Monday, October 10, 2022
Our day began with a lecture about the Politics and Economy of Peru by Alan La Rue. He was born in Canada and moved to Peru in 1995 and has stayed in Peru.
An interesting fact that he shared was that close to 75% of the workforce in Peru was “informal”, meaning they weren’t on a payroll. The average monthly wage was $250 US dollars of the informal sector. China has become the biggest investor in Peru. Also, Peruvians are obliged to vote and if you don’t vote, you are fined. Mr. La Rue shared many interesting facts about Peru.
After our lecture we took a bus to the Lima airport for our flight to Cusco. As we flew to Cusco we went over the Andes mountains and they were beautiful! Some areas and mountain peaks were still covered in snow.
Cusco’s elevation was 11,152 feet above sea level. We were warned about the effects of altitude sickness. We were told to drink a lot of water, don’t eat a lot, stay away from alcohol, and drink coca tea. We were told to walk slowly, rest, and take our time. We noticed the altitude difference right away. We did have altitude pills to help which we did take and they did help with the headaches.
Upon arrival we transferred to our hotel. After check-in we had some time before Gustavo Leon, who was an expert on the history of Inca and Andean musical instruments gave his presentation. His expertise was on native woodwind, percussion, and string instruments.
Below is a picture of the courtyard of our hotel from our room. We opened our window into the courtyard to get some air flowing because our room was warm and there wasn’t any air conditioning. Unfortunately it was still warm and noisy!
When it was time for our lecture with Gustavo, we met in a meeting room and he had his collection of native and ancestral musical instruments. He was a native of Cusco and he had done research and preservation of Peru’s Andean music. He focused on the origins of the music. He was very talented! He demonstrated and played the instruments for us. We were impressed by his collection and his playing ability.
After the music demonstration a group of us walked with Victor, our Group Leader, to the Belmond Monasterio Hotel. It was a 5-star hotel with incredible artwork and had a beautiful chapel. It was a monastary in the 1600’s. It’s a national historic monument and was originally built in 1592. After an earthquake did extensive damage in 1650 restoration was done and the chapel was added. In 1965 it was remodeled as a hotel.
Below was a picture of the hotel’s courtyard. In the center was a 300 year old Cedar tree and its surrounded by stone cloisters and religious artwork.
We spent some time in the Chapel of San Antonio Abad. It was a great example of gold leaf style art. The chapel was gorgeous.
Dinner was on our own this evening. One of our fellow traveler friends, Roseanna, knew that the restaurant Uchu was owned by a woman from Lancaster, OH. Lancaster is about an hour from where we live and also was Roseanna’s hometown! We decided to try the restaurant. The food was delicious but unfortunately when we talked to the manager, he let us know that we missed the owner, she was traveling. He was kind and sent us a complimentary olive appetizer!
After our delicious meal we walked back to the hotel. The plaza was still very busy!
As we were walking the moon was shining brightly! The moon was almost full.