Monday, April 30, 2012

Shop till you Drop

straw baskets

straw purses

cute little gourd birds

gilded mirrors


Alpaca scarves

Alpaca sweater
Who doesn't love to shop?  We all had the chance
to do some while in Peru.  Here is just a small sample
of some of the beautiful goods that were available.

The most sought after items were the alpaca sweaters
and scarves.  We went to a shop where they taught us
how to tell the difference between real alpaca and 
fake items.  The best quality alpaca is referred to as
"baby alpaca".  The animals are around 2 years old
when they are sheared for the first time, and that wool
is called "baby alpaca", and it is very fine and soft.
Every shearing after that is simply "alpaca".  And it
is all fairly expensive, and all extremely beautiful.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Art of Wool

We were able to watch a demonstration by the
local people on how they make wool from
the alpaca.  Here, she is washing the wool.

She is separating and washing

Once it is dry, they begin to spin it
into thread

Then the wool is dyed, using natural dyes from
plants, vegetables, and leaves

Here they were showing us all the different
colors that they are able to make

They dye it in hot water over the fire

These leaves make green...

These make purple

And then they weave it into beautiful wall pieces,
purses, rugs, etc

We watched this demonstration in a small village
outside of Cusco.  It was fascinating.  They are still
using the methods they have used for hundreds of
years.  Amazing!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Market Day

There were countless women selling their
products on the sidewalks

This is the fruit and vegetable market

They grow 200 varieties of potatoes in Peru

Flower market

more flowers...

She's selling fava beans

We went to the market in Cusco today...and
saw all these interesting sites!  I bought some
coffee, and some chocolate.  It was amazing
to see the locals and where they get their food, etc.
All of these look like paintings to me.  I will have
to do a few of them when I get home.


Sue, Hannah and I went back up to Machu
Picchu yesterday morning.  We took the
6 am bus, and arrived a little before the sun
rise over the mountain.  Everything was bathed
in the morning mist, and as the sun rose, the
light was amazing. 
We saw many of the Inca Trail hikers.  There is
a famous trail that ends at the city, taking 4 days
to hike and camp on the way.  They usually make
it there by sunrise on the fourth day. 
The llama was there among the ruins.  There were
several of them hanging around, posing for

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I Came

The train to Machu Picchu

Our first views

The Guard house on the way in

The ruins in the mist

The fog is lifting

Part of the residential area

Overall view

I have been to the mountain top....and
this is why I came!  We started our tour
yesterday, leaving Cusco early in the
morning.  We boarded the Peru Railway,
and three hours later arrived.  Then you board
a bus that takes you the rest of the way. 

Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan site in the
Andes Mountains, on the edge of the rain
forest.  It was discovered by a man named
Bingham, recently, in 1912.  It is the most
well preserved ruin of its' kind, because the
Incans were able to keep the location a secret
from the Spanish upon their arrival in Peru.

It is a city in the clouds, literally, as the fog
and mist come and go continuously.  These pics
are from our visit yesterday.  I went back this morning
at sunrise, and those pics are entirely different.  I will
try to post them tomorrow. 

We are back in Cusco, with a free day on Friday.
We will travel back to Lima on Sat, and back
home far, so wonderful!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All God's Children

I had seen photos of Peruvian children
before this trip, and I knew I wanted to
try to take some.  Well, it is not a problem,
because everywhere you go, they are there
dressed up, wanting you to take their picture!
for money...  so, here are some of my efforts to
boost the economy, and smile in the process.
too cute

Let's Dance

Peruvians love to dance!  We have attended two
different native dance shows, and the costumes
are wonderful.  The young people are so joyous
and seem to respect their country's traditions.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Incas and Catholics

The city of Cusco, 400,000 population

The last Inca King, and the Catholic
church in the background

Cathedral on the Main Square

We are still in Cusco, Peru, and today, we did
the city tour.  We went to some of the ancient
Incan ruins in town, an Incan burial site, a
catholic cathedral, and the Main City Square.

It was interesting to learn that the Incas built
their temples to the Sun, and did some unbelievable
construction with the cutting of their stonework, etc.
When the Spanish came, they used the Incan
stones to build their churches, as they taught
and converted the Inca people.  So, there is a
real combination of the cultures present in the
city architecture. 

Tomorrow we tour the Sacred Valley...and we
will see some of the native people, llamas, and
some of the village life. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

people of peru

feeding the pigeons outside the monastery
(Mary Poppins?)

The happy "mariposa" man...I
bought two from him!

Carrying his burden along the beach
some school children...adorable
It is always interesting to see how other people
live in other parts of the world. 
We passed the little school children in Lima. 
 They were getting on a bus for a field trip. 
Our guide told us that they are taken to many of
the historic sites in town so that they will develop
a love for their country.

The peasant on the beach was carrying some of
his goods into town to sell.

The butterfly man was outside the cathedral. 
The little paper butterflies can be wound up,
and when released, they flutter through the
air.  He put them inside a book, and when you
opened it, it flew out!  I may keep one in my
sketchbook...good idea

And the little girl feeding the pigeons was all
dressed up, and so happy to be in the midst of
all the birds.  very charming...

We are now in Cusco, and I plan to do some
painting tomorrow..will try to post the results.