Caral. The oldest civilization in the western hemisphere
This past Saturday started out as any good trip day, with the alarm clock going off at 5:15 a.m. Gotta love early morning wakeups. Surprisingly, It also seems like the best trips start out ridiculously early.
The IFSA-Butler group went to Caral, which is the oldest civilization in the western hemisphere. I am not sure exactly what makes a civilization because there are older “places” in the western hemisphere, but this is officially the oldest civilization.. who knows.
Caral is over 5,000 years old, and was only “discovered” in 1994. There is a ton of excavation going on still, and there is still a ton more work to be done. It is pretty impressive to think that a civilization could have flourished as much as it did in a time that hadn’t even discovered the use of ceramics.
Anyways, we were promised that it would be sunny and warm in Caral, as it was lightly nasty misting as we left Lima. That, however turned out to be a lie. It was COLD and completely cloudy all day. Lovely. I miss the sun. I don’t know how I am going to survive the US winter. It’s been winter since August for me.. yikes!
Anyways, we had a really good time just hanging out and walking around the ruins. After touring Caral we went out to lunch where most of the group tried cuy (guinnea pig) for the first time. I had a great time watching them squirm over the food, as I enjoyed my duck and yuca.
We briefly stopped by another archeological site that was just discovered in 2001. I’m sure it will be much more interesting once it is excavated more, but there really wasn’t too much to see right now. The only thing that was really neat was a freshwater lagoon that was right next to the ocean. It has an amazing amount of wildlife, and was gorgeous.
It is about a three hour drive to Caral, so we spent over six hours in a van, I am definitely getting sick of traveling by car and bus. When I got back home at 7:00 tonight, much to my surprise I found my face bright red! I am so pasty that I can be outside with absolutely no sun all day and still get sunburned. Fantastic. Just another reminder of how white I am in predominately darker society..
This semester is wrapping up already, and I must say that I am NOT ready to leave yet. I have so many places that I still want to go and so many things I want to do. One semester is definitely not enough time to really see Perú. I would definitely stay for an entire year if I wasn’t graduating (and getting married…) in May. My number one suggestion: make the most out of your college experience, try everything, and don’t regret anything!