Day 62 & 63: Huanchaco to Lambayeque – The Northern Desert and The Museum of Señor Sipan

Driving through the Northern Regions of Peru is similar to doomsday scenarios in movies like Mad Max. The landscape is shaped by the endless wide desert at the end of the horizon. Quite a few brave pilgrims carrying crosses to praise Jesus Christ were making their way along the highway while the intense sun was burning merciless down.

During my stay in Huanchaco I met Ben, a nice British guy on his motorbike who already did the whole North and South American boot leg. We spontaneously decided to ride a couple of days together since we both planned to head up North to Ecuador.

Our first stop along the way was Chaclayo or Lambayeque respectively where one of the most impressive museums of Peru is located: the museum of señor Sipan!

According to Lonely Planet the museum is “open since 2002 and dedicated to the excavated tombs of the ancient Moche civilization, the exhibition is named after the Lord of Sipán, the name given to one of the bejeweled Moche mummies found in northern Peru in 1987.

Already when the museum opened at 9 am in the morning Ben and I were impatiently waiting at the entrance for the exhibition to be opened. We heard it would be much more interesting to hire a tour guide and promptly hired a highly knowledgeable English speaking one for 30 Soles. It was more than worth since without explanations only the exhibited items would be visible but not the story behind.

Besides gold and silver artifacts, precious stones, jewelry, headdresses and other rare treasures found in the Moche tombs we learned also about the theory archeologists have about how the Moche lived and what position the Lord of Sipán held in the ancient community.

I was deeply impressed by the highly developed civilisation and was at the same time disappointed to see the current situation in Peru. Where did all the knowledge and progress went to? It seemed people were going backwards in time…

Huanchaco to Lambayeque