Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Stages of "Conservation" Trujillo, La Libertad, Peru, Saturday, 09 April 2005 8:31pm

I got to see several different stages in the lifespan of an archaeological site today.

In the morning, I went to Huaca Arco Iris and Chan Chan, which are close to Trujillo. Chan Chan is a sprawling adobe city. The part of the site that's open to tourists seems mostly reconstructed. The decorative friezes are really neat, and it's great to get a feel for what they might have been like when they were built. But at the same time, it feels a little fake. It's hard to guess what the "conservators" were working from, and how much is speculation.

At the other end of the spectrum, in the afternoon I went to the El Brujo complex, which is about 60km away from the city. One of the pyramids is in the middle of active excavation, and you can look behind the canvas sheets protecting the things that are currently being worked on and see just what the archaeologists see (if you find a guide who can get you in at all). There are even some parts of the frieze that still have the orignal pigments (which are long gone at most of the sites around here).

There's another pyramid in the complex where you can see how the Spanish excavated during the early colonial period: they dug a hole to the center of the pyramid, took all of the valuables they could find, and left the rest.

Neat stuff. And the guide I happened to get was good too. His Spanish was enunciated so that I could understand most of his words, and he explained things without belaboring them. If he's leading a tour to the other two local sites tomorrow, I'll try to go along.

Oh, and I found out the reason why gas is affordable enough for cabbies to be making money: it's priced by the gallon, not the liter. I'm not sure why that is, since everything else seems to be metric.

Cassinelli Cola: a normal cola, with a normal amount of carbonation. I think the extra bubbles are probably a feature of the Champagne flavor.

Duncan Oat Quick Te, Canela y Clavo: a tasty, but unexceptional tea, with an amazing address on the back of the teabag: Los Eucalyptos Mz. "K" Lote 9-A Urb. Shangri-La Puente Piedra. I don't even know how to begin to parse that.