Monday, February 13, 2012

Galapagos Islands and Peru Part 4

Sunday, yesterday was traveling and this morning we flew from Lima to Cusco. We actually arrived early in Cusco so we went to the Cusco Cathedral. This is a beautiful cathedral, lots of gold statues and art work. Two things I'll remember about it.  This is the first church I remember where the gowns on the statues are actually cloth.  On some there are competitions on special occasions to see which gown is worn. There was absolutely no photographs allowed, with or without flash. Most of the art work is copies of "old world" masters. They were done by Quechuans (Inca) for the Spanish.  The artists were not allowed to sign their work and were not supposed to use any of their religious symbols in the paintings. The cathedral houses the painting I most wanted to see.  It is a copy of the "Last Supper", but they have many Peruvian symbols in the painting. One of the most prominent is the main course right in the center of the table. A cuy, what we call Guinea pig was the main course. The table also was full of produce common to Peru.  I have a post card of part of the painting but it leaves out another big difference. There is a window on the left and through that window you can see Christ on the cross.

We then went to a very nice restaurant for lunch.  Here I has my first of several cups of coco tea. This was the only place that we actually had the tea brewing over the leaves.  The others the tea was in bags just like home.  Of course, we couldn't bring any home. After lunch we drove to the Urubamba valley were we visited a place were llamas were bred and were the did knitting with alpacca wool.  Beautiful garments, but very pricey.

We then drove to what was to be out hotel for the next two nights. No way I can explain the grounds, I'll show pictures. We had a lecture from Peter Frost before supper.  This was bad timing as most of us had a difficult time staying awake.  We then had a late supper and I shared a table with Peter.  He was much better after food and rest.

A Bob Marley Llama

No Child labor laws?

Hotel Grounds

At the hotel

At the hotel

We each had a cottege like those behind me.
Monday and we are going to visit the ruins at the fortress of Ollantaytambo.  This is an impressive site and Peter does some of his work here.  He has accompanied us and is acting as a guide.  Hard climb to near the top, but I enjoyed it.  The altitude difference was evident, but I think the Coco tea helped.  After this we returned to the hotel where we were treated to weaving demonstration by ladies from the Center for Traditional Textiles which was established to aid in the preservation and revival of Peruvian Inca textiles. We then had lunch and afterwards a Peruvian Paso horse demonstration.  Then we were given some options for the afternoon and I chose to spend more time talking to Peter, exploring the grounds and resting.  After supper we enjoyed a short performance of "Gods of the Andes" on Inca myths. The weavers, horsemen and hummingbird are all on the hotel grounds.

Tomorrow...Machu Picchu!!!

Quite a climb...lots of stairs.

Notice the part of the Inca Cross...a lucky charm

The water flow could be started and stopped with the flick of a finger

The yard ball is thrown back and forth...its in the air here

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