Trujillo, flights above the temples of the Mochica

 

grafik_moche grafik_moche Due to the cold Humboldt current, which hardly permits any evaporation and clouds, the coast of Peru is almost pure desert. Only in the river valleys that descend from the western slopes of the high Andes small green oases may develop. This is the environment of the oldest settlements of Peru. One of these was the Mochica culture (100 - 800 n. Chr.), in the valley of the Moche river, from which they received their name. Today the third biggest city of Peru, Trujillo spreads along the coast here. From the buildings of Mochica the temple of the sun (huaca del sol) and the temple of the moon are still preserved. Both are situated at the foot of the holy mountain, the 400 m high Cerro Blanco.

The flight at the Cerro Blanco is purely dynamical in the strong sea wind, which is interrupted only from time to time by thermal upwinds. Therefore the little height of the mountain is not a problem. The wind reaches strengths of about 35 km/h and diminishes again in the evening hours. Thus one can fly at the mountain for a long time, but its hard to get away from it.

 

Arrival at the Plaza de Armas in Trujillo at four o'clock in the morning. In the foreground the wing of liberty, squeezed into the grey-green Alpamayo backpack. There are buses to the temples during the day every half an hour and that's also the time how long it takes for the trip.

A.v.Humboldt writes deeply and critical about the character of the old Inca empire, admiring the art and architecture of the Chimu culture (the older Mochica were unknown at that time, until Max Uhle and Ephraim Squire rediscovered it): "Die Inkas allein waren fähig, den Einwohnern Amerikas ein Vorspiel dessen zu geben, was dann die blutdürstige, christliche Raserei durch spanische Hände ausrichtete."

 

La Huaca del Sol, the temple of the sun with the Cerro Blanco in the background. Fotograph taken almost exactly against the wind.

 

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As height for the launch 200 m are sufficient (here a little bit higher), all the rest does the wind. One can see nicely, how by the irrigation system one field after the other has been conquered from the desert. Between them the long buildings are however, according to natives, rather horrible chicken batteries. Farther back the sea. The mountain consists to the most part of sand. So the only launching problem may be the wind velocity. If necessary just wait....

 

Desert flight

 

Flight in the evening light. View in the direction of Trujillo. One can fly until darkness. In the triangle spanned by lines and the mountain-slope the two temples are still recognizable. To fly directly above the ruins is only possible within the last rounds before landing.

 

And that's how it looks like inside ....

 

(Illustrations: Vladimir Kladiva, drawings after Moche ceramics)

 

----------------------------------------------- With a paraglider above the Inca roads -----------------------------------------------