Day 20 – Ayacucho

Today, Sunday, we had a free day. We awoke to a military parade and ceremony in the plaza. An enormous number of people turn out to parade around the square. Local officials march past the podium, then through the square to the cathedral and back to the podium. The flag is raised at the center of the square.
A big band plays the national anthem while observers around the square covers their hearts. Lots of pomp and circumstance. Viva Peru!

It turns out this event takes place EVERY Sunday morning. Viva, viva Peru!

After the long ceremony, we walked to the market where some in the group wanted to get bubble wrap for packing things back home. On the way, we passed one of the 33 churches in the little town of Ayacucho. It has an interesting facade built in the 1600s. Unfortunately, with so many churches in Ayacucho, their hours of opening are few. It seems not many priests are available to tend all the churches.

It’s quite a sweet indoor market with many interesting items and people to haggle with and befriend.

Many varieties of alfalfa and/or quinua.

Stuff for your magic ceremonies and payment to the Pachamamma.

Lots of little pompoms hang on stalls in the market. I assumed they were machine-made from China, but I came across two girls forming them and trimming them by hand.

In the afternoon, we sat in the cafe and chatted with Wilbert, our driver, who told us of his life as a land owner and his work as a shaman. It was good to have a day off to just hang out.
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