Arrive back in Qosqo exhausted and grubby. It ended up hot and sweaty at M/P and wearing same clothes for two days. Change and shower and a meal down the hill at Jack’s Cafe is relaxing and filling. Mama’s chicken soup and vegs would be a lunch on its own. But I haven’t eaten all day so it is followed by a (tasty) fillet steak toastie served with a proper large side salad. Apologies to all those of you who ever had to think of veggie options when feeding me!
Last morning in Peru, in S America, dawns bright and sunny. The view from the breakfast room could almost be Venice. Apart from the mountains !
Packing the rucksack means careful balancing of what to dump, what needs to be in backpack and will it all fit? Needless to sat there is more rather than less, despite two books having gone but not much else. A couple of pots and quite a few sherds picked up on sites – even two bits from M/P. And dried clay from the jungle and broad beans and black potatoes for the allotment. It all fits in eventually.
There are two very good museums relating to the Incas which seem to be the obvious priority amongst all the others. The first is housed in a fine mansion owned by a Spanish admiral – long way from the sea though.
It fills in so much of the cultural and economic background that was lacking in the tour. The kulpa was the method of recording information but available only to the elite. And the maize beer seems to have fuelled their life almost as much as the coca leaf.
And again the walls continually draw your eye in their consummate perfection. These are just streets and houses, rather than the elevated status of the royal palace. Whole long streets put together. Even my bedroom had a wall built into the rockface.
Though I’ not sure how she would feel about being transposed next to this couple. This dates from about 800 AD and is beautifully made, technically and in its detail. Until I came to Peru I had never associated pottery with sexual activity. But I have seen a lot covering a variety of poses and subjects; humans; frogs; monkeys, heterosexual and homosexual. The closest I can think of is Grayson Perry. My next roof finial will be featuring……….
Reach the market just as the heavens open. Bread cheese and tomato for a snatched lunch and some more chocolate for good measure.
Having checked in at the airport I am then regaled by the Peruvian police conducting a “random search”. Not sure what their profiling criteria are. Made a point of telling them what my job had been. Chiefly worried by all the pottery sherds stashed in the bag – none of which they noticed. Did ask why I had potatoes. Eventually repacked bag and heartbeat returned to normal. I was more worried that both bags were being searched at the same time and it was difficult to watch what they were doing. Didn’t want stuff either to go missing or strangely appear for a shakedown.
Three hours is a good gap between flights, not too long to be oppressive but time to shop ( gin) and find your way round without rushing – unlike the rather portly lady on the plane fretting because the doors hadn’t opened to get off – “I is running to be getting my plane, ja” She had an enormous pack on her back as well so God knows if she ever made it.
Overnight on a Dreamliner – sounds good. Watch Bladerunner 3 till about 1.30am. It lacks the edge and zest of the original, too often predictable and the ending is lazy. And Harrison Ford is just Indiana Jones sci-fi style.
Dawn comes eventually, though hard to tell as the windows are self-tinting. I keep looking at my watch thinking it should be light by now. We land within a minute of scheduled time – not bad after a (tailwind) flight of nine and a half hours.
It seems like only yesterday – well maybe the day before – that I was flying out to Quito. Then it felt that it was a long journey to undertake. There have been times when I felt a bit weary or isolated. Days counting those past and those to come. But most of it has been full of new sights and sounds, smells and colours. I have learnt some Spanish and occasionally understand what people are saying to me (what’s new?).
Ecuador and Peru are undoubtedly still Third World countries, the infrastructure, the poverty and corruption, economic deprivation. But the people have a sense of self and identity in their culture and history that we have long lost. It has survived the deprivation and desolation caused by the Spanish rape and pillage of their countries and is still to be seen in the language, Kechwa, Aymaru that they speak and the customs they follow.
I leave you with this brief peek at the evident joy they feel for their culture
Thank you all for your company and I hope it has been worth your time logging in.