Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The trip to Huanchaca took around nine hours, and the plan was to camp for two nights.  But as I still felt very rough, we checked out the upgrade option and I was most relieved to find we could have an ensuite room for a very reasonable price; so we took it.

the typical dog of the area

The others all went for a wander around the town and then sought out a local vegetarian restaurant, while I   crashed in the room with the extra luxury of, not just a TV, but a TV with a remote control!  

By the morning I was feeling delicate but at least human, so the upgrade was well worth it. So I did join the group for the trip to the next set of ruins.  The first ones we visited were the Chan Chan ruins of the Chimo people, from around 700-1500 AD, just before the Inkas.  In the grounds you would often find the hairless dogs that have roamed these grounds for centuries.
the only entrance shows the thickness of the walls

These were the ruins of one of a number of huge palaces in this area.  Although vast, it was only the king, his family and his administrators who would have lived here, with everyone else outside.  Everything was adobe, which is the mud brick building process.  The outer walls were about four foot thick at the base, narrowing at the top, and there was only one entrance to the palace that is about 1200m by 1000m in size.

sculpted waves

There were vast halls amongst a network of corridors, with many of walls decorated with carvings of pelicans, fish and sculpted waves.  They even had their own water reservoirs inside the palace and of course the royal burial tombs.

some of the paintings

We then moved on to a different set of ruins.  This was the Temple of the Moon, built by a different and earlier group of people living late BC early AD.  This was another huge structure, built high because each successive king added a new level.  The building was only found recently as it had been covered in sand, so it is still being excavated now.  The impressive thing here are the decorations.  They carved and painted intricate patterns, faces, animals and people onto the walls.  

human sacrifices

There were also a few pictures depicting scenes from life in the temple, which showed that this was a race that carried out human sacrifices; from the picture it looked as if the unlucky people were stoned to death, but that may be a wrong interpretation.

more paintings over many levels

Much of the decoration is lost or faded, but there is still a lot of it that has been preserved and enables you to imagine how magnificent it would have been in its day.  Given how much older this is, I found the building and decoration more impressive than Machu Picchu.

traditional grass boat

Back in Huanchaca, we took a stroll along the seafront watching the kids in their traditional grass boats, and had some lunch.  We passed a procession that appeared to be a religious celebration of one of their saints; very colourful and musical!

A couple of the group had a go at the surfing, but we decided that wasn't for us.

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