Marilyn Geary

Journeys Illuminating the Old Ways

We left Ayacucho to visit a ceramics town called Quinua, and on the outskirts of townwe stopped at a small village market where I ordered some corn and greens to go. Turns out the greens are wild mustard mixed with potatoes. I shared this meal with our driver Wilbur, who shared his potatoes with me.

Here’s Wilbur pouring a cup of muno tea, also known as mint, with whole sprigs of mint inside the bottle. Delicious.

Next we visited the site of an 1824 battle between the Spaniards and the Peruvians where the Peruvians won their independence from Spain. Peru was the last country in South America to win its independence.

The site offers 360 degree views of the gorgeous surrounding countryside, which is in the foothills of the Andes.



Next we visited the town of Quinua, which specializes in pottery. This giant angel is over 6 feet tall.

This man who makes the pottery described his process to us.

Just down the street we visited another potter, who is a master potter of Peru.

The master potter’s name is Mamerto Sanchez. Here he is with Massimo.

Leaving the potter’s village, we went to a big park for lunch in the town of Lauricocha. Several boxes on the lawn were set up for the game called Sapo, or Frog in English. The aim is to throw little discs in the box and get the disc in the frog’s mouth. We played while waiting for the food to arrive. Very much fun, kind of like bocce.

We stopped at a small town called Huanta, as Massimo wanted to buy ice cream for us. This corn image is painted on a wall to encourage people to vote the corn sign. With elections over, these types of pervasive ads stay around for a long while. I love the corny design.




Next door to the ice cream place was a group of friendly people who had cages of guinea pigs in front of their place. Although they had no sign, I expect they were selling the guinea pigs to be roasted for dinner.

A mural in the small town.


We entered the church and found inside a birth control education piece, sewn in fabric with the little women sporting 3d braids. The chart shows fertility cycles in conjunction with the planting of seeds.

Back in Ayacucho we discovered the cathedral doors open and went over to take a look. Outside was scaffolding for fireworks that we saw going off after we had toured the cathedral.


The inside was ornate in good and silver. These odalesque women decoratively hold up the altars, of which there are many, all surrounded by Cherubs in gold leaf.

So much more to see as Ayacucho has 33 churches, quite a lot for a small town. It was a religious center in colonial times.
Tomorrow we visit a leather worker and have a natural dying demonstration.



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