After being chased by an iguana and crushed by mosquitoes in the humid city of Guayaquil, I decided to head south and cross the border into Peru.
The total journey was close to nine hours to get into the first stop in Peru – Mancora. According to some, the border crossing between Ecuador and Peru near Huaquillas is the most dangerous in South America. Stories of armed robberies are common so I decided to not do the journey over night. Thankfully, everything went smoothly.
I arrived in Mancora near dusk and found a hammock on the beach waiting for me. I contemplated on staying longer and relaxing, but decided to make my way further south to Trujillo the next day. I had a long stop in Piura, where I had an amazing feast consisting of a soy steak, pickled carrots and beets, and wild rice accompanied with a passion fruit smoothie.
My last coastal stop was in Trujillo. Most people end up skipping this quaint historical town and miss out on catching some waves in the straw boats (pictured above drying in the sun) and learning about the pre-Incan culture – the Moche people. The Moche civilization were known for sacrificing with their famed hero, the Decapitator, who is commonly depicted in their grandiose art work. I visited the two pyramids they built called Huaca del Sol & Huaca del Luna. They were mostly destroyed by Spaniards in the 17th century, but still have a vast amount of vibrant art preserved for viewing.
It’s also commonly agreed that the Incas later on copied the Moche art work for their civilization based in Cuzco, including Machu Picchu. Although it’s uncertain how the destruction of the Moche civilization came, speculation points to a super El Niño that persisted despite all of their slaughtering and sacrificing. If only our civilization could learn from their mistakes.