Ayacucho, Peru
13° 9' S 74° 13' W
Dec 13, 2009 12:51
Distance 331km

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Shining Path ex-HQ

Day 72, Dec 13 Arrive in Ayacucho at 7.30 am on overnight coach from Lima.

Straight to the bakery for tea and orientation.

Highland town.  2850m. High! Authentic. Small. No tourists.  Ex-HQ of Shining Path guerilla rebels.  Why had we come here ?!  Incorrectly described as a stop-over point between Lima & Cusco.  Our 9-hour journey here had saved us precisely 0 hours.  It was still going to be 22 hours by bus from here to Cusco! 

A colonial town square set below steep, dry looking hills.  Refreshing terrain after the overly green Costa Rica.  Traditionally-dressed ladies everywhere. I was itching to buy one of their dark brown hats.  Intriguing home-made ice-cream.  We went to watch a traditional dance contest at a local school.  Most bizarre.  Really felt that Nastya and I could have danced better.  Then I noticed that the faces of both the performers and the audience were completely impassive.  Sheer absence of any emotion whatsoever.  No smiling, laughing or approval.  The performers had no rapport with the audience.  No acknowledgement of the other party at either the beginning or the end. Eerie.

Somehow we then ended up watching half of Bridget Jones and a Colin Firth/Hugh Grant Xmas movie at the hotel.  How did that happen??!  Torrential rain.  Out for a late bite in search of platanos tipicos.  Too late.  Had to settle for our first Latin American pizza which was worth the wait.

 

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