Day 4 in Cuzco
Have you ever thought of what should happen to your body when you die? I’m not trying to make you morbid, it’s a practical question which I think you and your loved ones should know the answer to.
The cemeteries here in Cuzco are quite unlike any we have ever seen in South Africa. We drove passed some other cemeteries in Peru and they all look similar. Instead of all the bodies being buried in the ground they are put in compartments on top of each other in a house-like structure. I suppose this is in order to save land and most of the people here are Catholic so are not too keen on cremation.
We decided to investigate this form of burial. With the help of the GPS on the iPhone we found the Central Cemetery of Cuzco. We found it next to a church about 2km from Plaza de Armas. Like I mentioned, the bodies are all on top of each other in a cement house. (You don’t see the bodies of course.)
There are shelves that are about 20cm deep with a little glass door which can open. In that window in front of where the body is relatives have put photos, special ornaments and flowers on display. Some actually look quite nice. Many of the flowers are fresh and we saw people rearranging the displays. It was quite hectic to see this type of burial system. It’s almost as if they are packaged together like sardines in a tin…
There was a huge local market which we walked through in search of a pair of hiking pants for Marc. We thought we might find a bargain. They sold anything and everything at that market. A lot of second hand stuff like bolts, toilet seats, old kettles and clothes. We found no hiking pants though. There were so many people it made me feel a bit claustrophobic.
After the buzzing market we ate at an awesome local restaurant called Papa. Here we found a bargain! (Not pants, but really good food for a good price.) We paid 9 soles for starters, soup, main course, pudding and cool-drink! There are many bargains in Cuzco when it comes to food, accommodation (and pants), you must just be wiling to look around a bit.
We eventually both bought new hiking pants and then still had some energy to mission up to Christo Blanco. It’s a huge white statue of Jesus with his arms spread out over looking the city. There was no entrance fees and the view from the top is amazing!
So, climb every mountain because you never know, soon you might be stacked like a sardine in a cemetery… Okay, that sounds a bit morbid… But you really never know when you will breathe your last breath.