Wednesday 30th October 1985
I arrived in Trujillo at 1.30am cold and dusty after 15 hour bus journey from the bored with Equador. Wild barren and craggy desert scenery mostly, with tatty towns servicing the highway at irregular intervals. The highway had lost alot of its surface so it was a bumpy ride with lots of swerving to avoid potholes, small children and the like. The desert was a uniform grey brown colour, its dust coated any shrubby thorn bushes or spiky cacti. Colourless. An occasional black silhouette of a vulture, ? condor, added tonal range and brief visual interest.
Manage to wake up a random hotel but they won't open the gate. Find Pension Lima open, fresh spittle on the room floor, grubby feet had been in the sheets, but fall instantly to sleep.
Move out at 7 in the morning to Hostal Vogi, a modern room with mock tudor furnishings, hot water, flushing sit down loo and a bidet for 48,000 S. Luxury. Enjoy my ablutions and catch a bus to Chan Chan a few kilometers out of town.
What a vast and desolate place. The sky is flat and off white with the low morning cloud. All around are acres of pale brown crumbling adobe ruins. Some of the old palace walls approach their original height. In the distance I can hear the muffled roar of the sea. The civil guard drive off after their night shift trailing a dust cloud. The best royal compound, the ancients built a new compound for each new king, has been restored and sandy mortar protects the top of the 10' adobe walls. Many of the decorative mouldings on the walls survive, and seem like enlarged weaving patterns, simple large bold deep bas relief. Parallel lines, geometric patterns, some recognisable as fishes or birds. Little on site info but I had read a lively account of this place in a Nationa Geographic magazine I found in Oaxaca.
After lunch I get on a bus going the wrong way and go to a nearby village and back. Get the correct bus to Huaca del Draga, an adobe temple. Well preserved wall mouldings of serpents eating people. The temple is a huge square mound surrounded by ? vertical storage chambers with a big ramp to the top.
back in Trujillo in the evening I meet local student called Alexandro at an exhibition about trees I had wandered into. He is very amusing to the point of mania. We end up drinking a bottle of cheap, 90 cents, coconut liquor, smoking and listening to Bob Marley tapes whilst his mother snores behind a curtain. make it back to Hotel Vogi at 4am.