What had I seen? (or rather, heard?)
A procession!! Woo hooo! Today it seemed as though every country community had sent a few of its people to jump, dance and sing in a similar way to the event we saw in Lima last Saturday.
(ooer, was it really only last Saturday?)
OK, said Francis, take lots of photos, get in there with them (!) and we’ll stay here a while and watch.
So I did. Actually he had been talking earlier about racial characteristics and the inca faces which are still seen on the streets here, This was a fine opportunity to point out one or two of the things he’d mentioned.
These are shepherds, with their lambskins around their waists. Look at the wealth of colour and texture though – the braids and the pompoms. Many had small amulets around their necks, sometimes a simple little bottle with a few seeds inside, other times something more elaborate.
Young and old were in there, dancing along with huge enthusiasm.
Wait for me!
There were large banners, richly embroidered in silver and gold, ususally to be seen hanging in the local church, but for now, carried proudly by someone strong!
Every time I thought that we should move on, there was another lovely face, another colourful costume. Oh dear. The men were champing at the bit now.
So we walked alongside for a while.
I couldn’t resist taking more photographs of the braids, the scarves, the fabrics!
Even though, really, hadn’t we seen enough?
Well, yes, really. Time for me to be sensible!
O-oh! Just one more…look at these!!
Well, actually, the procession came to a standstill because it ran headlong into another protest for womens rights! So, we left them there in the street, sitting down for a rest or nipping to a stand to buy a tamale or something, and we went on into the main square, the Plaza des Armas to go and see the cathedral.
Mind you, it was a bit of a squash to work our way though!
The square was bustling too, but fairly peaceful and with enough space (and few enough distractions) for us to learn a little bit about the architecture – those lovely balconies, for example; a colonial introduction which proved popular even though they are never used. They’re simply a means of getting more air into the rooms inside.
People were gathering on the steps of the cathedral ready to welcome the procession and looking at them whilst doing a bit of weighing up in my mind, I juggled the options. Should i join the crowd and wait for the procession, or should I go into the cathedral and see the Cusco School paintings and the magnificent chapels we’d read about?
You’ll find out what I opted to do in the next post!