Peru – The Old Sipan Fortress

A huge pile of mud, now highly eroded, still stands in the desert just near Pampa Grande outside of Chiclayo, as a reminder of the grandeur of the era of the Sipan reign. 1700 years before Christ, this people group built huge buildings out of adobe mud bricks. This huge form was what was left of the old Sipan Fortress that we managed to climb.

Getting Inside
Super steep walls, unable to be climbed, surrounds the whole structure. Its immense size giving cause to question how it could even be possible that they could construct such a structure let alone doing it from mud bricks. Yet the remaining structure clearly shows the adobe bricks high up on the walls, revealing a design that is said to have taken generations to build.

Standing at the base, there seemed to be no way to get inside, but we walked the circumference and a doorway emerged into sight leading into a black cave. We entered cautiously, eyeing warily the large cracks in the mud over our heads. Thankfully, it was only a short passage, leading quickly into the light of a huge hallway flanked by super-high walls.

Going Up To The Top
After climbing over a few mud obstacles, we reach the end of the hallway. From here we had to scale the mud wall, using the path that many had taken before. Once up, the next step was down and over a ravine several metres deep before scuttling up an eroded track to finally reach what would have been the roof of this impressive structure.

Now on top, moving around was much easier, with care taken at highly narrow bottle-necks where the hard, dry mud walls dropped down into eroded passageways 30 feet below on both sides. Careful stepping ensured that none of us found out what was on the floor below while crossing these areas.

Finding An Exit
Moving around, we reached the edges of the mud monolith, standing at the top of sheer cliff walls and facing certain pain if we should fall. Everywhere we looked appeared impossible to descend. Having climbed up through a very difficult and challenging path to reach the top, we were all hoping for an easier way out.

Looking around, I saw a slightly higher section of the old building and raced up the slope to conquer it. As I then looked out over the rest of the structure, a channel down to the base of the structure appeared. One of our trail-blazers raced over to the point it started and tried to descend. A cry from the diminished figure claimed that it was easy, and soon all were heading down the same way.

Stolen Gold, Hidden Gold
Somewhere in amongst all of that mud exists tombs and gold and other valuable items. The whole place has already been robbed significantly during earlier times, but it is believed that many things still remain undiscovered. Standing on top of this incredible structure gives one an appreciation for the immensity of it all. It is absolutely huge.

An archealogical site of great significance, it continues to remain unprotected. But that was the only reason why we were able to enter and experience the immensity of this ancient Sipan Fortress.