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Olivier's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

Incas and Beatles

Yesterday, coming back to Cusco from Machu Picchu in this low speed train, some Indian kids jumped in to play music (Andes flute "Zampona") for the local passengers and tourists seated in the wagons. Every time the train slowed down or stopped for a short while, a band of 2 or 3 poor little boys played for us. They were small kids of 5 to 10 years old… very awake and quite grown up for their ages. Misery seems to make kids very sharp and
streetwise. They always had an eye on the doors to check for the sudden arrival of the train conductor. The songs were mainly the ones we all know about when we think of Andes music and of flute. Like one of the most famous, "El Condor Pasa" and others that have gone around the world for years. But funny, one of the small groups played a song of the Beatles that I could easily recognize - "Hey Jude"! What a surprise! The Beatles are so famous in South America it's incredible. They even went up the valleys of the Andes. If Lennon and his friends were born some centuries ago the old Incas would have probably erected a statue as a tribute to them. I remember the young chaps in Buenos Aires listening to the Oldies of the 'Fab Four'. The local FM radio stations were also playing the Beatles regularly on everyone's radios. That was Argentina. And across the Andes, there, they were again in Chile, so alive and popular. Amazing continent... Everyone here seems to have a deep love & respect for their music.

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