Something I’ve noticed about clouds and silver linings is that those linings often manifest themselves in quite unexpected ways. Yesterday, the 7th June, was Peru’s national Flag Day, Dia de la Bandera. The day commemorates the Battle of Arica, fought on June 7, 1880 between the forces of Peru and Chile, one of the most important battles of the War of the Pacific. During the battle Chilean troops tried to capture the Peruvian flag. Colonel Alfonso Ugarte, who was carrying the flag, rode his horse over the cliff into the Pacific Ocean to prevent the capture of the flag, so the day commemorates his sacrifice in particular.
Had I not been waylaid in Chivay I would have been much farther north, ‘lost’ in some remote part of the mountains rather than having chosen to head to Espinar for a couple of rest days, arriving by pure chance the afternoon of the 6th. It was a fabulously colourful occasion with parades, speeches, bands, and with the whole town out and about. The atmosphere was superb, very much a lovely display of Peruvian identity. It would appear also that I am the only gringo in town, so with Espinar being well off the tourist trail I was made to feel very welcome by just about everyone I met. I had a lovely time. What follows is something of a street photography flavoured photo essay. No captions or story to tell. Just pictures, and in no particular order.