Church day (on the road to Cusco)

What is church day for you? This is our church day, traveling on the Route of the Andean Baroque. We are on our way to Cusco

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These churches looked boring from the outside, and our expectation was not the best, when we entered the first church. BUT to our surprise the inside of the churches was breathtaking (upper picture).

Capel of the purified virgin of Canincunca

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This beauty is from the 17th century, and the simple architecture is hiding a richly decorated interior fashioned in mural paintings, textile motifs with golden threads hanging on the walls, which is characteristic for the Andean baroque. Left picture is the main alter from the 17th century, which is carved out in wood. All of the paintings are Cusqueñan from the 17th century with anonymous authorship. Lance was waiting under the trees, and we were off to the next church.

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Saint John the baptist church, Huaro

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The church was constructed in the late 16th century and the early 17th century. The mural paintings are depicting the final stages of life, and painted by Tadeo Escalante. The murals are divided in four stages: a. death, b. final judgement, c. hell and d. glory. In the left picture is “a. death”: represented as a skeleton with a scythe in its hand, a face is painted in its interior representing the soul that lives beyond death. Death holds a sand clock in its left hand counting the minutes, which is an illusion to times that passes without standing still. The middle picture is “Death in the house of the rich and the poor man”. In the house of the poor man a dying man can be seen in an urban environment resembling the Central Plaza in Cusco. Underneath this scene is the house of the rich man depicting a banquet where the rich eat without noticing that death has taken them by their feet. We really enjoyed walking around in the church reading about all the mural painting and learning about the story they are telling. There are more stories to tell from the church, but you have to go there yourself.

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Saint Peter the apostle church, Andahuaylillas

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Constructed in the 16th century, and finished in the beginning of the 17th century, this is the most visited church of the three churches. Left picture: The ceiling is finely decorated with geometric shapes in blue and red. In the triumphal archway is the mural painting of “Our Lady Queen” surrounded by angles. The main alter is made from cedar wood and finished in gold. The central superior section depicts the crowing of the Virgin Mary. The tabernacle (a fixed locked box) can be found underneath covered with silver plates.

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Back on the road we were hungry, and stopped for lunch – enjoying the sunny weather wlEmoticon-sun Church day (on the road to Cusco)

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We would not get to Cusco today, so stopped to wild camp at this beautiful lake

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In Bolivia there had not been many good places to BBQ, and we were missing it. So with meat and corn on the grill, what could go wrong? We have never tried the purple corn, and we got very purple from eating them. We later found out, that the purple corn are only used for flour and for a local purple corn drink called chicha morada. Chicha morada is a beverage originated in the Andean regions of Perú, but is consumed nationally in Peru. The base ingredient is the purple corn. Traditional preparation consists of boiling the purple corn in water next to pineapple peels and pieces of quince, adding a pinch of cinnamon and a few cloves. Once the substance is boiled, strained and let cool to add sugar (or chancaca), and in some cases, chopped fruit and lemon (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicha_morada). Don’t BBQ them, they are extremely dry and tough to eat.

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Getting to Cusco, where a parade was taking place at the Plaza de Armas. Check out the two flags in the right picture. The flag to the left is Peru national flag, and the flag to the right is the official flag of Cusco. The rainbow flag was introduced around 1920 to represent the legacy of the Inca Empire and the Andean indigenism. Don’t mix the flag with the six-striped rainbow flag of LGBT, because the rainbow flag in Peru has seven stripes, with a light blue stripe being the additional one (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag).

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Just one more church, the Cusco cathedral, also named “Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin”

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Cusco does have a lot of temptations, and we fell for them. Trying sweet deep-fried bread with “dulce de leche” and churros filled with chocolate sauce

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Visiting the chocolate store “RURO” (go to this place, and not the chocolate museum in town) – best brownie since Cartagena in Columbia

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As it got dark, we stopped for onion rings and burger

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Cusco by night “Plaza de Armas”

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We came to Cusco to get the full “rock experience”, so a lot of rock are coming up in the next posts.

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