Saturday, 11 July 2009

Adiós al Perú

(We´ll ignore the fact that no one here actually says adiós - chau is universal.)

More importantly, I have only a few hours left in Peru. Yesterday I was in Chiclayo, which is not as pretty as Trujillo, but has an absolutely astonishing museum just outside it. Called the Museo de las Tumbas Reales de Sipán, it presents what archaeologists found at the site of Sipán, 30km away, in 1987. This was a series of tombs from the Moche civilisation (same guys from the last post). They in fact got there just in time, as grave robbers had started to plunder the old adobe pyramids. At least one robber was killed by the police in the ensuing struggle - very Indiana Jones. Anyway, the royal tombs contained gold and silver ornaments which are literally unbelievable in their quantity and quality - experts have said that the only comparable find in the 20th century is that of the tomb of Tutankhamun. The museum these are in is very well laid out, on a par with anything I've seen in London.

In a slight repeat of the previous day, I balanced out my cultural morning with an afternoon at the beach, and this time, I managed to get a swim in too. While the water was not exactly warm, it was definitely better than the North Sea!

Today I have been in the town of Piura -which, despite what the guidebook says about aging charm, is a bit of a dump. Still, I have had a relaxing day, reading, and generally trying to avoid the scorching heat - Piura is in one of the driest deserts in the world. Tomorrow it will be back to the Andes, which will be a nice change from all this sand and sun.

I am sad to leave Peru, which has been home for the last few months - it is an amazing country, as much because of its natural diversity as because of its diverse people and societies. Hopefully I've given some impression of that through this blog. I remember an advert that was on TV during my first month here. It was about Peru's natural wealth, and emphasised the fact that of about 120 ecosystems in the world, Peru has something like 90. The slogan at the end was "Perú lo tiene todo" - Peru has it all. Jungles and deserts, slums and 5 star hotels, traditional dances and very active politics.

Perú lo tiene todo.

In more ways than one, that just about sums it up.

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