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March 31, 2006

Mellow day

We went by mini-bus today to Juliaca, to switch to another mini-bus to Lampa, the pink town.

A mini-bus, by the way, is maybe one row longer than a Volkswagon mini-bus, and generally has no shocks but a very loud horn. It comfortably would seat about 11 people if the seats were arranged properly. And if the seats were comfortable. Today, Greg had another Cameroon flashback as we packed in 20, including the driver and a small child.

On the upside, the usual fare is somewhere between 1-2 soles ($.35-$.70) for a one-hour ride or so.

Anyway, it turned out Lampa wasn´t pink so much as it was a lighter shade of adobe. It didn´t look all that much different to us. But we took a loosely guided tour of the small town´s cathedral and catacombs. The cathedral has a big dome inside that houses a ton of bones from Spaniards, and they are all hung on the wall in the dome in a decorative pattern. Some rich guy with a gold mine and no kids paid to have it built and spruce up the church a bit.

Our favorite part was the statue and shrine to the Spaniard saint depicted regally in a red cape with gold filigree. Margaret, who has been our star translator the entire week, was having trouble with the verb the guide was using to describe what the guy was known for. She kept repeating it, until the guide´s 7- or 8-year old son (brother?) looked at her, pointed his fingers into a gun shape, and started making shooting noises. That explained why the plaster statue included bodies on the ground being trampled. Apparently he shot a lot of the indians.

We tried to find out why the guy who killed all the locals was not only sainted but remembered in his own shrine in the cathedral, but all we got was that somehow they liked him anyway.

We had lunch in Juliaca and bought a few things at the market, mostly textiles, then shopped a bit on the walk home from the bus station to the hotel.

On the stomach front, I´ve been feeling fine since last night (didn´t even need to break into the second round of Cipro yet), but Margaret hasn´t been so lucky, and has been suffering most of the week. She started the Cipro this morning. Hopefully by tomorrow she´ll be able to eat real food again.

Posted by sedda at March 31, 2006 05:16 PM