29 May 2011

A couple of curiosities

I spotted this sign while museuming with Mat last week. It’s for a mass marriage ceremony on Sunday 12 June at 10.30 am at the Convention Centre at Cusco City Hall, and the cost is only 50 soles (that’s about $18). I have no idea whether such ceremonies occur frequently or are popular with the locals. I’m tempted to go along just to see what happens!

I was sitting in a café in the middle of town having lunch last Sunday watching two women (one with clipboard, one with syringe) seemingly doing a house-to-house inoculation awareness programme. They jabbed a child in a doorway as I watched, then moved on to the next doorway in search of their next unsuspecting victim!

Also while eating that lunch, I was approached twice by an old woman in traditional costume (they really do wear the wide skirts, the multi-coloured and -striped carry-all wrap around the shoulders, the tall hat) with a llama, wanting this gringo tourist to pay to take a photo. The woman was gnarled, the llama cute – except that it tried to eat my lunch! I didn’t pay for a photo.

This is a monument to the founder of the Inca empire. According to my pamphlet, ‘it is 75-feet tall and has nine levels. On top of it there is a 113-foot tall bronze effigy of Inka Pachakueq. … An awesome view can be seen from the top.’ Imposing as the monument is, I think the pamphlet writer has a few problems with his measurements, and I’m not able to verify the awesomeness of the view – unfortunately the day Mat and I walked down to check it out, the monument was closed!

These are just a couple of the curiosities I've come across this week. I'm sure there will be many more in the weeks to come. For me, such curiosities are among the joys of travelling.