Peru, Oct. 20 2015

A leisurely stroll to the market near the main square where our hotel is located. We started off “early” at 8:00 am – already the streets were full of people.
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The main gate to “old” Ayacucho. Built originally during the Spanish occupation it has had only symbolic function – used today for parades at festivals.
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We arrived at a different entrance but from the outside you can already sense the bussle inside.

Many stalls side by side, very narrow aisles, goods sort of organized by categories – food court, women’s traditional clothing, notions, shoes, fresh cheese… You get the idea.
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Some lovely hand work to be had for a reasonable price. What I wanted were a couple of colourful woven cloths that I can use to make something – I ended up buying three – one for a sewing friend.

Then back to the town square which serves as the hub for a university campus. One of the entrances housed a shop which showcases alpaca hand embroidery done by women artisans from around the region. We saw lots of beautiful embroidery.
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The streets were filled with young people heading to and from classes, hanging out, just doing what students do.

It’s a lovely day, sunny with a few clouds and a bit if breeze. Hot in the direct sun, comfortable in the shade.

This afternoon a visit to a museum commemorating the reign of terror instigated by the Shining Path, telling the story of the mothers of the disappeared and the atrocities of both the guerillas and the government forces.
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While inside the museum a thunderstorm produced a torrential downpour flooding the hilly streets and causing havoc for traffic. We did finally make it back to our hotel.
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More exploring of Ayacucho tomorrow.

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