June 12, 2008
Bones, Notebooks, and Giggles
Wonderful, wonderful day! I should probably save that opening line for an email written on the Incan Trail, or in the Amazon, but I just had to use it!
After sleeping like a log, we headed off to a magnificent set of ruins that was initially an Incan temple to the sun gods, and was later encapsulated by the Catholic Church when the Spaniards invaded Peru. The Incan temple rooms just felt so alive and I wanted to wander through them for hours. Everything was made of trapezoidal grey stones that fit together beautifully. Originally, many of them were covered in gold but the Spaniards invasion pretty much put an end to gold-plated buildings, I think!
The Catholic cathedral was gorgeous and was built in the 17th century. After seeing all of the gorgeous art, we were wandering around, and me being my mothers daughter, I started wondering about what was under the church. There is always something under these cathedrals!
Sharon approached one of the young men that worked there and he started taking us through the church and showing us the places that go down. Unfortunately, they were all closed. He answered all our questions and explained that the 100+ people that worked on the church were interred below it.
All the sudden, he looked furtively around, bent down and used his key to pry up a big piece of wood. Underneath was a inscribed piece of marble that he lifted up and under that…..lots of skulls and bones!! Piled up about five feet from the top of the hole! After letting us bend over to look, he quickly put everything back and said that he wasn’t supposed to show anyone. I am so glad that he broke the rules. !
We were, of course, completely respectful and really appreciated it. We did have a good laugh afterwards, though, when both Sharon and Julia confessed to being extra careful to hold onto their sunglasses which were perched on their heads. How awful would it have been to drop them down that hole!!
After lunch, we split up with Julia and Sharon going off in search of hiking stuff and Deb and I in search of children’s underwear and school supplies for the Hotel Ninos children. After lots of neat shopping, (neat because children’s underwear and school supplies can only be purchases at shops that are meant for locals), we went back to the hotel and gave them the stuff. The woman got teary-eyed when she saw the supplies that we had purchased along with all of the school supplies that Deb brought. Three cheers for my folks at Huthmaker Violins for providing the supplies I bought….they are very,very appreciated!
Deb and I were very excited to go on a tour of the children’s facility this evening. This email is getting tooo long, so I will have to put that in another email, but it was amazing beyond belief!! Unfortunately, part of the outreach is providing employment for poor people, so when Deb and I asked if we could come volunteer for the day, they said no. But I sure would have loved to!
The day ended with the four of us having dinner at a wonderful little restaurant with several very handsome waiters. The meal was full of giggles and great food. Another great day at Cuzco comes to an end.