We both woke up early so at 5.30 am, had showers and then breakfast at 7.00 which was a boiled egg with potato-type fritter and a small baked potato (they like their spuds) with a bowl of fresh fruit salad, rolls and butter and jam and plenty of cups of tea and coffee. We then joined rest of group for a demonstration of pottery making. The village was one of the main pottery suppliers for the whole area as the clay and fine volcanic sand and other items needed were local to the village. After the demonstation, the local ladies inevitably brought out samples of their pottery and local handicrafts for us to see buy. Afterwards we all walked to the local Inca ruins and were given a guide by the local chief translated for us by Ivan, the second leader (affetionately named Frenchie). The ruins were fairly extensive as this was one of the main administration areas and centre for food storage (given to outlying villages in Inca control at times of drought or similar disasters. A wander round the village centre where a lot more local produce and touristy-type products on sale. Jo bought some earrings (as always). Vanessa
then collected us to walk us back to her house for lunch at Midday. This was far too early really but the itinerary wouldn't have worked otherwise. We were given soup, llama steak with corn and potato and a side bowl of smething between a salsa and a salad with coriander and pulses. Jo and Ed shared one meal between us as neither of us was hungry. Back to the bus and said farewell to the families and the village. There was a mutual hugging session with them all... and on the road again.
We were advised the local village gets paid $30 dollars per head for the night which is one of the main income earnings for the community and the funds are shared out communally (of which there are 200 families in the village). We drove on to Cusco which was uneventful and arrived at 5ish. Had showers and sorted out the dirty laundry. We were very confsed trying to find a laundrette which we were convinced we had seen just a few yards from hotel but couldn't find it a second time so decided to look again in the morning. We then went out with most of the group for an evening meal - not that we really needed it. Five new people are joining the trip tomorrow. We met some of them last night.
Would have loved a Gap Year a few years ago but it never happened. Have now both managed to sneak ten weeks off work and are making the most of it with an overland trip around part of South America. Not luxury travel - haven't put up a tent for years which may be one of the key challenges of the tour!... full info