Peruvian cultural festival in Cusco, Day 25

Cultural festival, Cusco, PeruA Peruvian cultural festival takes over the Plaza de Armas today…

Not since the Galapagos Islands have we encountered as many tourists as we find in Cusco.  And many of them are American.  That isn’t a bad thing, but from personal experience you know you are in a mature tourist destination (as opposed to ‘off the beaten track’) when you are surrounded by large American tour groups.  The downside to an American invasion is that prices skyrocket, which makes Cusco much more expensive than the rest of Peru.

In truth, I’m happy to leave my American brethren to run the gamut of persistent hawkers that congregate in the main square in favor of a lazy morning in a nearby pub, eating a full English breakfast and watching English premier league soccer (Go Chelsea).  Christi, on the other hand, prefers to curl up on the couch and read one of the few books she has found in South America that’s written in English.

Later we wander outside to find a huge folk dancing-cum cultural festival ongoing in the main square (yet another Plaza de Armas).  The locals are bedecked in bright, dramatic costumes with fascinating masks.  There are several groups from different parts of Peru dancing their hearts out.  Talk about a Kodak moment – does anyone still use that phrase in a digital world?  Anyway, it’s all great fun and we watch for an hour, pestered the whole time, of course, by local hawkers.  I learn a new Spanish phrase in Cusco, tal vez más tarde (may be later), which is rather cruel, I know.

Blog post by Roderick Phillips, author of Weary Heart – a gut-wrenching tale of love and test tubes.

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