Today we traveled to Caral, to visit the site of the oldest civilization in South America, which dates back to atleast 4000 years ago, predating the Incas. We loaded onto the bus and settled in for the 3 or 4 hour drive to Caral from Lima.
When Caral was first discovered in the year 1941, not much was thought about it because no valuable artifacts, like ceramics were found at the site, yet evidence that the inhabitants were able to cultivate food was found. Upon later research on the site by another archeologist in 1994, we have found out just how significant Caral actually is, and that no ceramic items were discovered originally because the civilization most likely existed before the concept of ceramic pottery. Numerous terraced pyramids span the area that was used for ceremonies, religious purposes and housing. Some items excavated at Caral included many instruments made from animal bones and the body of a baby.
After Caral we headed back to the bus and journeyed another hour so we could stop at a restaurant for lunch at about 4pm. Only some rice and salad for this vegetarian, so I was anxiously awaiting a nice dinner at my host family’s house when we returned. After lunch, another 3 or 4 hours in the bus was ahead of us. I tend to enjoy long bus rides actually, and caught some sleep, but there is no doubt how happy we all were to reach the hostel and get off that bus, especially after hitting traffic in Lima right when we were all about to go crazy! But, parts of this bus ride were incredible. We rode along a winding strip of road overlooking the coast, the waves crashing against the shore right below us, and the view was breathtaking.