Cusco, staged a simply fantastic show in the grounds of Qorikancha to mark the reopening of Machu Picchu after the January Floods closed the rail link.
Seating was prepared for about a thousand people, with many more watching from the road which was closed for the event.
After several video & slide shows showing the history & rituals of Machu Picchu, Luis Arturo Florez Garcia the Mayor spoke about the problems & action taken after the flooding in January. Then the minister of Tourism Martin Perez Monteverde spoke about the great work, first rescueing the stranded tourists at Aguas Calientes, & now with the restoration works completed & further works still continuing, round the clock.
Shortly after, the ceremony of Pachamama Raymi started - a Tribute to mother Earth.
Inca warriors led the Sapa Inca (the Inca King) to his thrown by flaming torch light, which was situated right on the edge of the great Granite walls of the Inca ruins themselves.
The Inca warriors then started a ceremony making offerings to Pachamama, the Mother Earth, later assisted by the Mayor & dignitaries, who also made further offerings to Pacamama.
Traditional dancing rounded off the ceremony in Qorikancha, and after the Sapa Inca departed, led out by torch light, the skies burst into a mass of colour as a fantastic fireworks show lit up the whole site.
Finally the crowd gathered round the fire to keep warm on what was a very cold night, hugging mugs of Hot chocolate, while a band played traditional music in the grounds below the temple. Thats when most people got to see the small statue in front of the band & realise was it was - a replica of an Inca Mummy sacrifice from the Museum!
The city of Cusco & all involved, put on an really incredible show, marking what is the next chapter in the continuing history of Machu Picchu.