Our day started earlier than usual for our Saturday tour of "El Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán". We hit the road at seven and cruised along the coast of Peru for three and a half hours. Students weren't dreading the van ride, as we've all become good friends throughout this study abroad.
When we arrived, the first thing all of us noticed was the heat. The further North one travels in Peru, the hotter the temperature, and we were all quick to put on sunscreen. We passed through security before going in, and any possible chances of taking pictures were erased when we discovered that not only could we not take pictures, but we also couldn't even bring our phones!
We were ushered around from room to room by an intelligent man who knew everything there was to know about the Moche, a pre-Inca civilization that dwelled along the coast of Northern Peru. We were shown artifacts from over a millennium ago that appeared to be made in the 1600s, a testament to the archaeologists and also the people who made them. We saw many pieces of silver and gold jewelry, small statues of animals and gods, and the remains of some Moche people.
"El Señor de Sipán", a ruler of the Moche, was the main attraction at the museum. He was between 35-45 years old at the time of his death. His tomb was richly decorated with jewels and containers of food for the afterlife. He was also not alone: along with el Señor de Sipán were his wife, concubine, a couple of soldiers, a child, and a dog. These would accompany him to the afterlife, and to assure it, the warriors' feet were chopped off so they would stay in the tomb.
We had been in a van for three and a half hours and toured the museum for an hour and a half: we were hungry! We drove to a restaurant close to the museum and sat down to some quality Peruvian food. Many people ordered the "lomo fino saltado a lo pobre", marinated beef sautéed with onions and peppers over fries, served with white rice topped with a fried egg. Not only was the food delicious, but the portions were huge!
Feeling satisfied, we left the restaurant for our next destination - Chiclayo beach. We enjoyed ourselves from 4-5, some choosing to swim, others just relaxing on the beach, and a few even walked on the pier. It was a very welcoming atmosphere, with beachside restaurants and shops with seashells and necklaces. The people were friendly too, as Sam and I became friends with 3 local policemen.
After our short stay at Chiclayo, we boarded the van and headed back to Trujillo. The ride back was anything but dull, as almost our entire class engaged in an activity of van bonding. What started as a surprisingly personal question turned into a twelve person compliment circle. We all went around and said what it was we liked most about each person. Some answers were surprising and funny, while others drew many "awwws". To be honest, it felt more rewarding to talk about others than to receive the compliments. We all had good vibes about us as we returned to our families that night. It was a day to remember.