Flags in Cusco

Following a lovely breakfast in the sunny courtyard of our deluxe Cusco hotel we set out to visit the famous Inka temple of Koricancha. Fortunately this was just across the road from our hotel, but less fortunately we discovered it was unexpectedly closed due to a special gathering and parade in Cusco’s main square! An executive decision was made to reschedule the Koricancha visit to tomorrow, so instead we headed for the cathedral via the main square. Here we discovered the vast gathering of local people and dignitaries and some very loud announcements! The dignitaries raised two enormous flags on very tall flag poles - the national flag of Peru and the Cusco flag. We watched for some time, including a parade of some military groups, city organisations and schools, all neatly dressed in uniforms. A military band played, and some of the notes were in the right order on occasions.

After enjoying the parade we visited the cathedral, which was full of artwork and sculptures. The religious art again featured Andean themes, of which the depiction of The Last Supper with a guinea pig as the main dish was particularly notable. Guinea pig is a regular dish, albeit a special treat, in many South American countries, including Peru.

This evening we dined at Inkazuela, a cosy restaurant popular with locals, and overlooking a pretty cobbled square. Richard and Dawn had reserved the whole restaurant well in advance, and we just about fitted in. We enjoyed a cozy atmosphere and traditional Peruvian dishes such as gazpacho and alpaca stew in red wine. The food was complimented by copious amounts of wine, beer and soft drinks!