< Previous | Next >
Wednesday 28th April - City Tour
By Claire
Friday, 7th May 2004 01:27

We spent the morning internetting and having breakfast. Although the Peruvians do fantastic chips (actual, real potatoes deep fried, not french fries) they cannot do bread at all. It's either hard pitta-style or it's crumbly and quite sweet, so you can't really win with a sandwhich. And Peruvian oranges are not nearly as sweet as those in central America. We did find a restaurant that sold alpaca steaks and guinea pigs though.

Gionea pigs are quite a speciality, although I was advised to go outside the town for real ones, the touristy ones aren't as nice.

In the afternoon we waited outside the hotel again, hoping that someone would come to find us, and they did. We had another coach tour, this time of the city itself and six surrounding archaeological sites. It wasn't quite as nice as yesterday because the guide rushed through things and didn't really give us a chance to ask questions, but she made some interesting points. All the oil paintings in Cuzco's huge main cathedral in Cuzco were painted by Quechua who had been taught to copy the Spanish style, but had inserted more familiar details into them: instead of donkeys and geese, they painted llamas and parrots, and many of the statues of Mary were dressed in silk and gold - they thought that if this lady was supposed to be the mother of the king, she would have had to have been very rich and important, and they didn't like the versions of her in simple robes. The cathedral was beautiful, and a massive golden altar took up most of one part. There was the head of the Quechua sun god built into it just above the image of Jesus - the Quechua would bow to that rather than the Catholic icons, but the Spanish were happy enough with that. My favourite bit was the painting of the last supper - Jesus and his disciples all sitting around eating guinea pig...

Just outside the city were the sites of Sachsaywaman and Q'enqo (the latter pronounced with a weird clicking sound before the Q) and although they were interesting, the guide didn't really spend enough time on them. There were also a few stops at local markets which we avoided because we had already bought most of what we wanted, and it was hard to say no to everyone when they tried to argue with you.

< Previous | Next >