Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ayacucho, Day 2

On our second day in Ayacucho (the 28th of July), I got up early and went down to the corner, to the park in front of San Francisco de Paula church -one of the city's 33 colonial-era churches- and watched people mingle after a wedding and perhaps some baptisms.

The fountain, which has not worked in anyone's memory, was at one time a favourite plaything for my cousins, siblings, and I, who would climb it, hang from it, and clamber into it like a bunch of monkeys.  (Somewhere, there's a photo of us in it.)

 Susa soon awoke as well, and we ventured down to the plaza for breakfast at the Restaurant Via-Via, in what was once the Hotel Sucre and is now a Belgian-run hotel with the same name as the restaurant.

The food and service at Via-Via are quite good -always cheerful and prompt- and the view from the veranda is great.  In the image above, across the Plaza de Armas, one can see the cathedral (consecrated in 1672).  Immediately to its right is the palace of Diego Ladron de Guevara (built in 1677), which has long been used as the seat of the University of San Cristobal of Huamanga, and to its left, is City Hall.

Dowstairs, under the archways one can always find ladies dressed in traditional Huamanguina outfits selling old-fashioned treats: cookies and sweet breads, or hand-made icecream.

After walking around downtown for a bit, and sitting in the plaza just people-watching, we wound our way back down to the Alameda for lunch, after which we headed back to the house for a nap and some reading.

In the evening, we went to Lalo's Cafe, a cafe owned by friends of Sara's, at the Centro Cultural San Cristobal, in whose courtyard we afterward watched a presentation of traditional dances from Ayacucho and other regions.

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