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Update from Cusco

PERU | Tuesday, 22 September 2009 | Views [553]

traditional family

traditional family

So, lots of stuff going on since getting back from Machu Picchu, but not too much time to write. Do check out the pictures, though! I am getting more and more compliments on my Spanish, so I´m really excited about that, even though I´m finding it more and more difficult to talk sometimes. I think it´s because I´m getting into talking about thoughts and feelings now, not just what´s for dinner and where is the bathroom! It´s great though. Cusco is still fantastic.

Darcy and I took a weekend trip to Quillabamba, Santa Maria, and Santa Teresa, which I hope to write more about the traveling here later. We had a great time though. I got a really long, hot shower in our hostel, (fantastic!) and we spent quite a bit of time at the Baños Termales (hot baths) and some random waterfall in the middle of nowhere. When I say middle of nowhere, I mean we took a shared van down a long, gravel road for 30 minutes when the driver stopped and practically kicked us out, then kept going. We stood on the side of the street for a minute lost, then found out that you had to pay a lady 2 soles (less than $1) to walk through her backyard and past the chickens before finding this little tiny waterfall. But it was an adventure, and we had fun climbing up the rocks, taking pictures, and goofing off until a bus load of school kids showed up. Apparently it´s a popular destination! To get back to Quillabamba, we stood on the side of the road until a taxi came by. They already had three people in the back and one in the front, but that doesn´t really matter here.  The driver made the guy up front squeeze in the back and put Darcy and I in the front seat. I´m really glad we get along well! I do love this country!

I´ve also seen a few museums and churches in Cusco, and eaten lots of good food. I can´t say I´m growing any fonder of rice though. It takes effort to find a meal without rice and potatoes...yes, both. For almost every meal. I spent one day with my guide Ernesto from the Lares Valley Trek. We went to some lake nearby and paddled around in a peddle boat that we called El Patito Feo, The Ugly Duckling, because it was a swan. He also showed me around a couple more sets of ruins from the Pre-Inca times. Long names that I don´t remember. We had chicharrones for lunch. Kind of like bbq without any sauce.

I´ve also gone to a soccer game with Darcy and some of his family and friends, gotten a massage, talked to random strangers in the plaza, and done a lot of walking. I´m off to do some shopping for Spanish music...I´ve got a list of my favorite songs here, and I want to find cds of them all. It might cost me $5 or $10. Hopefully off to the Manú National Reserve later this week! Take care!

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