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Published: April 5th 2014
I started the day with a walk to the Miraflores Park where I was advised to get the best sandwiches in Lima. For breakfast, I had a thick juicy chunk of pork on a slab of sweet potato in a bun. In Peru it seems you only get fresh squeezed juices. I had a delicious citrus mix and lots of salty fries. This all may seem strange for breakfast, but I was not alone there. There were line ups. The trip to Cusco was simple; I was met at the airport and taken to a host home for the first evening. There was another volunteer for the project there, so we felt brave enough to venture into the town centre. Cusco is an old colonial town. The streets are cobble stones. The lanes are narrow. The two story buildings all have elaborately carved wood balconies looking over the squares. The main plaza is large with lots of green and fountain. Cusco is deep in the Andes mountains and so most streets travel up hill on steep slopes. We climbed to one height where there was a beautiful church and experienced the incredible view of the town below us and the mountains
surrounding us. I have been lucky in weather, since this is the tail end of the rainy season, I shouldn't have clear skies. Clear skies are all I have seen so far, with an intense burning sun although not too hot. This means that the views are incredible. The sun hits the mountainside at dusk with ripples of colour and shadow that compel you to take a breath in awe. I'm finding everything intense here. The colours of the cloth tied round the shoulders of the women holding the loads they are carrying, the light and colour on the hills/mountains, the luxurious growth of flowers and plants. I will have a few days in Cusco at a couple of times over the next month. I look forward to it.
The next morning, we had until 3pm before we would leave for Huyro, the town outside of which I will be living. So Inge and I took a bus and a taxi to Tipano. This is a village about 1/2 hour away and is host to a ruins, there are many here, not just Machu Pichhu. The ruins have been restored and show how the mountain stream run off was
channeled for agricultural steppes. Every time I looked up there was a vista of mountains running down to the valley and village below. We walked the ruins for an hour and then had to return to our hosts. Our hosts, who we would only be with these 2 days, were simply marvellous. They had a lovely apartment, at the top of a building with windows in a line around the rooms. We had extremely good meals, and lots of advice on where to go and how to get there. Elizabeth walked us to the bus even though she had worked a 12 hour night shift and had just arrived home. Their generosity was amazing.
We left for Huyro around 4pm. It is a 4 - 6 hour drive depending on the type of bus. The roads are winding and climb up and down mountain ridges. The evening light, in the clear air highlighted everything. We were driving among soft green carpeted mountains and watching the sun hit the rising snow covered ridges. These mountains call to me with their mix of soft and extreme; I keep on losing my breath, awestruck with beauty. It was well after dark when
we arrived at my new home, a net walled tin covered hall split in two down its length. On one side are shared rooms and bathrooms and on the other the living area. Everything is built on the slope, very rustic, although not very picturesque. After soup and introductions to staff and volunteers we quickly settled into our net covered beds for sleep.
Good Night and Sweet Dreams
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