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There are only night buses from Huaraz to Trujillo, so it was that, having finished our Thanksgiving dinner, I headed out at 9pm to the bus terminal. Rather than the normal ridiculousness about how I definitely couldn’t put my bike on the bus, they told me to put it in standing up and only had to take a couple of bags off so it could stand better. One thing that’s harder to avoid is paying a fee, although at least I managed to haggle the fee down. The bus would take me from the mountains to the coast, and I was unimpressed to not be able to do it on my bike. The typical bike route goes down an unpaved canyon that cuts through 30+ tunnels in a 20km stretch, but there was no way that my foot would have been able to handle it.

The bus rocked up at 4:30am, but my Couchsurfing host had told me to come straight over. I did and then crashed into bed for the rest of the morning. I’d been planning on going to visit the ruins in town, but ended up just going sightseeing in the city centre. While there, I was laying around in the plaza, as is my custom, listening to French lessons and taking a nap, when a lady came over to talk to me. Her name was Laura, and we chatted away for more than half an hour, before a French guy called Jean-Baptiste turned up. There is a famous Casa de Ciclistas in Trujillo, run by a guy called Lucho, but he was out of town working as a mechanic on a bike tour. I’d tried unsuccessfully to call, and it turned out that Jean Baptiste had only received the phone the day before. He didn’t have his camera with him, so went back to the Casa de Ciclistas to pick it up. I chatted with Laura more, and she ended up inviting me to lunch or dinner the next day. Napping in the park is great!

Jean-Baptiste came back, with Lucho’s wife, daughter and son. They have so far hosted more than 2,000 cyclists during their time as a Casa de Ciclistas, but even still they were amazingly inviting. We went out for dinner together, and then went to the cinema to watch the wonderful Paddington movie, meeting my mum’s requirement of seeing him when I was in Peru. They were so friendly, and genuinely seemed saddened that I’d not been able to stay at the Casa.

I had a day off in Trujillo, and used it to go to see the archaeological site of Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna, located just outside of the city, from the Moche culture. It dates back to around the 7th century,

The Huaca del Sol is the largest single pre-Colombian structure in Peru, although about a third of it has been washed away. The structure was built with an estimated 140 million adobe bricks, many of them marked with symbols representing the workers who made them.

It is a huge structure, and was made of 6 layers. The pyramid was expanded every generation, when they would add a new layer. The design would remain very similar, and it was more a process of renewal than improvement. The on-site museum is fantastic, and the pieces are so well preserved that I thought that they were all reproductions.

Unfortunately I ended up spending so long at the temple, and then taking ages to find a bus, that I didn’t end up being able to hang out with Laura. I spent the evening with my host, who was eager to show me his collection of Moche pieces before I had to go and take the bus to take me onwards to Ecuador. My foot was getting better, but the part north of Trujillo is infamous with cyclists. It’s the one part that’s actually commonly recognised as dangerous, with 5+ cyclists getting robbed on the road this year, including a Polish couple that I met near Cusco, and an Asian guy who got tied to a tree, and was left with nothing more than his underwear, not too appealing.

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