Cusco Bizarro: Muéstrame el Ombligo//
Author: María Luisa del Río Labarth
When I picked up a copy of Cusco Bizarro: Muestrame el Ombligo (Bizarre Cusco: Show me the Navel), I had no idea what I was picking up. For one, this doesn’t look like your typical travel guide. The cover gave me the feeling I was picking up a book on the new wave of Cusco art.
You can probably say this works as a Photobook, but it has loads of text in it, useful especially in its section on hotels and other places to stay, where the author describes a few places in accommodation, prices and even the mood — the Hostal Frankenstein anecdote is pretty funny. There is also a section on “Things They Might Have Not Told You” like that painting of San Pedro Nolasco sucking on the Virgin’s breasts for milk (alongside Baby Jesus), or the painting of The Last Supper in which Jesus is having Cuy (Guinea Pig).
The book also has sections on places to shop, places to eat, some fashion, spiritual stuff, religious festivities and even some “freak” talk about the Incan flag, Barbie the Drag Queen Fighter and haunted houses. There’s definitely some good stuff in this, especially for backpackers. The good thing about the content is that it has both positive and negative reviews, so it actually helps you.
Technically, the book is not huge, but it’s quite heavy for its nearly 300 pages. The cover is pretty flimsy, there isn’t a hardcover version that I’m aware of. It’s printed on quality paper, with modern design and bright colors. Some photos are better than others, the author has her moments when taking pictures like any of us, but the design team in charge of this project made it work.
All travel guides should be this fresh.
Get it on AbeBooks.com