It is still pitch dark outside when the alarm goes off, and we leave for the Qorikancha. We have no guarantee that it will work, but we want to try at least to catch the biggest dress-up ‘party’ that will take place here in a moment. It is 5:15 am when we are standing in front of the church. There is nobody except for two tailors. Hm. Upon inquiry, the participants suddenly appear to arrive at 7:30 am. We walk back towards the street, where we buy plastic chairs at two strategic places. No idea if we can use it, but we’ll see about that later. Fortunately, the first coffee shop opens, and we can warm ourselves up a bit. At half-past seven, we go back to the church, where there is already a whole army of participants. But whatever we try: we can’t go in with them. Even Saul can’t help us out. We are very disappointed, but there is no alternative but to accept what is.
Temple of the Sun
We reconsider our best spot, drink another coffee, go to the toilet, freeze our asses off and then all of a sudden the pututeros blow on their shells! The ghepa on their windpipes soon follow, just like the trumpeters, drummers and other musicians. The crowd is going crazy and squeezes itself in every corner to catch a glimpse of the whole spectacle. The same applies to us, except for Ram, who has somehow managed to talk himself on the field – later he tells us he even got into the sun temple! We are a bit jealous to see him there between all the participants, but above all, we are super proud. Go Ram!
Ode to the sun
After the first performance, in which the Inca and his right hand the Qoya have brought an ode to the sun, the entire procession leaves for the central square. Ram follows the last group of actors and re-joins us. We all shoot photos and videos like crazy, but we are struggling with the sun above and the people beside us. With difficulty, we manage to force ourselves along with the entire crowd and conquer a place at the central square.
We are able to document the final performance that takes place at ancient site Sacsayhuaman. Walking into Sacsayhuaman feels magical: the ancient ruins are beautiful and set the tone for the performance to come. The ‘secret’ tower turns out to be a great spot. It overlooks the field where all the performers are dancing. To get a different, more close up perspective Tanin goes down, but it is a bit difficult because nobody else other than the participants are permitted on the field. However, there are a couple times where the dancers make their way closer to the audience, and at the end of the festival they are able to ask some of the dancers for some close up shots! At last, they return to the hotel nice and sunburnt.