A Travellerspoint blog

Bookends!

Leaving Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo was a bit like leaving the PNE. You were amazed by all that happened but you know you need a rest. That is exactly what the Valle de Sagrado (Sacred Valley) offered. Here are a few tidbits from some of the places we visited.

Ollantaytambo
The only way out of "Dodge" (Aguas Calientes) is by train. Carole described the lulling of the train on the tracks to A C in an earlier blog. The ride was equally as beautiful on our return, although we did have a few extra features on the return trip. The train came to a stop in the middle of somewhere and we were entertained by a few vendors selling flowers etc. We then heard music on the train followed by a scary dude dressed in costume dancing up and down the isle. This was followed by him inviting others to join him in the narrow aisle. Following the dance fest we had a fashion show. Yup the stewards of our car morphed into fashion models showing many a Peruvian wear for about 1/2 hour! Oddly, when the show ended the train resumed its trek!
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We landed in Ollantaytambo, without a place to stay and wandered towards town in search of a hospedaje. We came across what appeared to be a nice place and indeed it was. It was family run and over our time there we got to know Moma, Papa, and the two little ones. The hostal was directly beside the river, which lulled us to sleep at night. Ollantaytambo was an incredible mixture of natural beauty and town life. The pueblo is nestled in low lying mountains, rich in shades of green and adorned in hectares of amazing Inca ruins. A one night stay in Ollantaytambo turned into 3 as we decided to visit ruins on both sides of the mountain, followed by an amazing hike on our 3rd day, in search of more ruins.
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Our hunger and thirst was quenched by great food and refreshments in the local restaurants in town. One restaurant in particular, Corazon de cafe (hearts cafe) was started by an English woman several decades ago to assist in funding projects in the high Andes. The projects focused on nutrition and education. Quite an amazing woman! Her restaurant, for better or worse, has served as a mentorship for staff who strike out on their own. Currently there are two other restaurants that have opened with employees from her restaurant. Indeed all the restaurants were fabulous. The Coffee Tree was the last we visited before leaving this beautiful location. Below is a photo of the owners.
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Urubamba
The Sacred Valley has many Pueblos throughout this rich fertile plain. We caught a ride on a local bus to our next stop, Urabamba. We arrived on a Sunday morning to this quiet town and decided to relax in the Plaza de Armas where we were entertained by a gentleman offering fire and brimstone to anyone who would listen. Occasionally, he would forget where he was in his sermon and offed a few moments of silence to the public, before ranting on again!

We found a splendid hospedaje in a quiet area of Urabamba. It was quite exquisite with very hospitable hosts. I did say a quiet neighbourhood . . . except for the early riser roosters. One morning we found our host with a rooster in a headlock, returning him to his owner next door.

Moras and Moray
The next morning we boarded a bus and headed for yet another hike in the Sacred Valley. We made our exodus from a crowded bus that stopped on the highway where we were accosted by cab drivers ready and willing to" take us for a ride". We decided to walk into the small and beautiful pueblo of Moras where we relaxed in the Plaza de Armas and watched all the preparations for Semana Santa. We then did a cross country hike to Moray. The hike was astoundingly beautiful with mountainous pasture land, sheep, cows and trickling streams all nearby. We stopped in a field for our specialty lunch, canned tuna, buns and juice boxes! Fuelled and relaxed we trekked on to Moray. If any of you remember Van Morrison's Into the Mystic, that's what happened in Moray when we entered the site. Essentially Moray is a hole In the ground about the size of 6 football fields. The hole, about 90 feet deep is terraced in concentric circles. According to the literature, there is about a 15-20 degree temperature differential from top to bottom. Researchers think the site was used by the Incas as an experimental biological garden to determine optimum growing conditions for crops. Amazing huh!
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We were able to hitch hike back to Moras. Puranos, like Canadians like to be fuel efficient where ever possible. So on all the downhill runs (and there were many) our driver chose to put the transmission in neutral and coast. He also had the habit of looking at passengers when talking to them! Nasty combo on the narrow and windy roads at Mach 10 speeds!

Salinas
Once safe on the ground we hiked to the Salinas or salt flats. Salt flats is a bit of a misnomer as they were similar to all the other terracing in Peru, except the Salinas was designed to harvest salt from a saline creek. Truly an amazing place. It looked quite eerie, much like a moonscape with incredible beauty found in such starkness. Our hike to this sight was equally as beautiful. We looked a bit like the overlanders as we crested the hill to the sight and saw half a dozen tour buses bursting with folks eager to see the salt flats. Many asked how far we had hiked to get to the sight. It felt so right to exaggerate the distance travelled to increase their look of awe!
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Calca
From Urubamba we travelled to the land of confusion, Calca! It seemed like we entered Zombie World. Nothing seemed to work for us in this community. For example, all directions given to us by locals ended nowhere! When we finally found a place to stay it didn't have power or hot water till the early eve. We were told that the hike to the hot springs was an easy half hour hike. After an hour and one half of walking uphill, we were informed we were still 2 hours from it! Of course it started to rain on our return. Only to mention a few idiosyncrasies of Calca! We decided to press on to Pisac the next morning!

Pisac
If you consider the Sacred Valley with bookends on either side of the Valley, you would have Ollantaytambo on one end and Pisac on the other. Ollantaytambo would be akin to Tofino with young, star struck men and women just hangin. Pisac on the other hand is akin to Cortes Island in the 80's! Pisac is filled with any kind of healer you could ever imagine. One small tienda (shop) literally had a mountain of crystals in the middle of the floor! The owner looked like Baba Ram Das after a nasty round of ayahausca! You would need to walk around the crystal pile (and Baba) to get to the other side of the tienda. Pisac also had a fine array of eating places, which again we thoroughly enjoyed. Pisac also has incredible ruins. We took a taxi to the top of the site and hiked back in the rain for 2 1/2 hours. It was yet another beautiful ruin and wonderful hike.
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After a few nights in Pisac we decided to leave the Sacred Valley. You could feel the energy shift as we climbed upward and out of the Valley back towards Cusco.

Parting Shots
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Posted by Carole and Rod 07:24 Comments (2)

Cusco & Machu Picchu

Once again we won the lottery for an overnite bus from Andahuaylas to Cusco with a 5:30 am arrival. The early morning arrival was clear and fresh, but as anticipated, we were assaulted by folks wishing to transport us to town and/or their "special price" hostal/hotel. For only the second time during our trip we managed to end up with a grumpy taxi driver who was determined to try and squeeze out an extra 3 or 4 soles out of us because he miscalculated our destination!

The hostal we chose was in San Blas, an older quainter region of Cusco on the hillside with a most spectacular view of the valley and city. The staff were so accommodating, the room very comfy and the lounge provided tea and a fireplace, much needed as the nites were very cool.

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We enjoyed our first nutritious Western breakfast at Jacks Cafe, a gringo restaurant. Expensive for sure but the food and coffee were delicious. The cafe is a well known spot for travellers craving solid familiar fare. Over the duration of our 4 day visit, we revelled in the opportunities to fill our bodies with nutritious and familiar foods. We were feeling quite content.

Cusco is an architecturally magnificent city with beautiful churches, plazas and many many artesania stores. You can hardly walk a few feet without being offered bangles, paintings, sugar bowls and on and on.... By day 4 it was becoming tiresome but we recognize it is their livelihood and really they are pretty gracious when you say no.

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We decided to take a "city tour" on a double decker bus on day 2 to get better oriented. So we clambered to the top outside deck and made like tourists! There indeed was some good info, but the best part for us was having a tour of the different barrios on the way to the top of the hill. We also had a preview of the Incan site Sacsahuayman, located just above the city.

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In order to access most sites and museums, you must purchase a Tourist Boleta at a substantial cost. We were told there was no single entry fee to any of these sites, so we reluctantly purchased one . The ticket is good for 10 days so some planning is needed to ensure you get your money's worth!

One such entry was to an evening of folk dancing at the Native Centre. We were unsure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised. Each dance was narrated beforehand in Spanish and English. The dancing was wonderful and their dress was so colourful. Very fun few hours.

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Another day we took a local bus 11 km up the road and spent the afternoon walking back visiting a numbers of ruinas and watching locals enjoying la dia de familia-Sunday. Picnics abounded as did random soccer games.

When we arrived in Cusco we were unsure of how to access Machu Picchu, so we spent half a day chatting with local tour operators. In the end it was easier and the same cost to book through a tour office. As we wanted to climb Wayna Picchu (mountain overlooking Machu Picchu), our departure was delayed a day as there is a 400 person per day limit. We grabbed the last 2 spots on our chosen day. And this is low season!

On our last evening in Cusco as we were heading to a dinner spot, the heavens opened up. And I mean opened up! I have never seen such torrential rain. Water cascaded down stairs like small waterfalls and the streets were like rivers. All this together with lightening and VERY loud thunder made for quite an exciting backdrop to our veggie burger supper.

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Cusco-Machu Picchu

We left Cusco by bus for the town of Ollantaytambo where we were to pick up the train to Machu Picchu pueblo. The scenery enroute was beautiful and very different than we had seen before. The train ambled along a very narrow track next to the raging Uruabamba river surrounded by the steep Andean mountains. An hour and a half later we arrived at the pueblo situated in an incredibly steep ravine.

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The town is essentially restaurants, hostals, massage offices, tiendas and oh yes a French bakery! As it was low season, every restaurant owner/manager was in front of their biz trying to entice you into their establishment. However every place serves the same menu; pizza, trout, chicken, alpaca, guinea Cusco & Machu Picchu.

We awoke to cloudy, misty skies but were hopeful by the time we reached the gate to Machu Picchu all would part just like the Red Sea. Well it was not to be. We arrived at the gate with what seemed like an entire town of tourists all meeting their guide for the day. Here is where perspective comes into play. From my perspective (Carole), the magic or mystery was hard to envision or feel as we were being funnelled through structures around the site. Many folks it seemed, just wanted to have their picture taken in an Inca doorway or by the Temple of the Sun or on a cliff or....well you get the idea. I was grumpy. After about 2 1/2 hours we were released from our tour to explore on our own. At this point we had an 11 am entry to climb Wayna Picchu (mountain overlooking the city) with 200 of our new close personal friends. It was actually an amazing climb with a fantastic view as the heavens parted for us. Later we climbed to a little known spot called the Inca Gate. We think this bridge was constructed as a means of escape from invaders or to thwart them. What is left of this structure leaves the imagination wide open. After descending, we spent another hour or so wandering Machu Picchu on our own trying to envision daily life. By now the crowds had dispersed and it was much quieter and easier to "feel" the site.

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Moving on: The Sacred Valley

Posted by Carole and Rod 13:25 Comments (4)

Over the Andes: Ayacucho & Andahuaylas

Ayacucho

Leaving Ika at 10:00 pm and arriving in Ayacucho at 5:30 am does not make for a great evening. The bus was muy diferante than other buses, making for a rather arduous journey.
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We arrived at 5:30 waited for the dust to settle in the bus station and took a cab to our hostal. Oddly, when we arrived, we found that the hostal was locked; from the outside. There was another door next to the main entrance that was slightly ajar. I decided to explore the other side. It didn't take long to be ushered out of the courtyard by a barking dog.

We decided to be undaunted by the locked hostal and began looking for another hostal; and look we did! After viewing 5 dubious looking places, we decided to "reorganize" in the Plaza de Armas. We had some fruit and water and discussed plan C! Soon we were visited by a familia who for some reason wanted a photo of them, sitting with us. What the hay, it was 7:00 am and not much was happening for us. After many photos of different family members sitting between us, they moved on, as did we.

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It soon became apparent that coffee was more important than a place to stay. We found a restarante and had a great breakfast. While desayuno was being prepared, I suggested to my sweetie that I have a look around for a hostal. I found one and upon closer inspection (after breakfast) we decided that it was fine. Santa Semana (Easter) is around the corner and all the rooms were being painted for this festive occasion. In fact it seemed as if the entire city was busy cleaning and painting for Santa Semana, one of the largest festive occasions in Peru.

Both Carole and I were quite smitten by Ayacucho. It is nestled in a small valley where you could always see the hillsides and wonderful greenery. It was much quieter than many places we had been and the air was cleaner, due to fewer cars. We came across several restarantes that served Americano coffee; we made it to heaven!
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Ayacucho had a pedestrian plaza that fed into the Plaza de Armas. It was a beautiful walkway filled with both locals and visitors. We entered a few "rabbit holes" along the pedestrian plaza and fo und ourselves in grand courtyards with small tiendas and restaurants; restaurants with real coffee!

There were several amazing events that we witnessed in Ayacucho. One was the women in the Plaza de Armas making ice cream! They were adorned in traditional clothing and made ice cream from scratch. At 8:00 am they would arrive in the plaza with a large pot. Large blocks of ice were broken with rocks and placed into the pot. Another pot fit inside the ice pot where the cream was then poured. Then the women would spin the inside pot cradled in the larger ice filled pot until ice cream was formed! Being the intrepid explorers, we had to try this wonderful concoction, and wonderful it was!
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There was a very amazing artisan community that we visited within an easy walking distance from our hostal. Most of the work we saw was textiles. At one site, the artisan took us to the Museo textil Ayacucho, the textile museum. The Museo consisted of a number of small buildings 2E3FC9702219AC68178CBF9AC7A45DEA.jpgthat contained different aspects of weaving. It was a beautiful collection of weaving tools and looms. The last building displayed exquisite pieces, made by many of the artisans in the community. We came across another older gentleman who was delightful. He took us into his workshop where he had his loom and showed us his many textile pieces. We did by a few pieces of textile art to adorn our home.
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After 3 nights in Ayacucho, we decided to continue our pilgrimage towards Machu Picchu and took yet another bus to Andahualays. This was a day trip which allowed us to once again witness the crossing of the Andes at the 4000 meter level. We arrived in Andahuaylas in the evening and found our way to a hostal. Andahuaylas was our midpoint to Cusco. We spent the evening there before taking our last night trip to Cusco. We had a day to spend in Andahuaylas before leaving for Cusco. We enjoyed some interesting walks through the community including the local market where we met our new best friends: Dave, Christian and Kenny, three children around the ages of 10 - 12 yrs. They spoke at a level of Spanish we could understand and we spent a delightful time with them chatting, all the while being watched by their Mommies!

As afternoon gave way to the evening, we had yet another delightful dinner at a polleria (chicken restaurant). We swore that if we ever saw another chicken we would scream! With a 1/4 chicken on board each of us we made our way to the bus station for yet another over nighter.
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Stay tuned for yet another adventure!

Posted by Carole and Rod 14:09 Comments (1)

To the Beach and Beyond!

CAMANA & ICA

With antibiotics now fuelling Rod's throat infection recovery, we booked passage to the coast for some warm coastal air. Our pueblo of choice was a small community called Camana. We were told it was hot and dry with a long stretch of beach to walk along. We were so ready to be out of the damp air and knew the sea air would cure anything.

Loaded on board a local bus, sunglasses in hand, off we travelled to our next adventure. We did not get very far down the highway when the bus was stopped. It seems the overnight deluge of rain had created a lagoon on the highway and it was single traffic only. However it seemed to us and the bus driver that the one-way traffic going through was the other way! As we waited for our turn the sun climbed higher, the bus got hotter, the windows did not open and there was no air conditioning. It was stifling and all on board were getting cranky. One fella tried to open the pop tops but alas as soon as we got any speed - crash - they closed.

Once underway we quickly left behind the greenery and volcanoes of Arequipa to fields of prickly pear cactus (the fruit is harvested & called 'tuna') and other agricultural fields. Beyond that there was an abrupt shift to kilometre after kilometre of sand, rusty coloured low hills of sand and rock, and many many mining camps. So stark, yet beauty in the starkness. What we couldn't understand is how folks actually survive in bamboo huts in the harsh environment. Another reminder of how fortunate we are living in Canada, and more specifically BC.

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Fields of prickly pear cactus, fruit is called tuna!
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We arrived in Camana mid afternoon with no idea of where to stay. There was little info available from the I-Peru info centre and even less in our guidebook and online. We stopped at the first 3 star hostal to be told that yes indeed they had a room available at a cost of S/250 or $100 US! Okay keep walking we said in the 35C wonderful warmth. It didn't take long before we were settling into our new digs ($25 nite), and set about to explore the smaller community of Camana. We were pleasantly surprised to find a pedestrian mall, quaint Plaza de Armas, and to Rod's delight heladeria's (ice cream stores galore).

As previously mentioned, finding food we can eat has been challenging and this town was no different. Peruanos thrive on beef & pork both of which are usually fried. We have been eating chicken in as many ways as you can find here, but let me tell you that is also limited. Grilled chicken, parilla (BBQ sauce), asado (roasted) and always always available - sandwich de pollo! We were starting to dream of chicken sandwiches and quite honestly were feeling quite done with them. We did however find a small restaurant that served seafood , only to be told that today they only had one kind of fish! We didn't care, ordered and anxiously awaited a new taste sensation. And that sensation was?......salt. We could barely taste the fish, but were so hungry ate anyways.
Back to chicken sandwiches!

The next day we took a mototaxi to the beach to hang out with vacationing Peruanos. The beach was beautiful and sooooo long. We walked for awhile then rented a beach umbrella and chairs. Ahh was heaven. We snoozed, read, people watched and inhaled fresh sea air. Great spot! So great we returned the next day to do it all over again. You can purchase anything your heart desires from the comfort of your beach chair: ceviche, cerveza, bread rolls, ice cream galore, freezes, balloons, styrofoam jet kites and on and on. Such a wonderful way to enjoy the beach.

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Our intention after Camana was to travel to Ica for the local pisco wine festival. We had anticipated leaving in the morning to enjoy the scenery, but after searching every bus outlet in town , quickly realized we were going on a night bus AND that bus would pick us up at 12:30 am. Travel is always full of surprises and my friends and that is what makes it sooo much fun! The bus arrived at 12:45 am and we settled in for the 9 hour ride.

We arrived in Ica around 9:30 am and were met by our hostal host Luis an hour later. Luis is a local young man who has recently returned to Ica after living in Georgia, USA for 8 years. His return to Ica has been challenging for him in terms of finding work, so with his padre and madre's blessing (they live in another city), he now offers a B&B in the family home 15 minutes outside of Ica.

It was clear to us the second day that Luis just wasn't sure what his role is as a B&B host yet. He wanted to come with us everywhere, and if he didn't come with us, wanted us to check in by phone early evening to see what our plans were. Good heart, lonely guy.

He did however one evening take us to the wine festival fair grounds, followed by a visit to a bodega (winery). It was a very formal event with the mayor present, and several royal members.- The Queen and her Princesses of the Pisco festival. We were invited to hop into the grape vat with the royal members and off we went stomping grapes for about 45 minutes to Latino musica. Very very fun. The actual pisco brandy tastes like Grampa's moonshine, but they mix it with various fruit juices etc. One taste was enough for this gal.

Mango season in Ica - Fruits of our labours gleaning Luis's Grandmothers orchards
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Another day in Ica was spent visiting a fantastic regional museum complete with mummies, deformed and decapitated heads! A most interesting exhibit! The Ica and Nazca ceramics and textiles on display were a highlight for me. So colourful, amazing graphic designs and still so brilliant after centuries. We have both marvelled at the many ancient Peruvian civilizations we have had the opportunity to understand a little of, and the fantastic number of artifacts that are still in this country to view.

Huacachina is a small oasis located 10 minutes outside Ica city and is completely surrounded by very tall sand dunes. I think this is where Torin and Steven probably enjoyed their sandboarding days. We hiked up the dunes to look at the lunar landscape, but didn't rent boards. Is akin to snowboarding and I suck at that. No use humiliating myself anymore ! There were large dune buggys also taking folks across the dunes. The enormity of the landscape made them look like Tonka toys.

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We also visited the nearby seaside community of Paracas on a day trip, as we were curious to visit the conservation area called The Ballestas. This peninsula is very large and at one time housed a large population of Wari, a pre Inca culture. It is a vast area of sand and red rock with the most beautiful wild coast line. There is only a very small fishing community on the peninsula, the rest is wild and natural. The air was so fresh, the sea so blue and wild, and the bird life amazing. Due to the Humboldt current (Antarctic current), there are resident penguins, and a host of migratory birds including flamingoes. Was a wonderful day and a welcome break from the 36 degree heat of Ica.

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After 4 days in Ica, we decided to head into the mountains to the traditional community of Ayacucho. We once again won the night bus lottery with a departure time of 10 pm arriving 5:30 am.

We spent the last few hours in Ica in the Plaza de Armas having dinner and watching a university student pep rally. Admission date was mid March and they were pumping it up. One thing for sure is that young folk are the same the world over. Full of energy, vision and hope. Gotta love it.

Next up: Ayacucho

Posted by Carole and Rod 19:12 Comments (1)

Arequipa

We landed in Arequipa after a hurry up and wait scenario. Up early in Chiclayo for the flight, enjoyed a tasteless breakfast and rushed to the airport, conveniently located in downtown Chiclayo. Upon arrival at the airport we found that our LAN flight from Lima was cancelled and we needed to reschedule a flight for the following day. With a hope and prayer we were able to negotiate a flight on the same day. To this day, I swear this fanangling was due to my mastery of the Spanish language!

We arrived in one of the nicest hospijida yet. It had a beautiful courtyard and fabulous staff. It was so refreshing.
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Arequipa is a beautiful city with splendid architecture. Glorious stately churches and monasteries were located close to the plaza; those Spanish knew how to live! The Plaza de Armas was also grand and served as a meeting point for friends, family, lovers and Peruanos, wanting to practice English. Such was the case one evening while enjoying people watching. A young man came to where we were sitting and asked if he could practice his English. He was a young civil engineer who knew how important English was to his career and wanted to practice.
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Speaking of practice, Carole and I decided to take a few more Spanish lessons. We took them through where we were staying, as it was primarily a Spanish school providing lodging. Oddly enough we met a young man from Yellow Point, BC taking Spanish lessons at the same school. He was completing a five week course in Spanish in preparation for a semester in a Columbian University. He was changing careers mid life and hoped to work in Peru, once he graduated.

On one of our better days (more about that later), Carole and I went to visit the monastery, located in Arequipa. Between the architecture, the presentation of each area of the monastery and the descriptors it was a splendid educational, historical and to some extent spiritual afternoon. Hence, we have chosen the vows of poverty and celibacy!
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To my architectural and engineering friends, it was a marvel to see how this building survived the many earthquakes. To my spiritual friends who have spent time in Buddhist retreats, you wonder at the vow of silence and its power.

By the way, it was a cloistered monastery with only nuns. All labor etc was down by the nuns. To this day there are still a few cloistered nuns living in the monastery ranging in age 18 - 92 years. That portion of the monastery was obviously unavailable to tourists.
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One of the fascinating features of our monastic visit was how the monastery was organized. It appeared that the nuns lived in pods or mini communities. Within each mini community nuns appeared to have there own living accommodations, often a wooden bed and straw mattress, with a chair. Other accommodations were more elaborate, containing a stove (wood fired) and perhaps an oven. It was a fascinating 3 hours to wander and wonder about the nuns and there life style!

Arequipa has a remarkable weather pattern. From dawn to -12:00 or 1:00 pm. one experienced splendid weather; warmth, sunshine, and Paca. After 1:00 pm, the temp. dropped, the sun disappeared, and was often followed by rain. One afternoon, Carole and I were sitting under the porch roof in our winter jackets, covered with a large camel blanket, reading our books! I am sure this image conjures up pictures of "Ma and Pa Kettle".

Who was Paca? Paca is a 40 yr old tortoise who visits with anyone who happens to be in the courtyard in the morning. She is particularly enamoured with students concentrating on learning a new language. She had the habit of pushing her way between the legs of a chair enroute to the table. This often resulted in ones legs getting jammed between Paca and the chair legs. At one point she pinned me so hard against the chair legs I thought I was in a submissive sumo wrestling hold, performed by a tortoise. When freed, I picked up Pacha took her to the other side of the garden and like a wind up toy, she would return to the students, looking for another victim. By noon, Paca would disappear into the shrubbery, only to be found again the next morn, looking for yet another Spanish student.
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Carole and I were sick, a lot. It started in Chiclayo and remained with us off and on; more on. Carole was taking antibiotics she brought from Canada and I also started on mine. Carole had improved and then it was my turn to get worse. Our plan to travel to Canama was aborted when I made a trip to the clinic. Everything looked fine till the doctoro viewed my throat. "Oh my God" were the words that came to his lips when he looked down my gullet. He immediately wrote a script for yet more antibiotics. As of this writing, we are both feeling 100% better as the antibiotics have done their job and we have risen from the dead!

We were so lucky to find a small coffee shop in Arequipa. It is called Cusco Coffee, later to be renamed by us Costco Coffee. It was a "coffee oasis"! Most days we visited Cusco coffee for a superb cup of coffee and the occasional galleta or cookie.

Our parting shot is one of a fellow dressed in his Santa outfit, selling chocolate in the middle of the street to anyone in a car wishing to make such a fine purchase!
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So yet another adventure behind us as we move towards the next. Our situation and circumstances in Arequipa have caused a great deal of reflection. We continue to be so thankful to be Canadian and to live in the environment we do. As much as we complain about our governments, we are indeed so fortunate to have the health and educational resources we take for granted. Although we have not found a place where we can volunteer, we continue to have the desire to offer back, even a little.

Posted by Carole and Rod 07:54 Comments (1)

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