The Amazing Delights of Peru

The topic for the  Bude & District U3A August meeting at the Parkhouse Centre was The Amazing Delights of Peru.  We all know that Paddington Bear came from Peru, but the speaker, Colin Vosper, told us so much more during his talk and wonderful slides taken on his travels around this rich and diverse country.  

The Incas were almost wiped out when the Spanish invaded in 1532 and brought with them European diseases. The Nazca Lines in the desert south of Lima can be seen from space. The salt pans high up in the mountains are fed by prehistoric salt lakes. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world with its floating reed beds, many still inhabited by Uros Indians:       The British-built the SS Ollanta and had it shipped out to Peru in kit form, then transported it overland and riveted it together on Lake Titicaca where it is still used as a charter boat. Cusco was once the Inca capital and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish architecture. 

Machu Picchu, discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, was an ancient Inca settlement which Bingham restored. How it was built without the use of mortar, metal tools, or the wheel is still a mystery.   It is now a world famous UNESCO site. 

Colin told us all of this and so much more. He showed us colourful slides capturing local life as it is lived today, including ladies in vibrant clothes and hats. We learned that the local delicacy is fried guinea pig served whole, including the tail, head and feet!

Jo Arnold, Bude U3A Chairman, then reminded U3A members that membership fees for 2019-20 are now due. She said that membership numbers are at a record high and membership is great value with so many diverse groups to join, two coffee mornings each month, the quarterly Newsletter and the National U3A magazine, all included. She added that everyone must all play their part – U3A is a volunteer organisation.