The Diary

October 17th cont'd

The Weasel having had a grease and oil change, we then headed to Chan Chan nearby, the huge ruined capital of the Chimu Empire. It was built around 1300AD and is the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. It is also the largest mud city in the world. A lot of the mud walls have been eroded by floods and heavy rainfall over the years (although it very rarely rains in the area). But having said that, there is still a lot that remains and the site is huge, covering about 28 square kilometers.

After going through a thick defensive wall at the Tschudi Complex you enter a large ceremonial courtyard, whose walls are decorated with geometric designs. Further on the walls are decorated with adobe friezes of fish above a line of seabirds. Most of these friezes have been restored, but there are a few original designs left - basically the very rough looking ones. The various levels are joined by ramps - the Chimu structures tended to use ramps rather than steps, unlike the Incas - and it takes quite a while to walk around the whole area, especially when you have a very talkative guide!

In a number of places around the complex are water sources, some were used for washing, drinking etc, whilst others, like the centre photo above were ceremonial areas.

Click here for the Chan Chan Gallery