Saturday, November 30, 2019

Wari Capital

Before the Incas, there was the Wari(Huari) empire that spanned from northern Peru to Bolivia, before fading away around 1000CE.  Their capital was near Ayacucho.  The site is enormous.  Only a fraction has been excavated.  In fact there is ongoing archaeological work at the site.  The warren-like architecture was as impressive as mind boggling.  It is very evident that the Incas didn't invent everything. 

After the Wari site, we made a quick visit to the village of Quinua, known for their ceramic creations.  Unlike everywhere else we have been and seen, Quinua is almost devoid of buildings that look half finished, quick thrown up accommodate growing population.  In fact, quite a few buildings look to be unoccupied, certainly an anomaly.  This made me look up birth/death/immigration data for Peru: 18/6/-2 (per 1000) vs US 12.5/8/4. 


The obligatory mummy in the Wari Archaeological Complex Site Museum. ;-)
Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

This Wari Site has very impressive defensive walls on 3 sides.
Defensive Wall - Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

Defensive Wall - Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

Defensive Wall - Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

Defensive Wall - Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

There were 2 other types of amazing site features. First the so-called "D-shaped ceremonial structures". This one is rather modest...
Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

...compared to this one.
A D-shaped Ceremonial Structure - Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

A D-shaped Ceremonial Structure - Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

A D-shaped Ceremonial Structure - Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

And second, the Burial Chambers. Here's one.
Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

And here's other. Amazing stone work.
Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

Oh, and stone water pipes.
Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

More ruins above.
Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

Wari Archaeological Complex - near Ayacucho, Peru

After visiting the Wari Complex we caught a van headed to Quinua.
Quinua, Peru

Quinua is very tranquillo. We walked around checking out the ceramic roof decorations and workshops.
Quinua, Peru

Quinua, Peru

Quinua, Peru

Quinua, Peru

Quinua, Peru

The Igelsia.
Quinua, Peru

Quinua, Peru

Quinua, Peru

Quinua, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

View up the street towards our hotel in Ayacucho, the Yanez Inn.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Looking at our 2nd floor room at the Yanez.
Ayacucho, Peru






Friday, November 29, 2019

Lively Ayacucho

Ayacucho is known for its Semana Santa, which we consciously avoided in 2011 by opting to staying in Cusco instead. This time of the year, the city seems lively enough. The weather is warm. The historic center evokes the colonial past, beneficiary of the mines of Huancavelica. Ayacucho's main square is arguably the most beautiful in the whole of Peru. There are quite a few Peruvian visitors from other parts of the country. There is something going on everyday, dancing, processions, music, comparsa, though information is hard to come by.

To think such a vibrant city until twenty years was still under the aftershocks of Shining Path and subsequent government crackdown. People around the world more or less all want the same things; some are under a better system than others; there is only so much control an average person can have.

We checked into the Yanez Inn, our home for the week, and set out looking for iPeru tourist information but immediately ran into a parade of students celebrating the founding of their school. This set the tone for the week.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Let's get right to the food. No kitchen privileges at Yanez Inn although breakfast was included; however, there are 2 vegetarian restos in Ayacucho, both with lunchtime set menus, but no dinner menus. We preferred Buena Salud at Jr. Tres Mascaras 239 for lunch: professional service, busy, and a menu that included an appetizer, drink, soup, and entree for 7 soles (2 USD).
Buena Salud - Vegetarian Restaurant - Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

For dinner, we found a regular non-veg resto near the Yanez with a 5 soles dinner menu, and kind servers who "got" our requests for dishes without meat. Soup, and an entree, plus a drink. Here's my fav, lomo saltado, hold the lomo; ie, fried onions, tomato, carrots, and potatoes, with rice.
Dinner - Ayacucho, Peru

Not to mention the even closer Alfredo's Burger whose 3 sol portion of twice fried potatoes must be the best tasting, best value, porcion de papas fritas in all of South America.
Papas - Alfredo's Burger - Ayacucho, Peru

We also found lots of veggie street food: yuyu (greens and corn kernels), puca picante (spicy beets and potatoes). These are usually sold by street vendors stationed just outside places where folks want a quick, filling, snack: markets, bus terminals, hospitals, etc. Below the yuyu is green and the puca red.
Puca Picante - Ayacuchu, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacuchu, Peru

More yuyu.
Ayacucho, Peru

It's pretty easy to devour a small bag of aguaymantos (aka Cape Gooseberries).
Ayacucho, Peru

SL says above that there's something going on every day, like a dance recital at the Teatro Municipal featuring Marinera dancers.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

And a performance by local El Maestro Ricardo Cardenas to celebrate his new book of songs for the piano.
Ayacucho, Peru

The 6th International Wind Instrument Festival with a free outdoor concert in front of La Compañía de Jesús on the final night. Here's a shot of La Compañía de Jesús during the day with the Music School at right.
La Compañía de Jesús - Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Brief snipet of "My Love".
"My Love" - Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

And seemingly impromptu parades, comparsa, around the Plaza.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

One day there was a large confirmation ceremony at the Cathedral presided by a Catholic cardinal.
Basilica Catedral de Ayacucho - Ayacucho, Peru

Very moving that a parent, usually the mother, stands behind the newly confirmed with a hand on their shoulder.
Basilica Catedral de Ayacucho - Ayacucho, Peru

The Plaza.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

The Plaza is surrounded by buildings with beautiful colonial courtyards.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

The Plaza as seen from the roof of the Cathedral.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

And the Plaza as seen from Via Via before, during and after a downpour.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Comparsa.
Ayacucho, Peru

One day we went to the Archaeological Museum and adjoining Jardin Botanico.
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru

The monument outside the Museo de la Memoria depicting the double terror: the knife of the Shining Path and the gun of the Military.
Ayacucho, Peru

And inside...
Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho, Peru



Playa del Carmen, Mexico

From Aguascalientes, there is a very convenient direct flight to Cancun.  Since the wedding is at a private beach south of Playa del Carmen,...