excavating. However, when you climb to the top of one of the hills you get to appreciate just how vast the site is. (Ed took a panoramic shot, but this will be added later as he needs to reduce the size). It was incredibly hot and eventually we retired to a shady spot across the road for cold beers and a spot of lunch. Although not mentioned in the guidebook, camping was possible at this restaurant and it was a pretty nice site. If we had known, we probably would have stopped here and then carried on to Sipán the next day.
Then a long afternoon's drive down to Huanchaco, a small fishing town, near Trujillo. The beach is lined with totora reed boats, known as caballitos (little horses). The fisherman paddle the boats out to sea (riding on them rather than in them) and then surf back with their catch, standing the boats up along the beach to dry in the hot afternoon sun.
We had hoped to camp again at a hostal recommended by the guidebook (Hostal Naylamp) at the north end of the beach. On arrival though we discovered that although you could camp, their campground is on a terrace, not accessible to vehicles. They have a great, large, secure garage, ideal for locking the Weasel in, whilst we checked in to one of their ensuite rooms (extortionate at a huge sum of £5 a night for a double room!). We would recommend this place for both camping or staying in the hostal (the campsite had showers, toilets and use of a kitchen).
There weren't many tourists in town and before long everyone seemed to know about us and the Weasel. We went to Mama Mias restaurant on our second night in Huanchaco and Fernando (the owner) asked if we had fixed the problems on our truck (Ed had been working in the garage wiring the spotlights, and adding some more accessory sockets plus a bit of nipple greasing). Obviously word had got round! Our grease gun had broken and Fernando took us to a garage he trusted for an oil change and for the UJ's to be greased. Fernando also does an excellent lasagne with a portion big enough to feed two people. We ended up having a doggy bag and ate the rest for breakfast.(Ed wanted to heat it up on the engine whilst we drove but Sue was not impressed).