Shake your Chan Chan

Currently, your correspondent is holed up in Chicama once again. There is a decent swell forecast to come through over the next few days here. However, it has failed to make an appearance as yet.

Just spent the last week in another coastal town called Huanchaco. Cool little town, quite developed compared to Chicama. And it also has more consistent waves, but the water can smell funny there.

Pretty much spent most of the last week surfing and chilling. Have been getting into a few beers but nothing too serious. Have also done quite a bit of reading too.

We went and visited what is billed as the largest pre Columbian city in South America, a place just outside Trujillo called Chan Chan. Basically, it was a large Chimu settlement between about 800AD and 1400AD. These guys were eventually taken over by the Incas, but Chan Chan is a pretty major settlement. The area it occupies is bloody huges. Unfortunately, as much of the site is mud brick walls, the rain associated with El Nino events in Peru has eroded much of the site. But they have managed to protect some parts of it, as you can see in the below photos. Its difficult to convey the sheer size of the site, as much of it just looks like sand and big old mud brick walls.

A close up of one of the fish friezes – apparently one of the major differences between the Chimu and Incas is that the Chimu worshipped the ocean and the moon, whereas the Incas went for the sun and the land.

The hexacomb pattern of some of the walls at Chan Chan are thought to signify the fishing nets the Chimu used. Or they were really into collecting lots of wine. You be the judge.


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