Friday, 28 August 2015

The Hotel Pacifico

El Brujo
photo - Luis Gamero ©PromPeru

We have a good idea of what the Moche people looked like. The craftsmen of this culture that flourished on Peru's northern coast from the first century AD up until around 800 AD were highly skilled at reproducing facial features and expression. The distinctive decorated pottery style - dark red on a cream background - shows us scenes of everyday life such as hunting and fishing, and  Moche portrait vessels bring the people to life. 

El Brujo - the main religious centre of the Moche - is also decorated with motifs of a fearsome owl-spider spirit. Whilst elsewhere, at the Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna, an alarming fanged deity, with the head of a marine bird and a nest of snakes for hair roams the walls alongside vibrant depictions of ritual combat, blood offerings and human sacrifice. 

You get the feeling you wouldn't want to cross the Moche.  Not then....... not now.

The Hotel Pacifico
In which this particular hotel proves to be anything but

Rafael Chachapoyas was a veteran driver of Peru’s northern highways, that’s why Tello always sought him out when we were that part of the country. The archaeologist had already suffered some nail biting experiences with chauffeurs who didn’t know how to negotiate the sandy dunes, but Rafael knew his way around. One day when we were travelling with him from Trujillo to Pacasmayo, Tello asked him to recommend a hotel in the port; somewhere clean but not too expensive.

He drew the car up outside the Hotel Pacifico.  A nice sounding name and it looked reasonable from the outside. We climbed the steps and went in to ask for four beds.