The Curse of Atahualpa

February 5, 2008

Apparently the reason that all tourists get tummy upsets is due to an ancient curse of 1533.  The conquistadors had captured Atahualpa the Inca emperor and had promised him his life if he filled the room where he was being held with Gold.  He did so, but the Spanish reneged on their deal and had him tried for treason and anything else they could get to stick.  He was baptised a Catholic so that he could be killed by strangulation rather than by being burned at the stake.  His dying words were a curse on the white men.

 Some say the curse referred to cocaine – that it will fortify the Indian and destroy the white man.  Others that it takes the form of a stomach bug suffered by everyone who visits Peru.  Including, as of this morning, me.

 Visiting Interpol when suffering from sickness and diarrhoea is not something I would wish on anyone!  However it was fairly empty and quite quick.  The most hairraising bit of the morning was te taxi ride there and back.  I will write more about the driving in Lima another time – suffice to say there are no rules, the lights are more guidelines as to whose turn it is to go at a junction, and the horn is used almost continuously!


One comment

  1. Sounds a lot like driving in Morocco. Of course there donkeys had right of way!

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