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zest&bare Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. Ralph Waldo Emerson

loco in Cusco

PERU | Saturday, 22 August 2009 | Views [836] | Comments [4]

To top off my third weird and wonderful week in Cusco, Peru, I had a perfect ¨This is seriously surreal¨ experience.

I was feeling a little odd this morning, which I´m finding is becoming my normal state of being, amongst the gamut of other emotions I feel on a daily basis, but regardless I trotted off to the kindergarten where my ´tandem´ parter, Jony, is a Director. The tandem deal is that she learns English and I learn Spanish. Unfortunately there is a lot more English learning happening. I am becoming very good at it.

Anyway, Jony wasn´t there. However her husband was. Her ex-biologist, now kindy and karate teacher, husband. And this is where the weirdness begins. I had met him a few days ago however he had no recollection of me (making a big impression in Peru, I am). Anyway after he insisted that my name is Tanya (close enough, it happens in Australia too...) he proceeded to give me a full throttle awakening into the joys of Buddhism and how Buddha and Christ can change my life. He then informed me that Mt Salkantay is my ´Angel Mountain´ - handy hint as I happen to be trekking it tomorrow. And then he read my palm. And the overall verdict, you ask?

Apparently whilst I am intelligent now I am destined to become a lunatic. Yes, crazy.

Have I mentioned this was completely in Spanish? The word ´loco´was definitely understood though. Oh and there were little three year olds running around playing whilst I was being told my exciting future.

I guess I should be thankful as later as I was literally hanging out of the bus as it took off (yes, the stereotypical South American buses with a capacity for 15 people that have 30 faces pressed up against the windows fighting for air - one of those) I serenely thought to myself, ¨It´s cool. I´m not going to die...I haven´t had time to go crazy yet¨.

And now I am topping off the day by going to eat guinea pig tonight. Maybe the craziness has begun? It´s delicious I hear... I´ll get back to you on that one.

Aside from my personal shaman, there has also been other awesomely unexpected people trickle through my life since I last wrote. Considering most volunteers are run of the mill young-ish people either on a gap year or like me looking for an ´epiphany´ of sorts, where do I ´file´ people like Eileen the lady from New Zealand, born-circa 1938 travelling alone, volunteering and learning Spanish? Or Jake who at first startled me with his sort-of-nihilistic views on the world who at 21 is now actually quite intriguing to me?

I guess I don´t file them and that´s the whole point! I honestly hope I meet more of these people and have more of these ¨This is seriously surreal¨ experiences.

I am trekking to Machu Picchu tomorrow for five days (via ´my´ mountain, Salkantay) so I´ll ´see´ you when I get back!

Here´s to life...sane or crazy!





Hi Chook, I have just read through all your little blogs and checked out the gorgeous pic's......So proud of you!! What an adventure. All is great at home on the coast, Jack is talking more and more everyday :) His new favorite words are "bubble" and "turtle". Brett is good, busy, asleep on the couch at present :)
Our day to day happenings are so removed from what you are up to (ha ha)!! Cant wait to read your next installment. Give the kids a cuddle for me :) Stay safe, love you lots, Kylie, Brett and Jack xxx

  Kylie Groth Aug 25, 2009 9:51 PM


Hi Danielle - not sure if you are back today from your trek, but hope you have recovered well from the "food poisoning!" (That's one way to leave your "calling card") How was your "Angel Mountain" ... Mt. Salkantay? Did it live up to your expectations ... or the reading? Can't wait to hear all about the adventure and see the photos. Talk soon. Love you - Mum xxx
PS - Looking forward to catching up with David here in Canada. (That was a surprise!)

  Cheryl Ryan Aug 27, 2009 3:21 AM


Hi Danielle, U have no idea who I am but have met your wonderful mother and sister Julie,and family here in Canada. Ur mum sent me the link to ur fantastic adventures and I'm sitting here at my desk at work of course on Thursday morning and feeling a little envious. You are having a wonderful time and hopefully the Spanish will get better and better as the time goes on. Enjoy and now I have the link I will be looking in to see what other adventures you are having. Like ur mum I hope ur tummy has settled after ur bout of "food poisoning". I do not need anyone to tell me I'm nuts - I have my own planet and I only allow certain people go come visit me there - ur mum being one of them. Take care Danielle. - Jennifer

  Jennifer McNally Sep 4, 2009 2:10 AM


Hi Danielle ... Wow! - You are now fulfilling another dream - working in the Amazon Jungle.
I am very proud of you living amongst all the wildlife ... along with the deadly snakes & spiders ... there are more than enough in Australia for me!! You are very brave!! Hope you are enjoying Manu/Atalaya Reserve.
Just got a message through from David that you are ok - I'm always happy to hear that.(It was really great seeing David and lovely that he could stay over on Julie's Birthday.)
Stay safe & enjoy. Love, hugs & kisses - Mum xxx

  Cheryl Ryan Sep 4, 2009 2:45 AM

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