23 September 2007

Quechua Quiz

The last few days I've pretty much been wandering about Cuzco with Dutch Ruth, Irish Maeve, and Maeve's father Val. Val arrived recently to visit Maeve, at which point Maeve promptly had a seizure, and I am starting to think I have been around this sort of thing entirely too much lately. I watched them shop, and had good times with Ruth and the famous 12-sided stone. Today, I visited the nearby ruins of Tambomachay, Pukapukara, Q'enqo, and Saqsaywaman. You get 5 points for each one of those you can accurately pronounce, but don't check with me. The last one is often sounded out in English as "sexy woman". I looked for an equinox party there, but failed to find it after not looking very hard. After Saqsaywaman, I went to have lunch at the feet of the giant statue of Jesus Christ that stands above the city and glows at night. The view was great. I even saw some sort of procession on the main plaza, which I later learned was a weekly event. But I also found out that I missed a religious procession in which costumed men whipped their legs bloody in honor of some saint or other. One hates to miss such things as that. Instead, I took another 60 cent bus to the nearby town of Chinchero to view the lovely painted ceiling of the church and see even more amazing Inca terraces (though nothing here is so amazing to me as anything I saw in Greece or Egypt). Two little girls told me they could show me a baby condor in the rocks. Now, I don't usually allowed children to con me, but this time I gave them the B of the D and went along with them. Well, the baby condor turned out to be just a part of a rock (in the rocks?) that looks like a baby condor. Fool me once, shame on you... I gave them each a sol. They asked for more so I told them to "guarda sus monetas" and left. The famous Sunday market was over by that point, so I marveled for awhile at how people still live in mud brick houses and then headed back to Cuzco by rapid minibus (almost $1 this time). I met up with Mauve and Val again, and we saw some nice dancing and music at the Cuzco Native Art Center. The plan for tomorrow is to visit Moray, a unique set of Inca terraces in concentric circles, each with its own microclimate. The best part is, I'm going with an Australian guy named Kane. Those in the know should know why that's like a dream come true for me. Ciao.

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