The silent Sun was dropping slowly from the winter sky as I entered the square. Colour drained from the surface of the mountain walls.
Quietly I sat myself on the only vacant bench. My first week in this Sacred Valley Peruvian town, everything so new to me, I sat there wondering about it all.
The disappearance of the Sun was dramatic in its silence. It slipped prematurely from my sight. The mountain walls protruded more sternly now, their peaks appearing more dagger-like with keen edges.
Town folk lingered at the corners of the plaza perhaps speculating on the going’s on of the day. Some older men sat staring into space from a bench on the opposite side of the platform.
Other folk, mainly women, stood alongside mobile stalls, preparing hot drinks for the night time trade.
I huddled more snuggly into the folds of my clothing. It was suddenly a lot colder. The sun not only deprived me of its light, it took with it the warmth I craved. A town dog must have sensed my plea, as it wandered from its pals and came to rest curled up at my feet.
Darkness was taking hold of the sky. I gazed upwards. A jagged rim of mountain peaks framed
the dusky blue. It was like peering from the inside of a caustic cauldron out into the atmosphere.
I gave my senses to the newly rising stars. Venus had already taken pride of place. It dangled heavily above and beyond The Coffee Tree in the direction of the Fortaleza. I sighed in gratitude. Venus, my familiar friend would not forsake me.
Ten thousand miles from home, in this story book town of Ollantaytambo, Peru, I had made a few connections already but we were vastly unfamiliar. I was just another stranger, probably intent on passing through, like all the others.
I struggled to learn the Spanish language more quickly so as to remove the tight girdles that robbed my personality. People were kindly towards me. I reciprocated the kindliness as best I could whilst treading carefully amidst a culture that I could not yet expect to fully understand.
The darkness closed more tightly around the diamond stars. A little auto-taxi came rushing through from an artery of the plaza, interrupting my thoughts and the otherwise hushed surroundings. It seemed somebody somewhere had more important business to be doing.
It was time to move along. ‘Maňana,’ I told myself, ‘I’ll return tomorrow evening to assess my situation’.
The stranger slowly left the scene, little realising she was walking through the pages in which her part had already been neatly included throughout chapters and sentences, between full stops and capital letters.
A new day was on its way. Another page was waiting to be turned in this story of an Irish woman’s journey in a Peruvian Town.
©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing Blog
VOTE FOR US IN IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2015 until September 23rd 2015) : VOTE HERE
Caroline Cunningham is a Carlow based Irish Writer and author of Wild Star Landing Blog which features ‘Journey In Peru’ stories. Caroline is also an artist and reflexology therapist (Authentic Reflexology).