I got up around 6:30 am and headed down for breakfast before leaving for the morning adventures.
We hit up a couple of Inca ruins, Saqsayhuaman and Q’enqo. The boulders at Saqsayhuaman were ginormous. They weighed in the tons and were moved from a quarry 5 miles away to the location they are at, by the Incans. The way they were formed to fit perfectly with each other, amazing. Everything was so precise and clean cut. I’ve never seen anything so perfectly done in my life. It’s truly remarkable what these people could do. I don’t think we could do anything close today, to what they did hundreds of years ago. It’s incredible.
We then went to a cathedral and convent. All of which were Incan until the Spanish took over. The cathedral was really spectacular. It was a great learning experience about the artwork and how the Spanish controlled it to rid the area of any Incan influence. It was fascinating. To also learn that even though the Spanish controlled the religious artwork and architecture within the building, the Incans still found ways to continue their traditions, beliefs, and influences by making slight changes to the pieces. By having some of the alters rounded instead of triangular in shape. To the Incas, the triangle shape symbolizes the mountains, not a building or something else. I’m not religious at all, if you’ve read any of my other posts you will know this, but I am still in awe of the cathedral and how the Incans maintained some influence throughout.
The convent was nothing spectacular, to me anyway. After the convent though, we were part of a street ceremony/party. People in bright colored outfits, dancing through the streets with a band following and playing music. Everyone was happy and enjoying the party. It was just a fun stroll to the next destination. Who doesn’t like a good street party anyway?!
We then went to the alpaca factory where they make alpaca products. We learned what real alpaca feel like and how to tell if it’s real or fake. Then we were able to do a little shopping in the store. Shopping was the name of the game today, for me anyway. I was running out of time to get gifts to bring back. I cannot go home empty handed. I did pretty good on the shopping day. Got my extra bad a brought with, almost completely full now.
On our way back from the alpaca factory, the maybe 12 of us in the van, had a run in with the Peruvian police. The van, which was not being driven by one of our regular drivers and was actually a van and driver from the factory, got pulled over. The driver almost hit the street cop at a stop light. He was told to pull off to the side of the road. The officer and the driver got into some sort of disagreement (that’s what we’ll call it). I am not sure what was said, as none of us in the van spoke Spanish. You could just tell the woman officer was pissed off. She kept going around to the front of the van though. Pretty soon, more officers joined in the fun. A couple from our van ended up getting out before it was all done and over with but the rest of us wanted to stay and enjoy the show. In fact, one of my group buddies asked where the popcorn was. In total, there were 3 officers involved and each one kept looking at the front plate on the van. Eventually, the driver told us he was going to have to take the van to the police station. So, we all had to get out and walk the rest of the way. Thank goodness it was only about 5-6 blocks from the hotel and the night before when I had gone to dinner with a few of the others in the van, we had gone passed where we ended up unloading from. Kind of crazy but how many people can say they had a run in with the Peruvian police and still made it home on time with no issues?
This was the last day the whole group was going to be together before heading separate ways. As much fun as I had, and as many great people I had met, I was ready to get home. Peru had not let me down at all. Although, I did go in with no expectations, it had been the most awesome and incredible experience. I am so grateful to have been able to have had this experience.