Monday, June 09, 2008

Loja + Piura + Trujillo + More Lima

By R.B. Moreno

From Lima my sister and I have traveled north through Trujillo and Piura, Peruvian towns that see few tourists even during North America's vacation season. Outside Trujillo, named after Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro's hometown, we visited an ancient burial ground whimsically dubbed the Temple of the Moon by explorers. Farther on lies Chan Chan, the largest Pre-Columbian city in South America and one constructed entirely of adobe.

Peruvian Hairless Dogs, such as the beauties seen above, roam all over Chan Chan and nearby archaelogical sites. Known locally as the viringo, the dog originated with pre-Incan coastal cultures such as the Chimú and Moche. The viringo's official population has been dwindling in recent years due to crossbreeding, which produces a less-than-hairless viringo.

After an eight-hour, breakneck bus ride that traverses a river separating Peru and Ecuadors' highlands, our trip has taken us to Loja, Ecuador, at 6,890 feet. The provincial capital boasts some of the cleanest parks and markets in all of Ecuador, although a morning jog along one of the city's canals makes clear that air and water pollution remain a problem.

To the Border

More photos from this leg of our journey can be found above.

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