Futbal en Cusco.
Cusco Travel Blog› entry 19 of 20 › view all entries
February 18th, 2007 – by: gopackjo
Well yesterday was a nice lazy day. It has been soooo nice staying in the wonderful Hostal Amaru II for multiple days in a row. Packing and unpacking everything up every few days is certainly one of the major hassles of traveling. And even though I travel pretty lightly, it is still a real pain. Tomorrow, before leaving for Machu Picchu I am going to have to transfer up the street to Hostal Anita, which has a bigger, cheaper room for $5 less. I don't think the TV has cable, but I haven't used it much save for The Mummy in spanish last night, so no big deal.
Ok, I've had something on my mind for a while, but haven't said anything, but.... What the hell is with all the water fights on the streets here!?!?!? You cannot walk down the streets here in Cuzco without the risk of getting blasted with water balloons, water pistols, super soakers, funny foam, or just plain buckets of water.
I did get a water ballon in the small of the back in Bolivia about 8 days ago. And I had gotten blasted at my feet a few times by bad shots here in Cuzco over the last few days. But yesterday set all sorts of records. I went to the University to wait for the football match, and there was a full scale war going on. Cienciano del Cuzco fans were congregating for a few hours before the game to comiserate and cher together, and part of this was a full scale water deluge directed towards everybody.
I had planned on taking in the scene, and getting some food before going into the game. So I watched for a while, then timed things out so that it was restaurant time.
I have done some Google-ing today, and found out that much of the unavoidable nature of the water fights are connected to Carnival. This is from amazingperu.com.... February to March – Carnival - Especially celebrated in the highlands. One annoyance are water fights and nobody is spared from a soaking.
So that explains things a bit I guess. Far be it from me to slag on anybody's traditions and such. But walks around town have taken on a bit of a siege mentality. A pick-up truck passed me on a narrow road earlier today, and I did note the young girl in the back with a bucket.
So, back to the story. Turns out the football field I thought the game was at was the wrong one. The sign was there pushing the game because Cienciano del Cuzco was originally the team of the Faculty of Science of the University of Cuzco, which is where I was. So I left the area confused, and went back to the hostal. Once back at the hostal, I watched the last few minutes of the first half on television, and noticed the game was in Cuzco after all.
I inquired at the desk as to where this game actually was, as she took me out on the patio and pointed to the stadium.
I settled on a seat close to the east goal about halfway up. Within two minutes there was a water balloon hit directly on my ass (right where it met the concrete seat). But, it was a dud. It bounced off of me and detonated weakly on the seat behind me. I had been spared any water damage at all, but it was starting to ooze towards the seats in front of me.
The game was a good one, with Cienciano fans making up the majority of the half full 42,000 seat stadium. I was square in a Cienciano cheering area, about 20 meters from the official fan club area. In that area was the cacaphony of drums and whistles that you would associate with a South American soccer match. It was a major league atmosphere, as both teams were from the Primera División of Peruvian soccer.
Deportivo Municipal is from Lima, and are in their first year in the Primera División since 2000, and they had a light following in the area of the opposite goal.
On the way out I grabbed some ball park food. And had a few beef-on-a-stick with a big peeled potato on the end. Very tasty stuff for 1 sole each. I watched the police set up to guide the Deportivo Municipal bus out of the stadium, and the order of the day was certainly overwhelming force. Later in the day I watch other Primera División highlights on television and there were incidents. But, it appeared the Cienciano fans weren't moved to that extent by what was basically a Second Division team.
I actually was able to find my way back to the hostal with no trouble. It was a 20 minute walk, and I managed to avoid all water attacks on the way back as well. My sense of direction is still intact. And I assure you that Cuzco is certainly not in a grid configuration.
After a nice nap, I walked to town on Sunday night. Cuzco is certainly different on Sunday. Many of the shops are closed, or closed earlier. There are almost no girls trying to convince me to get a message. And even most of the street hawkers take the day off. I was actually open to the idea of grabbing a beer or two at a bar if the right situation looked inviting. Well, nothing really looked exactly right so I hit the sack.
Tomorrow is the train to Machu Picchu. Four hours or so at the site. And then the train back to my different hostal.
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