After a relaxing lunch in the hotel was on our way again this time on a half day afternoon trip around Old Cusco Town. The heart of the Inca civilisation but looked more like a Spanish town with a wonderful square surrounded by Cathedrals, Churches, marketplaces, houses with ballast fades and narrow steep tight houses leaving the square. Now remembering Daves prophecy about nice weather the skies were darkening at a terrific rate.
We visited the major market place that sold all your usual items like sheeps head soup, llama sweetbreads, roasted Guinea pig on a stick, along with 3000 varieties of potato, thousands of seeds, weeds and cheese. Free samples were offered at each stall, although only the bread was accepted!
An assault of colours, smells and noise.
We next visited the Spanish Convent on the main square where it had been built on the Inca temple to Sun God, with its exquisite block work, perfectly fitted, aligned and even had a sliding mechanical rock door to its inner sanctum. Now as the temple of the Sun God there was an almighty thunderstorm with torrential rain and hail. The temperature was must dropped by 15 degrees but it was only 18 before. The some of the more slopey streets accumulated bucketful of hail. The one benefit was it cleared the streets of hawkers temporarily only to return with the plastic ponchos. A remarkable resilient people.
We then entered the cathedral consisting of separate churches either side, one from the 15th century and 17th century respectively with the Massive in comparison Catherdral. Each of theses Catholic buildings were orantedly decorated with spectactular and ever grander in scale gold and silver alters, deity, precious stones and carving. It was quite overpowering and demonstrated the wealth and power that the Spanish dominated, suppressed and eliminated the Inca people's and their way of life. It was quite brutal and sickening how the ultimately and systematically destroy and overpowered the people. Guns and disease v Stones, only one winner there.
In the evening went to a local resturant called Chicos and their on entry we saw two apparitions both of Jesus floating to the east and west, very unnervinging but explained later by the hosts, that there were lighted figures on top of buildings up in the mountains. This built our appetite for our first and perhaps last taste of roasted Guinea pig. We had it in a style of Guinea pig in black potato wraps with local vegetable roots, tasted like porky chicken, but it's small bones or teeth tended to get trapped in the teeth and took some strong toothpicks to release them, mmmm delicious.
The end of another fantastic day, history lessons galore, views and places to die for as well as seeing, touching and sensing what would have been like as either the indigenous Inca, priest or royality or on the other hand a conquering Spanish conquistador looting, piligaging and taking precious metals and establishing a new order in less than 90 years. Brilliant, fascinating and overpowering.