Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ayacucho, Day 1: Gastronomic Festival

On the first day, after Susana had had a nap and I had gone to breakfast with Pocho, my aunt Betty's brother, Susana and I decided to have lunch at the gastronomic festival that we'd seen advertised all over downtown.

So, after walking down Jiron 28 de Julio, past the market, and then down past the long side wall of the nunnery of Santa Teresa, which still houses a small community of cloistered Carmelite nuns, we arrived at the Alameda, where the festival was being held.

The Alameda is a pedestrian walk along the Alameda River, bookended by archways.   It used to be mostly dirt with some trees, and a set of old swings and one of those spinny things that one pushes, running alongside and then jumping on, and which will send a kid flying off into the dirt if he doesn't hold on while it's spinning.  They were great.  The swings were so tall that they gave the impression that they were swinging one out over the 30 foot drop to the stony river bed on the other side of the low wall edging the Alameda.
Now, those are gone, and the area has been paved and landscaped with grass and flowers, and a fountain or two.   It actually is quite pleasant, if not as exciting for kids as it used to be.

Anyway, the festival was a great success.  There were many stands offering a nice sampling of Ayacuchano foods, and lots of people -both Ayacuchanos and visitors- enjoying the offerings.  (We, in fact, ate there on two consecutive days.)

Chicharrones with potatoes

Chorizo ayacuchano

Triplete of puka picante, chicharrones, spaghetti, beet salad, rice, and teqte

Afterward, we got corraled by a friend of Pocho's who was a few drinks to the wind who insisted that we join him in his orchard for a few beers, and thus we spent our first afternoon in Huamanga.

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