Buying up Cusco

Added 10 Sep 2013

Another wonderful breakfast at our hotel. In addition to a vast buffet we may order individually prepared hot dishes including a full cooked breakfast. No one goes hungry.

Today is a free day in Cusco. We have included a tourist ticket that grants access to a number of museums and attractions and guests head off in various directions. Later we hear tales of visits to the Inka Museum, to the Chocolate Museum, to San Blas and, of course, to a variety of shops! Amongst the purchases are silverware and Alpaca. Sadly, Richard is unable to prevent Dawn from joining in.

This evening we are dining early, at 5pm. Our private dining room at the hotel is ready and the staff are attentive as usual. We are dining early so we may attend a local folklore performance. Just as we gather to walk to the nearby theatre, it starts to rain. This is the first of the tour so we shouldn’t really complain. We borrow umbrellas from the hotel concierge but within a few minutes it stops raining.

In the theatre the musicians are setting up and a technician is running about arranging (and then re-arranging) lights and microphones. It all seems a bit chaotic. In due course an announcer in traditional costume walks onto stage to welcome the audience. The first item is a dance typical of Cusco. There are 10 dancers on stage, in colourful costumes. After about 5 minutes, they dance off and we applaud. There is a pause and a microphone is tapped loudly to check it is working. The announcer returns. She is smiling. She announces the next dance. The music starts but there is a long wait until some dancers appear – this time in slightly different costumes. And so it goes on but fortunately only for just over an hour. There is a similarity to Morris Dancing at times - bells, handkerchiefs and sticks! The performers are working very hard (particularly considering the altitude) but the show could probably do with a little input from a West End stage director.