We did not expect to find Indians here.
After eight hours on a bus, we pull into the small yard belonging to the bus company in Huaraz and find a taxi driver to take us to the Churup Inn. It’s 10pm, dark and the road is closed. A policeman gestures that no way will he allow the taxi to take us (and our luggage) up the hill. So we walk.
It’s not so bad, there is music and life up ahead. Bags duly dumped in our room, we get straight out to join the celebrations.
There are (somewhat oddly) Indians and squaws dancing everywhere in small groups. At this stage we have no idea what the celebrations are about. Fireworks explode and there are many bands walking through both the crowds and the dancing troupes. It’s all happening. Drums are being pounded vigorously as each drumming group seems to compete with the other groups. There seems to be many more people “doing” – dancing, or playing music rather than watching and I think we may be the only foreign people in the mass of people. It’s a fiesta!
It’s all good fun, but we are tired after the marathon bus ride and head to bed with the fiesta still ringing in our ears. In fact, we hear the music and the fireworks all night and join in the fun again the next day.
We have found out what the celebrations are all about. Given the simultaneous competitive drumming, fireworks and roving bands it seems a little ironic that the fiesta ” Senor de Mayo” is to pay homage to the Christ/Lord of Solitude.
Next day the dancing Indians and squaws are back, they are dancing shacsha, but I am no wiser as to what this might be. It involves a lots of masks and fake tomahawks. The drummers are back in force and the bands are playing music as they walk up the hill, past our door to secure their square footage in a prime spot in or as close to the plaza as possible and begin the days celebrations.
It is nearing the end of the week long fiesta and looking back at the photos I can see that the dancing (about 18 hours a day) has pretty much exhausted everyone.
As for us, we are here to head up into The Andes Mountains for a week. Whilst the fiesta was a lot of fun for us, I am expecting the trekking to exhaust us at least as much as these dancers.
Would I recommend the Churup Inn? Most definitely!