I'm now nearing the end of my first of 2 weeks of Spanish lessons in Cusco. It's been a surprisingly enjoyable experience, if somewhat tiring. I don't think I fully estimated how tiring 6 hours a day of learning a language could be. Its definitely worth it however as my Spanish has gone from being non-existent to being at a level where I can order food & drink without pointing, unsuccessfully barter in shops and describe celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to my teachers in Spanish. This is something they find particularly annoying when the exercise is to tell them in Spanish where I live or what my hobbies are.
The school has a great atmosphere with lots of different nationalities who all seem to get on really well. We ended up going to a nightclub in the main square on Wednesday night which was good fun. I think the group consisted of Brits, Norwegians, Americans, French, Germans, Mexicans, Brazilians and Dutch. I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere...The same night I ended up bumping into some Argentinians who are holidaying in Cusco for a few weeks. The conversation was really refreshing and does a lot
to show how ridiculous the current tensions are. They asked whether people in the UK disliked Argentinians and obviously I asked the same question given I'm planning to be there in the next month or so. It seems that most people in the UK and Argentina just want the islands in the South Atlantic to control their own destiny and for the UK and Argentinian governments to focus on the more serious domestic issues at hand.
I'm getting to know Cusco a bit better now. Its a great City with a real energy to it that's difficult to describe. Something like a strange mix between a vibrant, cultured City and a European ski resort perhaps. Wealth and poverty live side by side here. Amongst the sea of red roofs and white washed walls the array of different shops, restaurants, historical buildings and museums is staggering. The architecture is a history lesson in itself and although the Spanish looted and destroyed a great deal many of the original Inca features and influences remain. I've been trying to wander around the various squares, markets and streets and take some decent photos but I still feel that I've barely scratched the
surface. Hopefully I'll get more time to explore over the weekend and next week.
The weather here at the moment changes every 2 minutes due to the rainy season oscillating between shorts & t-shirt and hat & gloves weather. Its particularly cold at night leading to complaints from even the hardy, cold / snow loving Norwegians who like myself seem to burn whenever the sun emerges from cloud cover.
On the bag front the good news is Air Europa have located it and it should hopefully arrive tomorrow. I didn't want to ask however why it had gone backwards from Madrid to Paris in order to be flown to Peru. At this rate I think my bag should have its own travel blog as well...
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