Eating Challenge - Guinea Pig!
Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
117Trip End Ongoing
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The morning sun woke us and we saw pretty landscapes from the winding, hilly roads and were pleased that our bus driver was saner than most. Finding a good value hotel, we showered and wandered off to the market for some freshly-squeezed juice. All the juice ladies were very friendly and interested in where we were from. We got the impression that they arenīt overrun with tourists there. Our lady invited us to look over the bench into her tiny stall the size of a toilet cubicle so we could see her tiny, new baby tucked up in a little box sleeping soundly. She explained that even though she had a baby, she needed to keep working
Sitting in the main plaza munching on brown bread (a treat!) and homemade cheese, we could see that an event involving uniforms and again, brass bands was about to start. Asking at the tourist office what the special event was, the Seņorita explained that the parade celebrating their military past (a nearby battle was the last with the Spaniards in all of South America) took place every Sunday. "Every Sunday?" we asked in disbelief - there were hundred of people involved, children and adults. "Yes, every Sunday" she said politely, in a tone that lead us to believe that she had seen and heard enough of these parades from her nearby office to last her a lifetime. I couldnīt help thinking that I would be a bit annoyed if half my Sunday was taken up marching around a plaza in school uniform with my school-mates.
Apart from the parade, Ayacucho seems a proud town - mostly clean (apart from the market area) and organised. Beautiful weather the day we were there, and we are told the climate is generally very good. The colonial architecture is incredibly well-preserved, it is like a mini-Cusco without the tourists and the tourist hassle.
Ayacucho is also famous for serving up cuy - or guinea pig
We had a wander around the very pleasant town later in the day, resting up as we needed to move through the north of Peru quickly in the following days...