Tourist Market in Pisqa

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February 15th 2009
Published: February 15th 2009
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Conch BandConch BandConch Band

These kids were in traditional costumes playing conch shells to entertain people going into the church. The church is connected to market, thus the Visas sign
*clapping hands* I did it! Got over my nervousness of going alone to local bus station and traveling on crowded bus to Pisaq. Once I figured where to line up, I had my money ready for the bus ticket. I didn´t have to say a word; when the clerk saw my blue eyes he said ´Pisac´and I said ´si´and paid my three soles for a window seat. 3 soles is about $1:25 and for that you drive through beautiful mountain country for an hour to get to the Sunday market at Pisaq.
Actually, I do not like markets, I prefer to people watch and walk down other alleys of the town. Tourism is a bit depressing. Nobody dresses in those colourful costumes and goes to work or school. The global community wears jeans, sweaters, jackets. Too many times when I looked at somebody in a poncho I noted that they were talking on a cell phone. Yikes.
Tourism is big business; it is the number one industry of my province. University students get dressed in kilts and play music at Peggy´s Cove as a summer job, so it makes sense that men, women and children haul out the costumes and crafts

While her mother washed clothes in the stream, Chara posed for my camera.....for coins in my pocket.
in this mountainous tourist hotspot. It must be easier work than growing potatoes on the steep inclines.
Today I quickly walked through the market filled with the same things in the Cusco markets, and went uphill to the ruins. I only got as far as the base, my lungs have not ajusted well enough for me to get to the top. Looking over the village and river, I tried to imagine the place 500 years ago, when the slopes would be covered with forests and I would be sitting at the base of an Inca shrine.
There was a mountain stream beside me, and a women was washing her clothes in the water. Her three daughters played in the rocks beside her. Through sign language, I asked if I could take the woman´s picture and she laughed and indicated ýes for some money´. The girls came over to see the photo, and I took pictures of them. They were delighted to see their images in the camera, and of course, I had to give them more change from my pocket. Soon they were setting up poses and group shots and I laughingly took their pictures until I had no more

Catching up with laundry on a Sunday afternoon
coins. Later, when I walked passed them, Chara came up to me and passed me a small figurine and motioned for me to pay her for it. I said ´nos, gracias, as kindly as I could. I wondered if I was part of the global corruption that can affect people. It seemed proper to ask the mother for a photo for money, but these girls were playing in their own world and I was the gringo who came up and gave money for their poses.
When driving on the bus, sitting beside the boy with a box of chicks I mused that this is Peru culture. When he got off and the lady in a coat like mine at home and a colourful cloth bundle fell asleep beside me, I wondered what it must be like to grow up here. Quite peaceful it seems, but with backbreaking work farming or hauling water or washing clothes in a mountain stream. Part of me thinks it would be good for the soul to live a simpler life, and the other part is really happy that the hotel cleans and folds my laundry when needed.
There is a common sentiment in many blogs

I think there was a waterfall beside the Pisaq ruins and this streamed flowed from it.
written in this website, that being "we are all one family". I wish I could describe the shared smiles with strangers, the conversation with body movements and two languages, the sense of knowing when you look into someones eyes and understand that they just had the same thought, and the kindness that strangers can give to each other.
Although I get fed up with global culture and consumerism, I am totally loving the views, environment and people.
The photos in this blog work backwards, showing scenes from the bus ride, some more of Cusco, my Peruvian lunch today, and then Cusco at night.
The food was delicious. I had never eated yuca, the black tube vegetable. An interesting vegetable, its texture was creamy and taste was something above bland. The cheese on the omlette was tasty too.
The last photo notes the cultural folding when pubs are set up in Peru. The Irish and Chinese seem to establish pubs or restaurants in every city that I visit. It was unusual to see a posh British pub in a foreign city but I suppose that is the nature of the tourist industry. And as a consumer, I was happy
Doing LaundryDoing LaundryDoing Laundry

This stream runs through the village and into the river. Hope she isn´t using too much phosphorous soap.
to sip my dark ale.

Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 25


Stephanie and JessicaStephanie and Jessica
Stephanie and Jessica

I tried to tell them that I had a sister named Stephanie but I don´t think the meaning got through. They were wearing the same kind of clothes that my neices wear.

Pretty place to grow up in; seems peaceful, too

The girls were directing me where I should take pictures.
Drainage systemDrainage system
Drainage system

People were using this as a walkway, but I didn´t like the height so I took the regular path to the village
Pisaq MarketPisaq Market
Pisaq Market

There was a main square with stalls

I think the central square was for foods and the alleys were for crafts and jewelry.
At workAt work
At work

Craftspeople were happy to show their work and negotiate a price for their wares. I don´t think I was too popular with my ´just looking´line
Film CrewFilm Crew
Film Crew

It looked like a Japanese film crew videoing the market. I wonder if they are making a travel commercial?

Tour buses bring loads of tourists to see the market

Remember Judy, the street vendor on my first day in Cusco? These are the same necklaces that she had. Guess she and husband make enough for Pisaq market.

I bought one of these. The lady said they are from the jungle but I highly doubt it. Heavy thing to buy first week of a long journey, but I couldn´t resist

This is the view from the base of the ruins, which seem to be huge steps going up the mountain side. I didn´t get far enough to be asked for the tourist ticket
Valley belowValley below
Valley below

This is view from bus window as we started down the switchback road into Pisaq

The ruins are the steps where those dark green trees are, I think. The white part is the tops of the market stalls.

This is the scenery from my bus window
House IdolHouse Idol
House Idol

Many houses had this statue on the roof. I asked the staff at the hostel and they say it is two bulls to give strength to the building. I was reminded that earthquakes happen here

24th February 2009

jungle crystals
What you bought was a quartz geode. Quartz forms inside balls of mother rock called a geode. When you crack the geode open it is filled with crystals of quartz. If it is purple, it is amethyst, if it is clear, it is rock quartz, etc. Quartz is very abundant in s. america, so it probaly is from the peruvian jungle.
19th April 2018

When i am there I call your guiding spirit
20th April 2018

Later, when trying to fly out of Peru, I was stopped at the airport and three levels of police were in the room when they searched my luggage. They saw the fossil that I bought at Pisqa market on xray maching, and seized it, and lectured me that it was legal to buy the fossil, but illegal to take it out of the country. !!!! I was so outraged by the set up, telling them to check the photos on my phone to see the fossils laid out on market tables. They shrugged it off... I signed papers (think to say that I'd never try to take out artefects from Peru) and I got on Air Canada plane thinking that once again, the touristica-con artitst-government systems were set up to rip off tourists.

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