Page 3 of LawrMaur Travel Blog Posts

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco March 28th 2010

GODPARENTS AGAIN You may be wondering what happened to the GOD CAR we wrote about in an early blog. We’re afraid the news hasn’t been good- right off the bat, the young fellow who drove the car for its blessing in the mountains and who was to be the taxi's driver, became drunk one night, had his driver's license stolen, and quit answering his cell phone. So, Bad News #1- No driver! Bad News #2- the car was then out of commission waiting for an expensive part. Eventually two new drivers, including a first cousin, were lined up and the taxi was back on the road -thankfully, because without revenue the parking and loan interest costs were painful. However, the first cousin's assurances that he was a competent driver were ill-founded...hence... Bad News #3- He ... read more
EFRAIN Plots Strategy
BLUE Tarp Covers Spot  Where Home Previously Sat
Homeless Ladies Prepare Fundraising Meal

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco March 6th 2010

A SUNNY Saturday begins in Cusco after another week of heavy rains that have left 15 people dead and 90% of the residents of the town of Taray just south of here homeless. Tomorrow, we head out in a bus from our school with 20 others to distribute food and supplies to the affected; we'll also prepare a lunch for 300 of the unfortunate- hope they like peanut butter and banana sandwiches!(that's a "BROMA" ie. joke in Spanish!). More about this in a later blog. SCHOOL DAYS In what feels like a heartbeat, our 8 weeks of group Spanish classes have come to a finish, and in the classic "the-more-you-know, the-more-you-realize-you-don't-know" fashion, we are still ill-equipped to cope in the real world of Spanish speakers. Just how many past tense forms, subjunctives, conditionals, future tenses, and ... read more
The Jello Lady
Larry y su amiga

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco February 19th 2010

OLYMPICS...what Olympics! Peru is not exactly a sporting nation of note...and even lesser interest is had in winter sports; so when we mention excitedly that the Olympics are occurring in Vancouver, the typical response from Peruvians is...the what! (Could it be our Spanish?) On the other hand, however, the interest level is much much higher amongst the many students from Holland who are following their speed skating team with great enthusiasm. And so as loyal Canadians in a foreign land, we try to balance ourselves on the cultural fence and enjoy your e-mails telling us about the excitement of the games, catch what we can of the sporting events through news and sports websites, and then head out and take part in more Peruvian-style passions such as fiestas! Let the FIESTAS begin! Actually, let's start with ... read more
Wall Surrounds Cementario de Almudena
ROW Housing in Cementario de Almudena
Many More Nichos in Cemetery

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco February 3rd 2010

We’re keen to tell you about our new status as Godparents, an honour never before bestowed on us; but first, we should update you on Cusquenan weather and local disasters. Fortunately, the rain gods have been more settled in the past 7 days and have returned to what is a more normal state of heavy rains that last for an hour or so each day, with either sun or light cloud for the remainder of the day. This has allowed local residents time to fortify their adobe houses with plastic covering and to spread the now ubiquitous blue tarps not only over the steep hillsides, but also beside, above, and below their homes. When we look across the valley, the former wall-to-wall red-roofed panorama now has an equal mixture of azure tarps flowing down all the ... read more
Calle Suecia has changed since our arrival
Blue Tarps Abound

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco January 25th 2010

We hadn't planned to blog before next weekend but interesting events have occurred that pushed this ahead a bit...nothing as dramatic as what has occurred in Haiti, but certainly noteworthy for us and the region of Cusco where we hang out these's our story... In the past week or 10 days here, the rains have become more incessant and certainly the volume of water falling is becoming of great concern to local residents. Given that this is rainy season high in the Andean mountains everyone, including us, is expecting a certain amount of moisture most days...but the look of surprise on the faces of locals tells us that this year is exceptional. A little rain followed by a little sun usually keeps the moisture balance in check. In the past few days, we are hearing...and ... read more
Rock on Road to Sacred Valley
Truck Trapped in the Muck
No problem...we can drive past this!

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco January 16th 2010

Nine days in Cusco and one week of Spanish lessons under our belts...7 more weeks of lessons to go... we can already occasionally make ourselves understandable to some Cusquenans(ie.Cusco residents, and coincidently the name of the popular local beer) with what has been unearthed within! After 3 days of acclimatizing to the altitude of Cusco, by last Monday we were both feeling well and ready to take on the learning process before us. Sunday saw a new flood of students arrive (probably 30), many with just hours to spare before classes began; starting classes with altitude sickness could not have been a pleasant experience! It was nice for us to see a few older faces, but alas, it appears that we continue to hold down the top spot for age. After the welcoming address from a ... read more
Cusco's Safeway/Loblaw
Hey Bring those Donuts Back
Larry Caught Her and Now The Reward

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco January 9th 2010

23 hours of flights and sitting in airports in Los Angeles and Lima, Peru, and now we are here in downtown Cusco, set up in our own little room based in the Amauta Spanish School. We have a cute room with creaky wood plank flooring, big wooden shutter windows looking out on the street one storey below, two twin beds with three heavy wool blankets each, and a washroom all our own (which we weren't expecting). There is a quaint kitchen and dining alley right outside the door to our room and a whole bank of woodframed squares of window highlighting the sights below us in ancient Cusco, a sea of red-tiled roofs and massive cathedrals. The first few days of anything new are a whirlwind of input- sounds, smells, impressions. Day 2 in Cusco for ... read more
Across the Valley
Our New School!
Behind the Walls

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Penticton December 26th 2009

The Countdown is ON! 11 days until Cusco, Peru departure but of course we still have a Millennium+10 (Y2K.01) party to host on New Year's Eve This blog about our 3.5 months of learning Spanish in Peru will largely be Maureen's baby, but I'm (Larry)jumping in here first to get this thing started. Maureen is generally far more observant of the physical things going on when travelling such as geography, climate, wildlife, and people; I tend to be a bit better read on items like local spirits(alcohol, not other demons!), cigars, music, and bartering! Photos should be a prominent feature of our chronicle...we now have a tiny camera (ie.less easily stolen) to cart along, as well as an eensie-weensie mini netbook computer to store pics and write blogs and e-mails. The routine, mundane,and expected items for ... read more

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