Always UP in Cusco!

So I started Monday’s blog about the blanket and it was about nightfall. I forgot to mention what we did during the day and how many shops we went to. We traveled on foot all over Cusco looking for gifts for family and small souvenirs for ourselves. We went to the San Francisco Church and got a little ornament for our parents and saw one of the largest paintings in South America, the “Genealogy of the Franciscan Order.” We also saw the catacombs underneath the church which was very interesting. From the steps of the church, we ventured out into the main part of the city and saw many artists on the steps in the plaza. We later discovered the people sitting with portfolios, selling art, were not the artists since they all had the same artwork to sell.

Karen Hilliard Art Blog

We walked around and went into several shops to find hats, sweaters, pants, and other items. The sweaters were tricky to find and all looked the same. We wanted something more authentic and simple so it took many stores to track down what we loved. We found 4 sweaters that were our style and we did not find them anywhere else in any other store. Always happy to find unique items in the midst of tourist central. We loved seeing the women carrying their babies in Peruvian blankets and attire. Each of the colors represent a different village in Peru. So each lady and their children wear the colors of their village. These ladies also had baby alpacas they were taking around to make extra money for their villages and families by letting tourists take pictures with them and the animal. We walked on.

Karen Hilliard Art Blog

Traveling up as always, we happened upon an alleyway filled with little shops that had a ton of unique items. We bought a conch shell since Papi showed us how to use one and told us how people used to use them to communicate miles away from each other. They would call each other on these with soundwaves like wolf packs howl at one another. We found an awesome llama tie for Chris to wear to work but did not buy it until the last day we were there. As we walked even higher there were more shops that were city oriented. It felt like we were in San Francisco and the shops were set up specifically for high end tourists. There was another alleyway in the midst of all these stores. We ventured forward to find an amazingly talented artist working on a painting of llamas and people walking to a village set high in the mountains. He gave us a quote for how much it would be when he finished it, and two days later we went back and picked it up. This was our greatest find and treasure from the trip. Here is his name, Miguel Chacon Ventura, and I linked his Facebook page if you would like to see his work. There is also an article written about him if you would like more information, click here. We ended up running into him on the way home at the airport in Lima. What an amazing encounter! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and next week I will write about our day with the big stones!!

Thank you for reading!

-Karen Hilliard

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