I am making excellent progress on the edit of “The Suitcase Murders.” I’m over halfway through and hope to finish it up by the end of the week. I’m adding a pregnancy and two more murders to the story. Spice and excitement, that’s what it’s all about. Well, that and good writing. I would probably be done but other projects and meeting seemed to get in my way towards the end of the week. I’m hoping that success with this edit will inspire me to get back to book #2 as soon as I’m finished. I sent book one, “The Prince Charming Murders,” off to a publisher this past week. I got tired of rejection letters from agents and am hoping for better luck using this route. At least they told me they would respond, although it might take up to three months for them to get back to me. Everyone keep your fingers crossed.
Larry and I met for coffee this past Friday again. Mark didn’t make it; he forgot to put it in his planner again. Although we missed his witty repartee, the conversation was long and lively as always. Amanda updated her whereabouts on Facebook this week. She’s in Sweden now foraging for berries in the woods. She’s posted to her blog with a few more stories about her adventures on board the ship. They are interesting reading. The link to the last one in case you are interested. http://myllamaandme.blogspot.se/2012/08/the-forbidden-crane.html Her adventure continues. Katrina also posted yesterday. She will be starting school next Monday. This will be an exciting new adventure for her also. I’m looking forward to reading about her new life as she travels down this path.
The truly exciting and fun thing I did this past week was visit the ancient ruins of Caral. They are located about a four hour drive north of Lima. Caral is considered one of the five “Mother Cities” on earth. They are the oldest cities on the planet and Caral IS the oldest in the Americas to date. Two archaeologists came up with a theory as to why societies came together to build cities. War, was the conclusion they came to; protection from the invading hoards. In these mother cities they found walls, signs of war and weapons. After the discovery, dating and excavation of Caral, these two came to test their theory here. The problem, no walls, no weapons, no signs of war; commerce seemed to be the reason that this city was built. The two archaeologists had to throw out their theory.
We left Parque Kennedy aboard a bus at 7am Sunday morning. My good friends Larry, Mark, Kano and Dario were part of the group of over twenty people that decided to go on the tour. Everyone was in a jolly mood and our tour guide Ronaldo was personable and well informed. The drive north took us through areas of Lima experiencing rapid growth. It’s fortunate we were going on a Sunday, much less traffic. After an hour or so of cityscape, we were on the Pan America Norte. The road hugs the desert cliffs along the Pacific. The views of the ocean are stark and beautiful. You try to ignore the deep plunge the bus would take over the edge if the driver were not an expert.
After the cliffs, we entered verdant valleys. There were green with crops and small towns surrounded by farms dotted the landscape. We stopped in a small town called Huancho for breakfast. Ten Soles for salchicha, tamals, blood sausage, juice, coffee and bread. I was hungry since breakfast at home was out of the question. Up at 5am, I was in no mood to cook before going to the park. Finishing the meal, we re-boarded the bus and headed north for a few more miles before turning inland to head to Caral. A long unpaved, bumpy, dusty ride through fields containing strawberries, maracuya, corn and other vegetables as well as a couple of very large chicken farms kept us bouncing around in our seats. The heavy clouds that hug this part of the coast of Peru parted and the sun came blazing through just as we pulled into the parking lot of the archaeological complex.
The group spent the next two hours following the Spanish speaking guide from pyramid to pyramid. I’m sure his lectures were interesting and full of amazing facts about the site. Unfortunately, my Spanish isn’t up to prolonged lectures in scientific fields. I’m glad I read up on the site before coming and our personal guide Renaldo answered any questions I had in English. This site is older than the pyramids in Egypt. It amazes me that a civilization this advanced existed on the other side of the world during the same time period as those in Mesopotamia and other areas of the Middle East. So far, they do not think they had developed a written language or the ability to create ceramics but the investigation continues.
The pyramids are all in various stages of renovation and exploration. They take photos, number and remove the stones, then place them back and mortar them with a mix that is exactly like the one used by the ancients. Black flags perched over the buildings flutter in the constant wind that courses across this starkly beautiful desert landscape. They’re there to frighten away the birds. Their excrement can damage the building. On the edge of this apparent wasteland lies a river lined with greens fields and trees. Across it in the far distance you can see another pyramid in the process of being renovated. The guide tells the group there are a dozen such places stretched up and down the valley.
Walking through the plazas and taking my photos of these amazing structures, I am humbled by man’s constant strive to uplift his life to a higher plane. What were these people like? What Gods did they worship? What language did they speak? We know they loved music. Flutes carved from bone, wood and shells have been found during excavations. Objects from the jungle, highlands and the coast show how far people traveled to come to this center of commerce. It is a truly wonderful site. A place anyone traveling to Peru needs to experience.
That´s it for now, I hope you enjoyed the read and photos. Have a great week. Get out and explore, the world is an amazing place. Do it, even if it’s local. All the years I lived in Southern Illinois and I’ve never made it to the mounds in Cahokia. That’s something I need to do on one of my trips back to the US to visit friends and family. Have a great week everyone.