Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Chimu and Mochica in Tucume, Sipan and Pampa Grande.

Flag Peru

Wednesday, June 06 2012

7 years, 10 months, 15 days

Chiclayo, Peru

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 48,388km

Trekking 937km

Ferry 2,782km

Train 7,015km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 189,347km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > south-america > peru > 20120606-chiclayo

First Tumbes and then the beach in Mancora.

Map, Mancora down the coast to Chiclayo, Peru.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Tumbes hits hard, it seems we have finally run into the rougher, more troublesome Latin America. We come after dark and a long day going back and forward between the Ecuadorian and Peruvian border posts and the aduana of the former was completely elsewhere. This is Saturday the 26th of May and at the late hour the insurance booth is closed, "Get it in Tumbes!" they tell us, and so keen to get my hands on it, as I have heard about Peruvian police, I now run straight into the tricksters' and hustlers' open arms.

I escape the knife fight or worse, theses guys maybe up to a lot, I just lose 20USD and it has not happened in 8 years that I trusted the obvious drunk thief, I literally give the money away thinking 'is only 20USD', am just too damn keen. The anger about myself settles quickly, I am prepared to take on this country. Quickly it becomes clear that there is no insurance to be had this weekend. So we stay in Tumbes, on plaza de armas, where cockroaches are everywhere, millions, it's hard to avoid stepping onto the already dead ones, I have not seen so many on a spot in all my travels.

This Saturday evening is a huge fiesta in the whole of Turbes, a drunken mess in one part of town, an overly correct, underfunded, bad sound 1st Festival de Musica Criolla on the main plaza, where the advertisement interruptions are longer and louder that the actual acts, certainly a bit distracting are the cockroaches that circle the feet, and Daniel and David my twin boys are after them.

Later we have a hard time to buy a bottle of water, nobody wants to change 100 Soles. At night Daniel has diarrhea, all night, this a reception of sorts in Peru.

Tumbes, football cup victory celebrations in street at night.
Tumbes is hot.

Sunday we drive without insurance, and find some miles down the road Zorritos and a pool/beach bar, sick Daniel spends 6 hours in the water. Back in Tumbes while we stroll I meet my thief and he knows me, while he spends money on ice cream for his girlfriend, and I am sorry but cannot hold back and proclaim to the vendor and everybody around that it is him who tricked me, I let it be heard in bad simple Spanish: 'God is going to deal with you'. He sneaks away instead of punching me right away.

With the sound from the Criolla Festival the boys sleep in soon, while I wander about the plaza and wonder how we fare here. The other friends, Julian and Alex, and their van (those who we shared the boat and container Panama2Colombia with) were broken into right here during the day, and everything of value was stolen. Considering, we are doing quite fine apart from diarrhea. And then hell breaks lose, a football match was won by the Tumbes club, and the fans run wild in celebrations without constraint. Welcome to Peru.

Monday comes and SOAT Tumbes doesn't sell insurance for tourists, so we head back to the border, then back to Tumbes, I feed the boys and I have an early beer, then charge my phone, buy data package which for 2 more months would not fully understand how it works, then buy new hats for Daniel and David, as we lost one in Cuyabeno and one in Cuenca.

Burning of rice peel, near Tumbes, Peru.
Burning of rice peel.
Rice cultivated near Tumbes, Peru.
Rice fields.
Glide on thermal winds near a dune, birds in the sky, northern Peru.
Birds in the sky.
Acacia scrub in almost desert. Northern Peru.
Scrub in steppe.

Early afternoon we are headed south, 'Lima 1,295kms' it said past the border on the pan-americana, this is a long way to go and where and how often will we take detours? Mornings at the coast are on the misty side, past rice fields on the right right, the burning of rice residuals left, skies are blue in the afternoon, some birds glide in the thermal winds of coastal dunes, the desert takes over quickly.

Later we stick our feet in hot, white sand on the most tranquil beach with the red Pacific sunsets, Mancora, the boys find friends with horses quickly while I fall in love with Cusqueña beer and ceviche, pronounced mostly cebiche and the Peruvian type is very special, has no tomatoes in it, just onions and pure fish or mixed with seafood, always with acidic lime and aji/chili, it's the lemons that 'cook' it, a great Japanese import, made a Peruvian national dish.

Boys in front of sining wet beach. Peru, mancora.
Shiny sunsets beach.
Pacific sunset under a dark cloud. Mancora, Peru.
Pacific sunset under a dark cloud.

Daniel watching.
On a horse high, David.
While learning to ride, Mancora beach, Peru.
Hold on tightely.
Sandy faces on beach in Mancora, Peru.
Sandy faces.

In Mancora we stay, because on the diarrhea front we are getting worse, after a few days we all have it, and so stay on and stay on and hope and the doctor in el centro de salud prescribes stuff against parasites and we stay even longer.

But 8 days is enough and we leave one morning with Austrian Moritz who's here for the surf and Peruvian Rosa who we became friends with, for out of the world, desert Lobitos, for an afternoon on the beach and the surf, and nice spicy ceviche.

When they return to Mancora we head on south and end up in the desert near Punta Balcones, South America's most western point and suffer from diarrhea. Out here in the Sechura it is all about oil fields and production, pumps and pipelines and we share the desert's dirt tracks with heavy machinery. We get to dusty Miramar and its windmills and palms, then cross the Chira river and along its banks, they grow cotton, sugar cane and rice.

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Surfer turns in a wave, Lobitos beach, Peru.
Surfer, turn in a waves.
Nortehrn Peru desert road.
South on Pan Americana.
Salinas, Nortehrn Peru.
Late near Punto Balcones.
Near Punta Balcones. Western most point in South America, further out on sea oil platforms.
Dunes of white sand on beach.
Bridge over Chira River in desert valley. Cotton sugar cane and rice is cultivated on its banks.
Chira River.
Paita, Armada of fishing boats, Peru.
Armada of fishing boats.
Paita, motor taxis. Northern Peru.
Paita, motortaxis.

Colan is a dusty piece of head land, its houses are built on poles, too close to the water. We hop over the cliffs to Paita and the hundreds of fishing vessels give a nice view from above, in the center then I can't pass those stands that sell fresh ceviche and it's again spicy and I like it, - for the moment my intestines accept, the boys get pure white rice.

This whole coastline down here reminds me so much of the Western Sahara which I drove down so many times. Going south, the ocean is on the right side, the sand and the dunes on the left, cliffs take turns with beaches, the villages are exposed or taken by the moving sand, poor people live in the dirt, the trash is heaped out by the back door and down the slopes, the plastic bolsas fly round and get caught in the acacia; it is true Sahel Africa, I think as we circle around the back streets of Paita.

Via Piura and Catacaos, and I think the detour is not worth it, and then I buy water ice for the boys knowing that I really shouldn't. Eventually we just keep going – south, cross more desierto Sechura, 'a desert, this we have never seen' say the boys.

Paita on the Pacific Ocean, Northern Peru.
Paita.
My boys, top of van, Pan Americana, Sechura desert, Northern Peru.
My boys, top of van.

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Chiclayo, Lambayeque, Tucume, Sipan, Pampa Grande.

We ride into Chiclayo late, the boys are hungry and the traffic is horrible. David says to Daniel 'I search for the restaurant on my side and you on the other side', I have never heard them say this, just it takes me much longer to find a parking for the night, really late we get our hands on great fried chicken and rice, more than we can eat.

Hans Heinrich Brüning museum, Lambayeque.

So what are we up to here in Chiclayo/Lambayeque?

Well, it is time to get my head 'round Peru's pre-colonial history, because I know nothing.

We start with the fascinating Brüning museum in Lambayeque, based on the collections of the German born archaeologist (died 1928), it contains mummies, masks, ceramics, textiles and most impressive hundreds of gold pieces of art and jewelery in what is called the Golden Room. But it covers such a long period and the whole of the northern area, cultures from Mochica/Moche (100-800 AD), Chimú (followed the Moche) and Lambayeque (followed the Moche as well) to Inca (followed till Spanish conquest). But also earlier stuff and much earlier stuff, I am dazed as I walk out, but I am new to the subject.

Museo Arceological National Bruening. German born Bruening, famous archeologist, died in 1922.
Hans H. Brüning.
Museo Arceological National Bruning.
Mochica statue.
Museo Arceological National Bruning.
Mochica man, elite.
Museo Arceological National Bruning. Chimu mummy face.
Chimu mummy face.

Golden treasures in Museo Arceological National Bruning.
The gold of Lambayeque.
For ears?? Museo Arceological National Bruning.
From Moche to Chimu.
Shiny Museo Arceological National Bruning.
Oro de Lambayeque.

Lord of Sipán, museum in Lambayeque.

We move some blocks down the road and find a real world wonder, the tomb of the Lord of Sipán (ca. 100 AD), and others that escaped the looting by conquistadors and others; its mummies, copper, gold and ceramic represent the most significant find in archeology since Tutankhamun, it is housed in a world class museum the Tumba Real, the best I have seen since the NY-Met. Unfortunately, no photos allowed. (wiki)

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Tucume, pyramids.

We get out on the road and drive north to Tucume, which was one of the centers on civilization till ~1,500 A.D., maybe a capital, and for many hundreds of years for successive cultures. Though it has since been slowly washed into the sea, as the enormous pyramid structures of the Mochica and Chimú were built of adobe bricks instead of stone. Fascinating like the Egyptian pyramids that I have seen. (wiki)

ca 1100 to 1470 A.D, then came the Inca. Many treasures of the Lambayeque museums were found here. Tucume once the center of civilization.
Chimu built Tucume.
One Tucume pyramid, Northern Peru.
Tucume.
the mountain overlooking Tucume pyramids. Northern Peru.
Boys up on the mountain.
Tucume, Huaca Las Balsas, relief.
Huaca Las Balsas.

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Sipán, pyramids

Morning we drive east of Chiclayo past miles and miles of sugar cane plantations, to Sipán, the site where the famous untouched tomb was found in 1987. There is a museum too and more stuff from other tombs, confusing, many artifacts, many epochs, many cultures. (Sipan and Huaca Rajada)

Ceramic figurine in Sipan museum.
Ceramic figurine in Sipan.
Deathly face.
Sipan museum.
Black swastika on Sipan pot.
Swastika on pot.
Sipan archeological site, here the found the worlds most famous and richest grave after Tutankhamun, exhibited in the impressive Lambayeque Lord of Sipan museum, Northern Peru.
Sipan pyramids.

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Pampa Gramde.

From Sipán out to Pampa Grande again all is sugar cane fields, the road is bad, think because we took the back roads, and Pampa Grande receives no tourists, though it is by far the biggest pyramidal site here in northern Peru. In fact its origins are much older then Sipán and Tucume, subsequently Moche, Lambayeque and Chimu had their hand on it. Again it is an adobe brick structure, and many el-niño disasters caused deep ravines to the pyramid and ramps, other 'caves' though are man-made, the looting has not stopped till date. (Interesting read about the gold jaguars of Pampa Grande ponce.tv)

We park the van where we can't go on no-more, then walk up hill, and to our horror discover that the boys' boots are hardly protective against the spines and thorns of the Sechura desert.

The boys hike up the ramp in Pampa Grande.
The boys, Pampa Grande.
The boys, Pampa Grande.
Getting down is harder.

After Pampa Grande we drive on east towards the Andes, while in the valley on dirt roads and the sugar cane trucks roll by, beautiful land, amazing Peru.

Land inwards past Pampa Grande on gravel roads, Northern Peru.
On gravel roads.
Sugar cane truck on dirt track, Northern Peru.
Huge trucks howl out sugar cane.

P.S.: On Toño, because Peru for us is so special because I am blessed to know Toño, a friend, and I call him once we have arrived in Tumbes, he is my guide, by phone, mail and chat. Toño and I met in Nouakchott, Mauritania, 2006, and we met one more time in Bamako, Mali, and then I kept saying for 6 years that one day I come and visit 'his' country. He is 'responsible' where I go round in Peru. "Didn't I tell you Peru is the best country in the world?" he said on many occasions, even before I arrived here. Now after more than 3 month, I believe him, it is maybe the most interesting country that I have traveled, and food is amazes me daily.

I knew it existed. some where in Latin America. Chicalayo, Peru, white house on corner.
Los Independientes...
Narrow, 2 storey building, Chiclayo, Peru.
Narrow home.

P.S.: On Chiclayo, this page is named after it, this is a nice city, 3rd or 4th largest in Peru (all cities except Lima are below 1 million), shame it does not get much coverage here, it is busy, the market area especially. Chiclayo, after the conquest, unlike other Peruvian colonial cities, was inhabited by a largely indigenous population rather than Spanish colonizers.

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