I missed last week because it was New Year; Sort of lots going on. So a Happy New Year to those who come for this feature. Things are back to normal.

During my travels I spent a lot of time in Cusco, Peru. I was based there, I passed through there many times and I lived and worked there twice.

One of my favourite photos was taken there.

Santa Catalina Convent

Paddy Flaherty's Irish Pub

Taken at night with a long exposure from the left window of Paddy Flaherty’s Irish Pub. I used to work there as manager many years ago, about 1999.

Paddy’s was the original Irish Pub in Cusco. The ownerwas Carlos, who got the idea of an Irish Pub when he studied in either England or Ireland; memory fails me in my dotage.

Anyway, a bit of romance. Carlos eventually married one of my tourists. True, I used to take groups on tours around Peru and we usually spent four days in Cusco as some prepared for the Inca Trail. Carlos and a young Australian girl fell in love. She left the tour when we returned from Machu Picchu and stayed in Cusco. That was all in 1997.

A true fairy-tale romance, she met her Prince Charming and that was it; maybe they lived happily ever after, I don’t know because I have long lost contact with them.

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The same Santa Catalina Convent in the daytime

The third balconey from the left is the home of Norton Rat’s Tavern, a well known tourist bar run by Jeff, an American. I was a frequent customer there.

Lucia Isabel Rivera de Padilla founded the Santa Catalina Convent (named for St. Catherine of Siena) in 1601 after one she had founded in 1559 in Arequipa was destroyed by the Waynaputina Volcano. Since 1975, the convent has housed a museum of colonial religious art.

The Santa Catalina Convent (Monasterio de Santa Catalina) was built between 1601 and 1610 over the Incan ruins of the ancient Acllawasi, the “House of the Sun Virgins” or “House of the Chosen Girls.”

You’ll see more of Cusco on future Sundays.

Once again, I apologise for the quality of the photos, time ravaged the negatives before I scanned them and now they are gone.

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