Friday, April 7, 2006

April 7, 2006

this morning we were in the very euro-latino feeling lima
and after a wonderful couple of days in the big city
checking out parks, watching the surfers and taking in the
surf, relaxing, looking through the millions of handicrafts
and walking and walking and walking the days away we flew
into the andes to cusco. the scenery in was absolutely
breathtaking. the mountains and steeps green, dotted with
old inca ruins, plots of homes, pastures and farmland and
completely surrounded by an exciting and bustling old city.
i cannot yet put my mind around this city of cusco. of all
the traveling i´ve ever done, it the most
incredible place i´ve ever been. such deep history and
tradition set amongst the advance of todays society. the
streets are as if in san fransisco made of old bricks,
stone and cobble...the plazas bustling with people both in
traditional quequecha (sp?) dress and those in working
clothes...centries old churches, and on and on and on. in
every little crack and crevace and doorway you duck into
there is a wonderful surprise hiding and waiting to be
found. for those who have done europe, it is in that style
of narrow, old streets, steep walkways and side steets and
a wealth of stories to tell over hundreds of years. we are
overlooking the city and the plaza de armas from our hostel
up on the mountain. we see terra cotta roofs for as far as
the eyes can see with people moving all around in the city
below. we made our way around today, stopping at an
adorable place for lunch, starting sucking on our coca
'candy' to help with the altitude (3400m), going down to
the train station for our tickets on the old rail (where we
will head up to the base of machu pichou to aguas
calientes) and then some shopping the handicrafts that
leave your head spinning. we will take in the hot springs
in aguas calientes and then head up to the famed machu
pichou and beyond on saturday. we will then come back to
cusco and spend a few days here. we will be fortunate as
their elections and also palm sunday will be upon our
return. we (me, a peace corps friend, friend from
minneapolis and jon whom we met in lima) will then take
another train on monday to the border and into bolivia to
the lake titicaca region and puno.
off now to hike straight up the 60 degree streets to our
hostel in the mountain overlooking the plaza from the
veranda. more to come...
thank goodness i know spanish!