November 3rd, 2006

Pachacutec was the Inca emperor who turned Cuzco from a city state to an empire that spanned from Ecuador to Chile. At one end of the Av. El Sol is a gigantic statue of him that you can visit and climb.
We did and got excellent views. By far the most interesting of which was a llama. We had seen it before we had climbed the statue, eating grass in the small park that the statue stands in. Now we were at the top, we watched it casually stroll out of the park and onto the busy main road. Walking through the traffic, it reached the other side, where it went off down another street. Sure the animal was escaping and about to get itself killed, we went back down and told the guard who sits inside the statues base at the staircase. Quite deaf, he had no clue what we were talking about. “Where do you want to go?”, he asked. Finally we made him understand. “Don’t worry”, he said, “he knows where he lives, he always comes back”.

We decided to head off in the direction the llama took and managed to catch up with it. We found it in a small street eating a bush growing at the side of the road. Here a passer-by saw us taking a photo, interested in what we were doing, he told us that he often sees the llama eating this bush, it was his favourite, and that the grass around the statue can’t be that good. Apparently the llama takes his little journey several times a day, the locals are used to seeing it, and the drivers are used to seeing it walk out in front of them.

All quite normal for Cusco.

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