150922 Cuzco

As this is a ‘free’ day, we wake up not knowing what we are going to be doing. We had been given a free entry into the Museum of Machu Picchu so we headed in that direction with Greg and Deb.

The museum is, of course, in an old building that has a courtyard with a small fountain in the centre. We have found many locations have just a high gate within a high wall that when opened, you find all sorts of interesting happenings. There could be a restaurant or a market place or in this case a history of the discovery of the fascinating UNESCO site at Machu Picchu.

Fortunately, the descriptions of the displays are also written in English to reveal to us that the city of Machu Picchu became disused and overgrown with jungle vegetation. Because the city was so well planned for the future, when the ‘clean up’ job had been completed, parts of the city could still be used albeit in a rather ancient way.

In one of the corners of the building, a guy had a display of interesting ‘sound making’ devices. His interest is in the Inca way of providing sound to be used in calling birds while hunting. As we are unable to take photos in a museum, I cannot show you too many examples. I purchased a little tortoise looking piece of clay that has a few holes in it to use like a wood wind instrument and was originally used to call birds in the early days. The sounds are very authentic. A few of the items made of clay have two chambers with two separate connecting tubes. Inside is an amount of water. When the item is tipped slightly, the water transfers from one chamber to the other. This also causes a movement of the air through the other tube creating a bird sound. By shaking the item, you get a vibrato in the sound.

As we were walking back to the city square, various traders that wander around the streets with ‘gifts’ tried to sell us some of their wares. I made for the new ‘toy’ I had and the seller thought I was fossicking for money. When I started to play the whistle, I thought it appropriate for them to pay me for playing to them in the street. Innovation it may be, but it proved a good solution to move them on and out of our wallets.

Greg has to keep off gluten so finding a meal for him can be difficult. Our tour guide had shown surprise when we toured the square a couple of days ago. She noticed that a MacDonald’s had arrived in town. Greg could eat some of the food so we went there, with all these yummy restaurants nearby. It was intriguing to us.

We have been buying a bit of stuff to take back to Australia as souvenirs and gifts. This town does have nice alpaca clothing and Lyn has taken to it quite well, unintentionally she claims. So we have had to purchase a third suitcase. It took 3 enquiries of cases to find one that the locked worked.

After the heavy shower of rain, we made it back to the magnificent hotel we have been staying at. I curled up on the bed to watch the Cycling World Championship while Lyn went out to find some more gifts. It was great to see the New Zealand girl win the Women’s Time Trial. Go Kiwis!

This evening during our ‘fine dining’ meal, we were entertained with some opera. Keyboard and oboe were the orchestra and the singers sang some well know opera pieces. What a good idea!

Tomorrow, we take a 10-hour train journey through the Andes Mountains on the Andean Explorer.

 

 

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