Sunday, November 15, 2015

Watching over Cusco, Peru

On a hill only a 10-minute walk from the ruins of Saqsaywaman and overlooking the city of Cusco is the statue known as the "White Christ" or "Cristo Blanco."

The towering statue of Christ greatly resembles the "Christ the Redeemer" statue atop the Corcavado in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This was extra funny as while I was In Peru, the hubster was just returning from Brazil on business!  It was a “My statue is bigger and more famous than your statue” kind of conversation! LOL!

Almost every Latin American city with a hill nearby has a statue similar to this with the most famous being Rio's Cristo Redento. I always thought it was unique but so far Rio, Santiago, Lima and Cusco all have either statues of Christ , the Virgin Mary or Crosses overlooking their cities. Or a combination of the above.

However, the impetus for Christo Blanco statue in Cusco is a far different and interesting story. The Cristo Blanco statue was actually a gift.

The statue was erected by a group of Christian Palestinians who were seeking refuge in Cusco in 1945. Cristo Blanco represents a symbol of their gratitude to Cusco for accepting them and the statue was a parting gift when they finally returned to their home country.

Cusqueños (The people of Cusco) believe the statue serves as a reminder "that good deeds do not go unnoticed."

As kind as I found Peruvians to be on my first trip to Peru, I believe this too!


The ever present market on the way to the statue.

My fellow female travelers and I started joking about the number of times we were called "Lady! Lady! Lady!" within a day.  As in "Lady! Agua! Quatro Sol!"

"You like, Lady?  You buy!  More Colors!  You buy!"  "Lady!! Lady!! Lady!!"


So big, you can’t get it all in one camera shot!

And he didn't call me "LADY!!"


Tourists taking photos of Cusco from the platform.


Sometimes there is a life lesson in a photo.  As in – you have to back away from the subject at hand to see it all clearly!  Several folks from my group are in this shot.  I miss them!  


Maddie, getting another great shot of Cusco below!


There are also 3 crosses on the hill.

In the South American tradition, crosses and statues are often decorated with robes, flowers and/or other memorabilia.

When I saw these three, I thought of the 3 crosses at the crucifixion, but the center one held my interest, there is a name on the base:


And rocks.  Rocks?

This is a bit outside of my culture and upbringing so when I come to things like this I am very interested to know all of the W’s :  Who, Where, Why, What and When?  And of course HOW!


Cross on top of the rock covered base.


3rd cross.

I love the rolling countryside behind!


Robe on the 1st cross.


Cusco, Peru below!


Leaving Cristo Blanco to watch over Cusco

Whatever the reason for the gift of this statue, they sure picked the best place to put it!  We really enjoyed our time in Cusco, a great surprise to me.  Our hotel was a JW Marriott, built on the foundations of an ancient convent, and much of the interior was built around the still visible foundations and walls of the convent.

Ancient convent walls inside the hotel.

Inside the lobby!

The altar piece you see to the left was original to the convent, though the icons and statues have been removed.  It dates to the 1500s.

I loved it!  There was so much to see and do, and we didn’t get near enough time in Cusco, but let me tell you something, at 11,000 feet above sea level, even WITH altitude sickness pills and loads of water and plenty of rest, it was still an exertion to walk around town.  Headaches were many amongst all of my travelers, and I didn’t escape it either.

The hotel provided us with Coco tea which is supposed to help your body adjust to the elevation, but really what it takes is TIME.

We were all glad that we hit Cusco before going to Machu Picchu, as Machu Piccho sits at ONLY 8,000 feet.  We all felt much better by the time we descended  back down to that elevation!

On the home front:

Quilt-Cam today at 2pm Eastern!!  I’m so needing to sew, I hope you will join me!

I have spent the last 2 days at my desk – my editor returned my manuscript back to me for going over, and I’ve gone over it with a fine toothed comb!  I’ve also submitted all of my graphics and my image log –each image needs to be checked against the number it is given in the manuscript so there are no guesses.  This has been the hardest part for me, I’ve fought it the whole way.  I’m a visual person..so looking at pages of numbers for images is must mind numbing.

Once I hit “upload” on that last evening – I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself for the evening.  I was too brain dead to sew!

But at this point I think it is safe to say that my December 1st deadline of my final turning in of this manuscript will be met.

That leaves only two more teaching gigs this coming week, My dad comes in on Monday the 23rd, Thanksgiving, release of mystery clue #1 on Black Friday, December 1st deadline, and December 7th Jury Duty...oh, and did I mention that I have to have a crown replaced on my tooth?

Yeah, it's that kind of holiday time off!

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone.  See you at 2pm!

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  1. Inspiring post, THANK YOU!!

  2. Thanks so much for taking us along on the trip through your blog. I love the photo you took of the statue.

  3. I've enjoyed your trip to Peru but I have a very different Peru story. My husband and I went on a Rotary trip to a very poor area outside of Lima to put wheelchairs together for disabled people. I am an interior decorator and at that time, I took two duffle bags full of discontinued upholstery fabric samples with me thinking they might be useful in covering foam, making seat cushions etc. A friend of mine gave me a box full of thread to take with me which came in handy indeed. When I got to the site the first day, which was a large concrete platform near a church, I was shown a treadle machine. Oh, I thought no way was I going to be able to use that. Then they brought in an industrial machine that was out of my realm as well. At long last they found a brother machine that was similar to the Singer I had at home and I was okay with that. THat machine was filthy and it had been a long time since it had been cleaned and oiled. Our guide took me in a Tuk Tuk downtown to a market place where I was able to buy some machine oil and needles. It was a poor town with dirt streets and in the market, the chicken were hanging upside down by their feet, out in the open air with dirt swirling around. I managed to get that machine running although it was very contentious and I figured out what its quirks were. For 5 days I sewed. Armcovers, seat cushions, neck cushions, bags to hang off the wheelchairs. And the people came. Children with large heads swelled with water on the brain, scoliosis, mental illness, paralyzed adults, you name it. A chiropractor had gone with us and he treated most of the people. I sewed and sewed and was very protective of my space. Occasionally someone else would sit down to sew and that machine wouldn't perform for them. The very last patient I will never forget. It was a girl about 12 with epilepsy and a large hump on her back. She would have a seizure every 30 min or so. Her uncle had to walk miles carrying her to the site. She would only eat soup. As they constructed her wheelchair, they brought me a huge piece of foam that had an egg shape hollowed out of it. I just made a cover for it and set it like a sleeve. I was exhausted that week. The next day, our last was a fun shopping day for all and I was sick, throwing up in the room. I convinced my husband to leave me and I slept all day. So glad when we got on the plane and went home. A quite different experience for sure.

  4. P.S. I forgot to mention that our guides mother would make our lunches and bring them to us everyday. On the day I saw the chickens hanging by their feet in the market with dirt swirling around was the day we had chicken salad sandwiches. I had to laugh as I told the story to others while they ate their lunch.

  5. Oh Bonnie, Your pictures and stories are bringing back so many great memories. I have a daughter who lives in Quito, I went to visit her in February this year. We spent a week in Quito, then flew to Lima, where we met up with a friend of mine and traveled on to Cusco and then Machu Picchu--What a trip. We hiked from the center of Cusco up to the Cristo Blanco statue, and back down. Walked for miles and miles seeing the sights. Went to see the inside of the Marriott, your pictures of it are great. We stayed at a little Airbnb up the hill from the city center. Took a taxi to Ollantaytambo, on the way stopped in a little village to visit a women's weaving coop, where they are working to go back to using natural dyes on the alpaca yarns they weave with. Caught the train to Macchu Picchu from there--what beautiful country. And the little village of Aguas Calliente was wonderful--wandered all the back alleys and stairways. Spent a day up at Macchu Picchu-Had beautiful weather, climbed Huayna Picchu, wore ourselves out totally. I brought home some wonderful alpaca yarn and great pictures--just a fabulous trip all around--and I am reliving it with you on the blog.
    Thank you, Sue in Colorado


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