This morning after our second 1peso freshly baked croissant, we headed into the main plaza to watch the annual Sunday Parade. At first we had seats on the main area where people watch, but with our choice of shorts for today, we soon had to move into the sun… And ended up having a much better view! The parade happens every Sunday and is in celebration of the raising of the Peruvian flag in the plaza and also a chance for all the schools, groups, and teams to march around the city, showing their appreciation to the army, the forces, the people of cusco and the mayor. The mayor and his family, stand and watch throughout while each and every different group in the parade takes their turn marching. It goes on for hours with the army going first, followed by the navy, the police and then different members of the parade, as young as 3 or 4, while a live band plays throughout. Juliet and my favourite were these tiny children who were all dressed up as baton twirlers, clowns, police and then at the back, 6 little boys were dressed in army outfits with miniature machine guns and hats, and as they passed the mayor’s stand, they all got on their belles and crawled along the ground!
After we eventually felt like we’d watched enough of the parade, we found a beautiful sun lit spot on a bench in the middle of the plaza where we could hear the music, and sat and read our books for a good two hours. (Not even looking up when the street sellers came over with paintings and jewellery… We were so engrossed!)
Eventually it was time for lunch and we found a cute little restaurant with tiny balconies that only held one table for two. We picked out one of these in the sunshine and ate our meals in the sunshine, overlooking the busy cusco streets below. Then it was time for the World Cup final!!! Right opposite our restaurant was the coolest bar ever: Ukuku. It had a huge projector and screen all set up for the match, with hundreds of chairs in rows facing it – they were clearly prepared to be busy.
About half an hour before the match was due to start, the bar filled up and was heaving with Argentinian supporters with flags and face paint and every Argentinian football shirt. There was only a handful of German supporters and Juliet and I had already made up our mind that we didn’t like the German team and we’re going to be Argentinian supporters for the day. It was such a tense final between Germany and Argentina, with the first goal being scored by Argentina. The whole bar went crazy, screaming and hugging until the decision was made that the man who scored was offside. Then there was swearing and shouting and even tears all around us. The match went on completely even throughout the whole game with Argentina coming so so so close to scoring on numerous occasions but never quite making it! Eventually it went into extra time and Juliet and I were praying for it to then go to penalties as we knew Argentina would score… However in the last couple of minutes, Germany scored (by fluke if I do say so myself) and it was all over. (So so so annoying!!!!) As the few German supporters celebrated, the Argentinians got up and walked out of the bar and Juliet and I followed suit as we now feel like true Argentinians. It was so weird stepping out onto the streets of Cusco as they were completely empty! Not the busy, crowded hustle and bustle that we’re used to! Some very happy Germans jumped on top of a tour bus as it drove around the square beeping it’s horn but most people ignored it… Juliet and I acted like true Argentinians scowling at them and mumbling “stupid Germans no one cares”… (But we clearly do!!!)
We are now in Starbucks with a very needed frappachino! (We needed cheering up) After a relax, where Juliet can finally finish writing her diary, we’ll grab some dinner and have an early night (I’m sure) ready to start volunteering again tomorrow!!