Santo Domingo cathedral, Cusco, Day 27

Santo Domingo cathedral, Cusco, Peru

Christi’s feeling a little ‘soroche’ today (where’s the Diamox?), so we have a very relaxing morning – or at least as much as is possible considering the cleaning staff like to meet outside our room at 6:30am to chat.  Once we surface, we have money issues to deal with.  One problem with traveling for a year is getting your hands on all that cold hard cash you’ve squirreled away.  Although we’re carrying some $US and euros (discreetly hidden about our bodies) and some traveler’s checks, which are about as popular as VHS tapes and vinyl records these days (Note, we carried those damn things around with us for the entire year and never used any of them) the vast majority of our reserves are sitting in a Wells Fargo bank account in the USA.  These days ATMs are the modern, convenient option – always assuming your card isn’t eaten by an ATM in darkest Bolivia or a lion in darkest Africa.  I keep my fingers crossed and mumble a little prayer each time I approach a new machine.

Still without money we can’t do the fun things like the Inca Trail or explore the Amazon rainforest or even visit the Santo Domingo cathedral in Cusco.  The cathedral took 100 years of Inca ‘workmanship’ and Spanish ‘guidance’ to build.  And the carvings are exquisite.  There’s also a bizarre version of The Last Supper painted by local Quechuan artist Marcos Zapata in 1753, which would have intrigued even Dan Brown.  Imagery was the most successful tool used by the Spaniards in their quest to Christianize the Andean population. By teaching locals to paint Christian subjects, they were able to infuse Christian symbolism into Andean traditions. Therefore, instead of a lamb on the table there’s a chinchilla (a large guinea-pig-like animal), while Judas is painted black like a Moor (the Moors were a Muslim people and the sworn enemies of Catholic Spain at that time).  Come on Dan, get writing.

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

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