Dave and I do tend to wander around like the “village idiots” but sometimes this technique in travelling leads to spectacular adventures. In Urubamba we headed down what would be the width of an alley in the US but was considered a road here. The buildings were colorfully decorated and in various states of disrepair. Dogs seem to be everywhere, walking up and down the streets, in the never ending search for tasty treats. We were looking for the Plaza de Arms or the main plaza for the city. Navigation in Urubamba is fairly simple with all the roads set out on a “grid” system. We walked along until we found the cross street that would take us to the main square.
It had begun to lightly drizzle so I popped open the umbrella that I was so proud of myself for remembering to pack. As we walked along two kids walked past us, probably brothers. The younger one snickered and said to his older brother something “gringos”. They both laughed and the big brother shushed the younger one while shoving him across the street. I’m sure this spontaneous burst of giddiness was because a) there is no way this blondino looks anything like a Peruvian and b) it was obvious from the demeanor of the local people that the light rain that was falling was not considered umbrella worthy.
Three blocks later we entered the main plaza. It was very pretty with an area in the center for sitting, and water fountain paying homage to the corn that is the main support crop in the area and at one end a beautiful Catholic church. Looking around we instantly knew we had once again wandered into something spectacular. Local people were dressed in their “costume” best. There were dancers, scarf waivers, band members and oddly enough men and boys of various ages and sizes dressed in gorilla suits. Yep, head to toe King Kong costumes. As we wandered around the square snapping pictures and wondering what in the world was going on, we began to hear a calliope of music echoing off the plaster walls of the buildings. Shortly, the parade entered the main square lead by a man in a white sequined outfit. The parade was a dizzying array of vibrant colors, sequins and feathers. It appears that the parade was made up out of specific groups and that each group was representing a portion of a story. The last group were the gorillas with large spiders hanging on their backs. The boys danced about occasionally taking time out to run into their partner then back to the dancing and running they would go.
We had no idea what we had wandered into but it was an amazing afternoon of music, dancing and prancing gorillas.