Before launching into this new entry, a few follow-ups…NO, I didn’t try the guinea pig…Nobody said it was awful and no one said it tasted like chicken. For those of you who inquired about Inca Astronomy, most of their significant ceremonies were either at the Solstice or during August. Despite being a winter month, it is during dry season when the stars are the most visible. Third, a muse of my own…Almost anywhere you go, people hawk local goods and souvenirs…Sometimes it is a pain to say “no” so much, but I am continually amazed at the long hours and hard work that they exhibit. I admire their work ethic and try to say “no” with respect. Another interesting Inca lore is that they thought people born in our August are capable of controlling the winds and weather.
OK, on to our family visit…After completing our tour, we climbed up one of the mountain lines that bound the Sacred Valley… It was good that Mrs Bear fell asleep because the steep hairpins with no guardrails were both inspiring and scary. I don’t know how our tour company does it, but they find these local families to host us for meals and glimpses of their lives. We were treated to a lunch of mainly homegrown ingredients, and then invited to an Incan blessing that was outlawed by the Spanish, but has been practiced in these remote areas for hundreds of years. The Incas did not really have a religion…Rather it was more of a philosophy. They saw time on earth as part of a passage to the heavens. They revered “ Mother Earth” as well as the mountains and stars. Their ceremonies commemorated the Solstice, constellations, and animals, such as the condor. The ceremony gave thanks for their blessings, in part by celebrating every mountain peak in the area, inviting us to voice those in our homelands.
The photo above was taken at the ceremony…The other is with our local hosts. A nice visit to a way of life that hadn’t changed much in a long time.