The middle of December is on us and Cuzco is glorious. Rains fall regularly as clouds and mist struggle for dominance in the sky and the hills turn emerald. Machu Picchu is at its most mysterious, even though umbrellas and or rain ponchos are necessary, but the hill sides are not so saturated that the season of huaicos, mud-slides, begins.
Christmas pageants appear all over the city as the story of the birth of Jesus is performed and nativity scenes populate the city, from the main square to the Qoricancha, to people’s homes.
This is a time of abundance, and a time of cold. Respiratory problems stalk the streets as the humidity and chill penetrate everywhere. People bundle up and stay at home, although when the clouds lift it is warm. Though technically summer, many older cusqueños still call this time winter.
It was the build up to the great summer-solstice festival, the Raymi written about by Bernabe Cobo, which is now replaced by the Christian celebrations.
Here is a set of photos from December in Cuzco last year, a kind of preamble to the coverage we will give you this year.