Monday, May 4, 2009

Sightseeing with Elder and Sister Lamb

On Friday, May 1 (a Peruvian holiday), we went sightseeing with Elder and Sister Lamb to several nearby tourist attractions.

Our first stop was the shrine of the Lord of Muruhuay in the town of Acobamba, about 15 minutes from Tarma, where a big celebration was held. These people, seated on bleachers in front of the Catholic church with the shrine, were watching people dance:

The dancers were accompanied by a large, loud band:

Originally, the shrine was a naturally carved image of Christ on the side of a cliff. But then someone painted the image and enclosed it in glass to preserve it. (It made the image look phoney.) Because of the holiday, people brought flowers and placed them in front of the shrine:

As we left Acobamba, we saw many farm workers in the fields. Here the farmers are harvesting lettuce and putting it in baskets:

On another farm, women harvested spinach:

These men were pleased that foreigners would stop and take a picture of them. A young boy runs to get into the picture:

Other farmers were plowing their fields. Here, a young girl leads her burro pulling a plow weighted down by the girl's father:

This hand plow is being pulled by cows:

Next, we stopped at Shaprash "Rostro de Cristo" (face of Christ), which you can barely see on the mountain just to the left of the tree where there are no branches. Scott is there with his camera:

Our next stop was Palcamayo, which was celebrating the holiday with masked dancers on the Plaza de Armas:

Spectators enjoyed watching the dancers:

As with almost all cities and towns in Peru, the younger women dress in jeans and teeshirts while the older women wear the traditional hat or cap, shawl, sweater, and skirt:

Then we visited the largest cave in South America, the Gruta de Huagapo ("Mother Grotto"). Beverly and Scott pose in front of the huge cave opening:

A river runs through the cave:

Then the river flows out of an opening and the water runs down the hill at the base of the cave:

The source of the underground river in the cave is Lake Junín, some 25 miles away, so the cave itself must be 25 miles long. However, the cave has only been explored to a depth of about 3000 yards (using technical spelunking and scuba-diving techniques). We entered the cave to a depth of only 300 yards. We were standing in complete darkness when this picture was taken:

The cave is surrounded by beautiful flowers, such as these bleeding hearts located above the cascading river:

We ate lunch at the base of the cave entrance. A young man pulled trout from the river while we watched, and then his dad grilled the trout (as Glenn looks on):

We left Huagapo and headed toward San Pedro de Cajas. Here's the amazing, winding, rough, dirt road that we traveled on as it passes through the valley and scales the mountain:

In San Pedro de Cajas, we witnessed still another town celebrating the holiday. Here, the townspeople are enjoying a procession, with a symbol of the crucification, dancers, and a band:

On our way back to Tarma, we spotted this herd of vicuña. It was the largest herd we have seen in Peru:

We enjoyed our day of conversation, food, photography, and travel!


Eric said...

Great pictures! Love you both.

Sharon said...

Great pictures, but the thanks - not for this claustrophobic sister. I'll just trust you that it was interesting and beautiful.

Bill Mahaffey said...

My name is Bill Mahaffey. My father just passed away this Friday morning after 99 years and 6 months of wonderful living. Among his things I found a book with no copyright date called "The Christ of The Andes" and other poems pertaining to South America. It was written by "M.J. Lamb."
Is there any possibility you know anything about M.J. Lamb or this book. My father was also a poet and wrote many of his poems in the back ("blank") pages of this book. From the contents of Dad's poems I would suspect they were written during WWII.