Back at Santa Catalina Convent at sundown. While most wouldn't expect pictures of a convent-city in photos of Peru, the place is quite a draw in person. Maybe it's the tranquility and the richness of colors there. Here's a final photo of the outside of one of the living quarters, with rather minimal use of windows.
(The enlargement is 76k).
On our trip from the village of Chivay (where we recovered, with the assistance of coca leaves, from the tortuous 4-hour ride on unpaved road to Condor Pass), we stopped at a small village. Most villages in the highlands have a central church, usually part of a bustling plaza. The church below (only the doors are shown) suffered severe earthquake damage and can no longer be used but still stands, the center of much activity when we were there.
A fixture in the courtyard of that closed church is an eagle which loves to rest on foreign heads.
Large closeup of eagle is 139k
The thoughtful people keeping me still are our main guide, Yudy, and her driver, Raoul, who was also helpful with info. When we forgot any of that info, Yudy prefaced her explanations with "As I told you yesterday.." :)
Here's a photo of Raoul with the stretching eagle on his shoulder.
The other person is the keeper of the friendly bird.
Our guides were just terrific. A lot of fun as well as informative.
I recommend Hada Tours if you find yourself in Arequipa region.
Below, one more shot of them, using the panoramic setting. I cut out the sides so that, on the enlarged version, this will fit 800x600 monitor screens.
Screens at 640x480 settings will need to be scrolled. This kind of wide-angle shot is actually just the middle part of an APS negative enlarged, so the regular enlarged version (89k) is never as sharp but gives a nice perspective.
That's the comfy road-warrior van we had, for which we were very grateful when we passed group vans or buses filled with people being bumped up and down on the unpaved road. This is about 13,000 feet high. The air was cold and of course thin, and coca leaf tea saved the day when the heads became dizzy or ached.
At Chivay the night before, we enjoyed dinner at the Hotel Posada del Inca with Yudy and Raoul. The restaurant area holds about 4 long tables and there was one group to our right, from Europe. We all had unexpected entertainment from a professional regional group (I wish I knew the name) which was just wonderful. As a result, I became entranced with Andean music, a mixture there of modern pop, some rock, and traditional tunes and rhythms.
The group played several tenor and bass panpipes (haunting sounds), a couple of upper melodic ones as well, but the top parts were usually carried by the Quena (the Andean flute) and by the singers. This seemed to be a family of musicians and they were about as good as anything I've heard on cds since. There was a good deal of varied percussion, and the panpipe players alternated notes when doing fast runs; technically this is sometimes necessary due to placement of notes on the double-row'd panpipes. Sometimes it seems they do this on slower accompaniments just for stereo effect too. This was a special delight, and I'd like to be beamed back there to hear it again.
Next ... To the Floating Islands of the Uros . . .