Some more thoughts on Cusco


Plaza das Armas in Cusco

I sat in the Plaza for a while, I took some photos as I admired the plaza, one was of a young girl slinging a plastic bag over her head talking business with yet another hapless tourist. It was in short order that I was to find out her name, Idália, she was eight, she had lots of brothers and sisters who didn’t have enough to eat. Yes, she was begging.

Idália chatting up a tourist

However, I took a shine to her, we sat and chatted, she told me she loved talking to tourists, even if she didn’t get any money, because tourists were from far off places, the places of her dreams to one day be a beautiful princes in a castle in some far away enchanted land. She was so much like my own daughter had been many years earlier.

We had lunch together in a restaurant as she showed me “Gringo Alley” as Procuradores was known, a narrow street that existed only for the tourist. Gringo Alley was a street off the Plaza, restaurants, more travel agencies, places to get photos developed, laundries, shops with inflated prices for tourists preparing to go on the Inca Trail. We sat and talked, we ate and she told me about the “Sexy Woman.”

Wait, here I was in a restaurant talking to an eight year old about a sexy woman, I needed my head seen to. I soon discovered that “Sexy Woman” was how most tourists, who hadn’t mastered the art of pronouncing Qechua names, say Sachsayhuaman.

Sachsayhuaman was the large Inca ceremonial site up the hill and about two kilometres from the Plaza, and as it happened was on my list of things-to-do.

NB: These are the paragraphs that follow last weeks story.

I must add that much of these stories is based on my actual adventures in Peru. For example, the black and white photo is Idália, she does exist, and the “sexy woman” story is true. The name Gringo Alley really is what the tourists call Procuradores.

I’ll post more of this and other stories in future posts.