Lazy Cusco afternoon

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
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52
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Trip End Apr 03, 2011


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Bright Hostel

Flag of Peru  ,
Sunday, January 16, 2011

After seeing my friends off to Lima and various other places I had the Sunday in Cusco to myself. Actually, as the Dutch (whom I was waiting for) have the worst timekeeping in the world, I had the Sunday in Cusco to myself. Meeting German people on our travels who said we had the worst organisational skills in the world – I imagine they would pick on the Dutch's timekeeping!

I planned my day to finally publish my Machu Picchu blog, eat a McDonalds, go to the Inca museum, research potential places to visit, eat a sunday dinner and finally watch a film.

After finishing my blog I went down to McDonalds - which had Black (not golden) arches. Going in I ordered my food and realised that Metallica was playing over the speakers – was the dark side of rock taking over the world, starting with Cusco's McDonalds??? Who would be next? Would I be met in Lima by a MetalliKing?

After wondering over these points I made my way to the Inca museum, discovering interesting facts like it's closed on Sunday. With few choices available I decided to explore more of the town.

The shops seemed to be a mixture of closed and open on Sundays with no real reasoning for either. I wondered away from the main square in the hot sunshine, buying an ice cream on my travel. Walking through some old gateway to the main city I came across a market where, outside two Peruvians in drag gathered a crowd. I couldn't be sure what they were doing exactly – possibly selling things, but the main gimmick of the show was of men wearing traditional and modern Peruvian women's dress.

Not being able to take much more of the excitement I went into the market seeing a lot of clothing and food stalls. Here there were fruit, meat, fish all combining into one beautiful smell. At first I started thinking that I had reached the real Peru, but then thinking that if a traveller came to our country and went to a market thinking that – he would be very much mistaken! It led me on to further thoughts of seeing an article on Laos this morning, a communist country opening it's doors to tourism in order to create more jobs. When I read it I though that I needed to get there quickly before commercialism takes over the real country, but then wondering what is the real country? In the UK we have gone through many changes over the past hundreds of years, but we have always been the real UK. I suppose the question really would be, is the country growing / evolving, or is it being contaminated with western influences? how do the 2 combine - as they are mutually exclusive? Is it a good thing or are we ruining different cultures? If the Inca people survived in Machu Picchu (where the Spanish never found the city) what would they look like today? I can't really speak for the economic or business side of things, however from being in Latin America for some time, the heart and spirit of the Latin American people is definitely still strong. There may be a divide between traditional and western clothing in Peru and Bolivia (even in the world of drag), however you can see their spirit is still the same.

Walking back to the main plaza I decided that I had enough time on my hands to waste some visiting the Basilica Cathedral. Not being a stranger to Catholic cathedrals now, the feeling of misery as soon as I walked in was nothing new. The immediate things that you notice is the grandeur of the place with graceful high ceilings and gold / silver artefacts carefully placed around the building. I wondered around looking at all the paintings, murals and statues they had. Looking at their faces I could not see one man that was smiling. The only women that were smiling were holding baby's, with Angels the only other beings that were smiling (N.b. Even if a man were holding a baby he would look miserable). I was happy after seeing only old bearded men or young clean shaven men to finally see a man with only a moustache. Who this trend setter of the early water painting was I will never know as no details were with him – but Sir, I salute you!   
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