After 24 hours on a bus we arrived in Cuzco. It is apparently a hair-raising journey from Lima over unpaved mountain paths and jaw dropping cliffs. I was much too car sick to have any idea.
Everyone looked pretty wretched getting off the bus. The altitude doesn’t help and a day later we’re still feeling it — a preview of old age – a flight of stairs nearly kills you. Yesterday I felt like I was on some odd recreational drug. Mr K and I walked a few hundred metres to San Francisco square where we collapsed in confused silence unable to form intelligible sentences.
Today Mr K, unaflicted by the baggage of a backpacking trip around Europe, bought us a combination ticket to every Catholic church in town valid for the next ten days. We visited four today. The steep entry price (our room costs less than a one person ticket) put me in a relatively appreciative mood and I did kind of enjoy the guilded hispanic alterpieces covering the entire back wall and the doll-like saints decked out in lace and shiny skirts, the dark skinned Jesuses, the graphic depictions of his wounds and the intricate side chapels where it is all repeated over and over.
Mr K is enamoured of the new-fangled electric “candles” in front of the side alters: you drop a coin in and the next electric candle in the row comes on. He also thought it was rather amusing that as the cathedral has two large organs they decided to christen the smaller, softer one the “female organ” and the larger, lounder one the “male organ”. We also enjoyed the depiction of the Last Supper featuring roast guinea pig.
Seeing churches with Mr K is much more fun than seeing them on your own (because you can’t afford to do anything else) after a lunch of bread and cheese (what, again?) on a park bench somewhere in Europe, but I still would have rathered a day of llama racing.