Cusco was the capital of the Incan Empire when conquistador Francisco Pizarro showed up. The Spaniard sequestered Incan ruler Atahualpa for ransom. The Incans had thousands of miles of Andean trails with fleet-footed messengers sprinting between mountain strongholds, plus accounting devices with ropes of different colors and knots of different sizes to keep track of whatever treasures they possessed.
Countless gold-laden ships have already sailed from Peru. Our global economy owes a debt to how Peruvian gold led to the modern concept of money. Yet, the myth remains. Recent groups have searched the jungles on the Peru/Bolivia border, where some of the Americas' least-contacted native tribes continue. These expeditions vanished without a trace. No shit! Still, as I watch the poor dignified Quechua women trudging into town under a mountain of handicraft wares, the possibility that they are knowingly sitting on the Incan Fort Knox seems a tad far fetched. Don't you think?
After dinner, I stumble into Chuchu Wasi (House of Breasts). The name of the bar is no stranger than the reality. Next to my table is a sculpture of a short, bearded, Peruvian forest monster with a dwarf face, elfin ears, long phallus, and walking/planting stick like a Mexican fertility god. Across the rock-walled, low-raftered room is a blue-lit niche with metallic sillouette of three women in a tangled sex act that seems odd for a place without any strippers. Up the stairs to the loft stretches a wall mural of a nude red-haired woman with serpent eyes and a serpent tail where a mermaid devolves into a fish. Amazonian pub mythology.
Waiter Jhon Eduardo Medina Suarez proudly shows me his US Army jacket with the name patch of David Coleman, who gifted it to Jhon when he was only a boy in an impoverished barrio. Little acts of kindness change the world. I decide to do the world a favor too. Halting the deployment of a barrage of lame jokes and drunken babble, I terminate this episode in our continuing saga and stagger back to my hotel. You're welcome.