You knew I couldn’t resist waiting outside, didn’t you?
I suggested the men went inside whilst I sat on the steps with all the Mamitai, I promised not to speak to strange men and not to get caught up in any hooliganism. My hero would learn all there is to know about the Cuzco school of painting and then, this afternoon, we’d return and he could share all his new found knowledge. Agreed.
So, I found myself a seat on the steps alongside a few youngsters who were buying tubs of what looked like jelly and custard from the young woman with the tray (and a small child on her back)
No sooner had I sat down than they began to arrive – oh what a commotion! A heated argument was going on in front of me between a woman who’d sat down on the bottom step and an elderly gentleman who seemed to think she shouldn’t sit there.
I looked across the road and thought of my promise!
I’m sure my cousins will be glad to know there was a Hull City supporter in the parade!
The atmosphere was really quite jolly, but I was aware that all of these people were gathering on the steps too and I feared being overwhelmed by them all. Perhaps I’d better move to somewhere else.
I went and stood over in the line of policemen which actually gave me a better view of the goings on. All the time, I was anxiously working out how I could spot the men as they left the cathedral, though.
Because, actually, the square was getting fuller and fuller.
Processions were coming from all directions now and I thought that I needed to move again, before I got trapped in the middle of the square.
I looked around for somewhere to stand and spotted a large stone step on the other side of the road.
So, taking one last photo of these colourful chaps, I made my way over there and stood on top of it.
It was quite a good vantage point!
A bit of “Where’s Wally” too, when they tried to find me. But I’d spotted them immediately and having failed to catch their attention by jumping up and down on my stone perch, waving and shouting, I ran over and all fears of missing one another were gone!
We said goodbye to Francis, who was off to collect his two boys from their grandmothers in Urubamba, and sent our love to Adriana before walking back up the hill to our little haven of peace for a while. Whilst it’s not as high as Chinchero the other day, Cusco is nevertheless a good deal higher than we’ve been these last few days and we were feeling the difference.
So, we left the refreshment sellers (and their assistants) and enjoyed a short siesta!
This afternoon, we’ve been out again, retracing some steps – yes, we went in the cathedral and I learned all about the Cuzco school of painting – guinea pigs at the Last Supper and all of that.
I watched to see how the women here tie their small children on their back – with the help of Mamitai, it seems!
And we watched as the groups from this morning posed for photographs before going home.
Oh, girls….you’re never all going to get in that car are you?
Others stood on street corners, their elaborate costumes bundled into the pack, hoping for a lift back home.
The girls with the lamb made their way wearily up the street just in front of us and the city closed the doors and windows as the rain started.
We have loved being here, have really enjoyed exploring Cuzco and can’t think of a better way to spend the last day of our trip. We are tired, but happy, and have booked a table in the restaurant of our super-duper, luxury hotel this evening to round things off in style.
It’s going to be a very long day tomorrow.