Cusco Day 2: tourism

I had a day off yesterday and took that opportunity to wonder around. I had so much anticipated a mountains disease that I was sure I wouldn’t be able to do anything. Considering I suffer from the Ménière syndrome, I was sure height would aggravate my already fragile balance. As it seems to happen, I’m much better in the heights;-))

As the previous day, I simply followed the direction of the absolutely breathtaking Plaza de Armas, a pure beauty!

I was going to take a tour of the Cathedral but saw a group of dancers from various andean associations, so of course I followed them…

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until I decided to walk back to explore further the neighbourhood and bumped on this lovely wooden tram.

I honestly had no idea of the cost nor the direction, but since they kindly accepted me in, who was I to refuse an adventure (indeed, my adventurous spirit is somewhat limited these days…age, my friends, age and a bit of wisdom finally!)? So here I am, in this tram which actually does a city tour. How convenient! Exactly what I expected. And the cherry on the pie is that it took us right up the sacred valley to Saksayhuaman.

Just enough for me to realize where the opening ceremony would take place the next day.

One thing needs to be stressed: I had no clue at this late stage about the conference venue, nor of the time and day of my own presentation. Add to this the fact that my abstract was classified under today’s session theme and you’ll understand what stage of nervosity I had reached. I’ll write a note on the conference mishaps but this isn’t the time nor place.

What I knew now was that it would probably be very difficult to find any place at all to meet with the group of Sociolinguists on Facebook. About 12 people had signed up. I knew a bunch were friends who thought it was sweet to sign up but at least  were pretty real…as it turned up today, only Toni Waho, his wife and Miryam Yataco really came!

Toni has sat at the New Zealand Teachers Council and is Principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Mana Tamariki (Palmerston North). He is a Fishmanite if I met any (well apart from Miryam who considers him as her second father ) an experienced teacher, having commenced teaching in Te Kōhanga Reo in 1990, and been a registered teacher since 1996. Tony is a leader within the Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori movements, and is a fluent speaker of Te Reo. Mr Waho is a trustee of the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, and a member of the Committee of Management, Te Atihau Whanganui Incorporation.

I’ll go back to that later. I was simply explaining how I explored the “facilities” to discover it wouldn’t be…facile to meet! After this exploration and a million more photos, I climbed back into the tram and had the laugh of my life with two french pilots who live and work for Russian billionaires, taking them here and there on a private jet. French expats can be a good laugh! Going back, I stopped at the University of Cusco where an exhibition on Bingham’s findings (the discoverer of the Machu Pich exactly a century ago) were exposed. Well….I was much more impressed by this beautiful colonial building and its courtyard than by the wealth of the exhibition….So, down I went to check my mail in the secret hope that maybe, 12 hours prior to the conference, some sort of programme would have materialized. Tough luck although I had a light of hope in a message telling me that a package would be delivered to my hotel the same day…well well, it was noon, hardly time to be alarmed after all.

Off I went again, to visit the Inca Museum, the only difference between that museum and the one in Lima is that the Lima one was much more detailed…and that this one had real Inca mummies! The next step was far more interesting

However I had the chance to discover the purely marvelous Museum of Precolombian Art. Well, that one shouldn’t be missed!!!! An absolutely exquisite display. I was going back to my hotel when I passed a breathtaking 5* called The Monastery. It seemed so lovely that I decided to have tea there. A lady came right after me and we were both looking for a single table, which confused the waiter who had thought we were together. So at the very same time we both said: “well, why don’t we share a table?”. This ended up being an incredibly interesting conversation as Regina has a headhunter company. We have a globe-trotter experience in common and shared our good addresses here and there. Needless to say, at the end of the day, we were FB friends!

One more time back to my hotel, sure that the package had arrived…tough luck, nothing! This time I begged and screamed everywhere I could until at almost midnight another unlucky participant found out that the spanish version of the program was far more advanced and here I was, finally, delivering a paper tomorrow, Monday at 2:40. This explains why I’ll cut it short tonight. More hotos will be added later on but right now, after 4 hours of prayers to Pachamama and some more excitement, I’m simply dead!!!!

A bientôt, si vous le voulez bien!

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