Up early for the morning processions of Inti Raymi open to the public, which star at Koricancha, but I ended up not going to the early events because I wanted to look for my camera. I was pretty sure it got stolen yesterday, but checked today. I didn’t want to leave for the public processions without my camera and not have time to find it before the main event at Sachsaywayman, but I ended up not ever finding it anyway. So my camera is gone. It’s a bummer because I had all my pictures since leaving Lima on it. I’m really only sad about this one picture Amy took for me looking over Machu Picchu, that was an important picture for me, and it’s all I can think about. I’m really sad I lost it, but the memory is stronger, that mystical feeling I felt sitting there, and those will undoubtedly last forever, despite the picture being lost. I woke Brielle up for breakfast a little before 10, because sh had opted out of the public processions for some extra rest, sensible since we were all so incredibly exhausted. But my favorite trooper Brielle was up and at’em as soon as I woke her up. We’ve agreed that I am such a good alarm clock. We headed down to the plaza from Prisma, and it was absolutely packed for the festival. We squeezed through the crowds to meet up with Klev, Yianni, and Cara at a restaurant called The Crown with a balcony that overlooked the plaza, so we were able to see the Inti Raymi action as the actors paraded through the Plaza de Aramas. The colors and vibrancy of this traditional event was stunning. But the main event, to which we were lucky enough to have tickets to, was taking place at Sachsaywayman (pronounced “sexy woman” J ) at 1:30, so we were getting on a bus at 11:50 to go up there and take our seats for the spectacle. Inti Raymi as a whole is known as the ‘Festival of the Sun.’ and includes a mock llama sacrifice to the Inca god, the “son of the sun,” in return for a successful harvest. Since we’ve been in Cusco, the city has been gearing up for Inti Raymi, with countrywide dance competitions and celebrations taking place in the Plaza basically since we arrived in Cusco.
Inti Raymi was an amazing sight. We had wonderful seats to view the procession. The colors and movement was so spiritual and moving. One of the most intriguing parts of the events was the man who was dressed up as a deer. He played his role so precisely it was like watching poetry in motion. He pranced and leaped, and sauntered through the field so elegantly that it was mesmerizing to watch. The entire ceremony was in Quechua, but being able to decipher the language was entirely unnecessary. Just by witnessing the ceremony, you could feel its beauty and power.
We decided to walk back down to the Plaza from the top of Sachsaywayman because the traffic to get up the hill had been unreal and not only would it most likely be faster to walk down, but also more interesting. It was just that. There were people everywhere descending from the top, as well as people lined up all down the road selling trinkets and food. Me and Cara had to stop for some chocla and cheese because we had been craving it. After we had reached the plaza it was about 4pm and we were ready for lunch. Andres, Tomas, Scott, Cara, and I had decided that falafel was the preferred lunch option, but when we got to our favorite falafel place (conveniently located next to Indigo, might I add) it was closed, so we went to the pizza place Cara had been raving about instead. It was definitely worth it. Me and Scott split a margarita pizza and it was unreal. Later we went out as a group and hit up Mama Africa for some dancing, which it always a good time. Te amo Cusco.