Futbal en Cusco.

Cusco Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 20 › view all entries
Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega during the second half of the Cienciano-Municipal match.
Hello All,
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.
Here is the Cienciano cheering section after a goal. Too bad the pic was taken into the sun.
 Everywhere there are kids of all ages loading and re-loading the implements of water destruction, some under the watchful, laughing eyes of parents.

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.
Police pulled out this little walkway, and formed a cordon to get a Municipal player off the field after a red card.
 I was sitting in a restaurant on the plaza eating, and three employees of the restaurant were attacked from a passing van.  They were absolutely destroyed by buckets of water, and what looked like two cans of funny foam/silly string.

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.
Goofy self picture of me and my meat stick.
 She had me dead-to-rights, and I looked for somewhere to hide as she grabbed for the bucket.  I was in full cringe/spasm when she took aim, but thankfully the bucket was empty.  Whew!

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 tried a few night pictures with mixed results. This is from the Plaza de Armas.
I got the name of the stadium, and grabbed my stuff.  I went down toa main street and got a taxi.  Two soles and five minutes later I was dropped two blocks from the Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega and headed there.  I found two of the entry gates without any problems, but the ticket windows appeared to have been vacated.  After trying to find a ticket agent for me for a couple of minutes, the gate staff gave up and let me and one other guy into the game for free.  Outstanding!

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 main cathedral at night.
  No biggie.  Water balloons continued to rain down on everybody, both from the seats above, and from outside the stadium.  I was spared any direct hits for the rest of the game.

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.
Plaza San Blas at night. I love the church on the right and the lights on the hill in the background.
 Deportivo Municipal had a man sent off in the first half, and Cienciano took advantage by scoring to make the score 1-0 at the half.  After I arrived at the game, Cienciano scored again to make it 2-0, and after that each team had another player red-carded and sent off.  The game ended, and I stuck around until the police started to move people out.

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.
One of the narrow lanes in the San Blas neighborhood at night.
 Oh well, half a football match for about $1.20 with food and transportation can't be beat.

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.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega durin…
Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega duri…
Here is the Cienciano cheering sec…
Here is the Cienciano cheering se…
Police pulled out this little walk…
Police pulled out this little wal…
Goofy self picture of me and my me…
Goofy self picture of me and my m…
I tried a few night pictures with …
I tried a few night pictures with…
The main cathedral at night.
The main cathedral at night.
Plaza San Blas at night.  I love t…
Plaza San Blas at night. I love …
One of the narrow lanes in the San…
One of the narrow lanes in the Sa…
photo by: Vlindeke