It's been 2 weeks of jackets, scarves, and long underwear. We got to Peru with no problems and to a sweltering summer heat. Here in Mancora it's a coastal desert and rarely rains, making it a popular vacation spot for Chileans and Peruvians. It's a really cute little surfing and fishing town that reminds me a lot of Sayulita in Mexico. We've been busy doing all the typical activities- laying in hammocks, eating seafood, bodysurfing, nightswimming in phosphoresence, dayswimming with dolphins in view, meeting people at beach fires, and trying not to get sunburned. All we have wanted for weeks is warm weather, but now that we are here, it is a pretty intense change.
After Mancora we headed south to Trujillo, which has several important pre-Incan ruins. One is Chan Chan, which was the largest adobe city in South America, and the capitol of the Chimu empire, coastal people who were right before the Inca. We also saw the Huaca de la Luna, which was a ceremonial temple of the Moche people. It is almost 2000 years old and still has tons of the original yellow, red, and black paint visible! They built the temple for one king, then they would just build over that temple to make one for the new king, thereby protecting the walls. A few years ago, Huaca de la Luna won an international award for the best preserved archeological sight. And they only just started excavating it in the 90's, which is crazy. It is incredible to me that in this day and age huge ruins are still just barely being unearthed.
I also have to mention these 2 Italian men that we keep running into. We met them for the first time in Baños weeks ago, and had kind of an awkward convo because it was a really loud bar and, uh, they don't really speak English or Spanish. It took 10minutes to exchange names and where we were from, and finally ended up typing our names on one of their phones. Then we saw them in Cuenca (at the exact moment I ran into Devon, weird), then at the beach in Mancora, then in Trujillo! Let me point out, our interactions don't get any less awkward, but I feel increasingly obliged to talk since it is so coincidental. Then we saw them for THE FIFTH TIME yesterday. It's getting ridiculous. And they are going to be in Cuzco at the same time too.
We also had to say goodbyes- Erin took the bus to Lima to fly home today ): It was awesome traveling with her, and now our little group is just a pair. Serena is here for 10 more days, and then I will be on my own.