The clash of modern and traditional Cusco, Day 29

The clash of modern and traditional Cusco: charity rock concert, Cusco, Peru

Today we experience the clash of modern and traditional Cusco.  We begin by wandering along the back streets of Cusco – just for the hell of it.  It’s a hot lazy morning and we’re delighted to find a hole-in-the-wall joint selling freshly-squeezed OJ.  The juicers even pose, albeit shyly, for a photo.  More by luck than judgment we then stumble across the offices of Cruz del Sur and purchase our onward bus tickets to Arequipa, Peru’s second city.  We also find (again, accidentally) TWO lingerie shops (surely somebody will connect the dots with Saqsaywaman, eventually).  These shops may not be very popular with the indigenous Quechuan women, but back in the Plaza de Armas there’s a rock concert in progress and two sultry beauties in decidedly skimpy costumes are singing and wiggling their bits most provocatively.  Now these girls look as if they’ve just stepped out of a lingerie shop (and apparently their next gig is at Saqsaywaman, so I was right all along!  OK, I made that last bit up, but come on…)  Even more entertaining than the band are the old couples dancing along to the music and the lecherous old men drooling over the gorgeous girls.  We learn later that the concert is actually to benefit under-privileged children.  Surreal.

Later we explore another church in the main square, la Compania de Jesus. Unlike the catholic cathedral next door, this church is Jesuit.  The altar is the stunning centerpiece, although the views of the square from the upper levels are none too shabby.

Tonight we have a pre-departure meeting at the offices of Llamapath before heading out on the Inca trail tomorrow.  It seems our compatriots will be largely Kiwi’s. I’ve yet to meet a Kiwi I didn’t liked so the trip should be relaxed and fun – apart from all those damned hills.

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

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