My lasting memories of Peru will be of colour, warmth and a deep feeling of community and belonging. Our arrival in Lima airport was not plain sailing, as we had missed our connecting flight to Cusco due to luggage not arriving. It was, however, a delay which allowed us to experience the absolute splendour of the Andes at daybreak. There are no words to express the wonder of the mountains and the feeling of being part of something so much greater.
Arriving in Cusco we found a beautiful city with so many vibrant colours everywhere. My first tourist experience was having my photograph taken with two local ladies in their colourful costumes and traditional hats with me holding a tiny baby alpaca wearing a knitted hat with crocheted flowers.
As we explored Cusco we saw an exhibition focusing on the indigenous peoples of the area. I read the words “Para Entender El Amor, Primero Entiende La Libertad”, a Paulo Coelho quote meaning , “In order to understand love, first understand freedom”,. It sat with me as there were also images of indigenous women with sad faces. I wanted to know more about the people and their history.
The most memorable experience in Cusco was a visit to a gallery to view the work of Maximo Laura, a Peruvian tapestry weaver who takes his inspiration from the Andean tradition. In my first log post in “Peru and the Awakening” you will have seen one of his amazing tapestries.
“Colour in my work serves as one of the main ways to transmit a message, an intimate contact with oneself and with the spectator.”
I was truly moved to tears by the beauty of the colours and the meanings behind the tapestries. Just looking at the tapestries I felt connected to the people of Peru and its ancient history. In some strange way I felt as if I had come home…….