KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
I don’t know if it was something I ate or whether it was just a headache brought on by our return to the high altitude in Cusco, but I woke up to the sound of drumming in my head. It took me a little while to realize that it wasn’t a migraine, but there was music with a distinctive beat coming from the nearby Plaza de Armas.
I wanted desperately to feel better, and to be able to go out and see what we were missing, but the headache lingered on through the morning hours. Fortunately, I began to feel better by early afternoon and we set off thinking that the music would stop before we reached the plaza. To our surprise, there was a major cultural event taking place, and it was only later that we learned it was a folk-dance competition.
The crowds were thick in front of the Cathedral where the judging was taking place, and because we were hungry, we retreated to a restaurant on the second floor of one of the buildings lining the square. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we found a table vacant near one of the balcony windows; we had a bird’s eye view of the dancing, and of the competitors awaiting their turn just below our perch.
We ordered lunch and ate a delicious meal while I happily snapped dozens and dozens of photos without anyone below knowing. The time passed quickly, we were both so enthralled with the colourful costumes and the intricate dances. An hour or so later, we returned to street level where I was able to capture more detail on the costumes of the groups who had yet to perform.
Fortunately, the dancers were only too happy to pose for photos, reveling in the delight everyone was taking in their elaborate finery. It was an afternoon we will long remember, made even more perfect by the fact that the competition was lengthy and I didn’t miss it completely due to roaring headache.