Monday 28 May 2018

Day 50 Ayacucho Parade Day

May 20th, 2018

VERY hot and sunny, no cloud.

A Cafe yesterday afternoon, which served the most delicious mango and orange smoothies, had a poster on the wall stating that today was the day of a parade around the Plaza at 8:00 a.m. So at 7:30 I am in position on a bench overlooking the street that goes around the Plaza waiting for things to happen. There's nobody about but then a lorry arrives and a canopy is hastily erected and some covered plastic chairs arranged, I presume, for dignitaries. Occasional parent with smart uniformed child rushes past and slowly the Plaza begins to fill with people. A troop of soldiers, all playing instruments arrive and play their military music so loud that it reverberates around the square. Another band, this time of teenagers arrives and tries to out do the soldiers. Goose-stepping girls arrive, each carrying a flag and their teacher has them practise their march in front of where the dignitaries will be.
Around 8:30 everything is in place. The 'special people' are seated and an announcer speedily rattles through his speech as first soldiers, both male and female, march around the square. Three of the soldiers peel off their group and ceremoniously carry the Peruvian Flag to be raised as the National Anthem is proudly and loudly sung. So much more rousing than the British dirge. The centre of the square has a circle of young teenagers each carrying a flag from a different nation. The boy carrying the Union Jack hides behind it as I photograph it.
Over the next hour school children groups of different ages, starting with the youngest children, barely beyond toddler age, march past goose-stepping to the best of their abilities. Some children carry balloons but there is a formal air about the event, so different to the massively costumed affairs I saw in Cusco last year. Eventually it is the adults' turn and I decide that I have seen enough and leave to get some breakfast.

Green Year list : 196 birds average new birds to list per day : 4.00 birds

altitude : 10,021 feet

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