We were warned before embarking on our trip to South America to be careful of the frightening strangers who would try to steal from, hurt or otherwise take advantage of us. We were not, however, warned how the incredibly unbelievable kindness of near strangers would leave us feeling as though our own hospitality (from our previous lives of having homes and the like) was frighteningly inadequate.
We experienced this first in Medellin, with the AMAZING Thorp family, and then again this week in Trujillo. Romy and Pablo, the parent’s of Nena (Tom’s Dad’s half-brother’s son’s wife) took us in as though we were beloved children being welcomed back into the fold.
They fed us, taught us new recipes (see pisco sour and rocotto salsa recipes below),
shepherded us around all the sites of Trujillo and Huanchaco (the nearby beach town) and even clothed us- giving us gifts of wooly llama hats so our ears wouldn’t get too cold as we traveled farther south!!
Thank you Nena and Gianni for all of your help and suggestions for Trujillo, and for insisting that we accept your parent’s amazing hospitality!
Huanchaco is a great little town on the beach with an impressive collision of new surf culture, old little churches, perfect ceviche and native fishing boats. These boats or caballitos del totora(little horses made of totora) have been used by Peruvian fishermen for the past 3,000 years!
Our first day in Trujillo, before meeting the Berdejos, we paid a visit to the Huacas del sol y la luna (temples of the sun and the moon) left behind by the Moche people.
The artifacts of the Moche include incredibly vivid and elaborate paintings, carvings and ceramics, as well as copious amounts of sacrificial weapons drenched in human blood.
Evidence seems to suggest that the majority of the human sacrifices were from the elite class and were the losers of ritual battles staged for amusement, and to pick out the next sacrifice. Sacrifices were made in times of torrential weather, to calm it down, and in times of calm weather, so that it would remain calm. There may have also been some ritual cannibalism, and blood drinking of the sacrifices. yum.
The Moche rulers also quite vehemently did not like sloppy seconds, and each new ruler or priest would fill up the old house or temple with the bodies of the past rulers/priests, kill their servants and bury them as well, and then build a new bigger, better, temple or house on top.
Obviously a very practical people.
4 oz fresh lime juice
8 oz pisco
1 egg white
4 oz jarabe del Goma
blend this all up with some ice, and then add a couple of drops of bitters.
Heat up a pan with oil on the stove a lightly cook one small onion (chopped), 2 dientes (teeth!) of garlic, and one cleaned (no seeds) rocotto pepper.
Blend this cooked mixture with a li’l more oil and some salt. Que rrrrico!!