So, I´m back in Cuzco for the last two days and have been having a great time! Left the Sacred Valley and had waht could only be described a a spiritual bus journey back through the mountains to Cuzco. Now, I know some of you may feel you´d had some your own epiphanic moments in the back seat of one of the Dublin bus fleet, but this bus trip will remain forever burnt into my memory. The beauty of the valley is unimaginable, and as we wound through the hills it disappeared and then came back into view several times. At this time of year, the light is constantly changing as the rain-clouds shift and the sun breaks through. Before I arrived here, I was disappinted that I was visiting during the rainy season, but having seen how the scenery is transformed during a rain-storm and how the mists swirl around the mountains I have changed my mind completely.
Anyway, arrived back to Cuzco to an email from Bridget and Julie who had survived the Inca Trail and were anxious to pass on their experiences! I collected my backpack from LOKI and moved my kit and kaboodle to the hostal where they were staying. We were just about to head out the door for some food when this Spanish guy´s head appeared at the bedroom window!! He has a friend in tow who was looking slightly more embarrassed and was hanging back. We went out to talk to them and discovered that they had just booked in and were looking for some people to hang out with for a while. We all ageed to meet up in one of Cuzco´s Irish pubs later that night. Christian, the Spanish guy, is a real character and none of us knew what to make out of him to begin with (he´s from Barcelona and is a very interesting guy). His friend, Niall, is from Tallaght and had just met up with him on the road.
Last night, the girls left for Arequipa so I went out with the guys for a few drinks. Because it was Australia Day the town was full of Ozzies all covered with paint and creating general havoc! I got daubed by a KIWI who was attacking random tourists and covering their faces with green and yellow stripes. Everyone looked ridiculous!
Cuzco is a great spot because you just meet so many different types of people here from ALL walks of life. Everyone talks to everyone. Last night I spent hours chatting to a Canadian who just travels around the world selling stocks and shares, I met a lot of Australians and Kiwis, some Dutch people, a German who is studying in Brazil, the list goes on. People just walk up to you and say "hi, how´s it going, I´m "whoever" - everyone´s a traveller with stories to swop and every night is just so interesting!
Yesterday, Bridget and I went for a walk in the artists area of the city (San Blas). She took me to see an artist that she had met a few days previously. His paintings are amazing, and I´m having a serious tug of war trying to decide if i¨m prepared to fork out $250US for one called "El Matramonie des Pumas" (I think..). It would be a great souvenir to have and a really nice addition to my future home....but its so much money!!
Today, I´m on a shopping trip to get all my essentials for the Inca Trail. I start tomorrow morning at 4a.m. GROANS! It´s not going to be a pretty sight. In fact, it could be awful! Me huffing and puffing up the first leg of the trail with a face that would make milk go sour. Not a morning person, me. Although, in Arequipa I met a 65 year old couple who had just done it. Harry had a hip replacement and Genna had Asthma, so if they managed it, there might be hope for me! Hehe. Ive no idea who I´m doing the trail with. As long as it´s not an assload of rich Americans I dont mind. I cant really be responsible for what I might end up doing to one or two of them who happen to be on the wrong ledge at the wrong time saying the wrong thing. I mean, at this altidtude Im not really thinking straight! But, we have a quick orientation meeting tonight at 7 so hopefully I will find that there are some Argentinians or Dutch coming along.
Out of range now for the next few days - the trail is going to take 3 nights and then im spending a night in Aguas Calientes on the way back down. I fear that I might have a pretty bad hum coming off me at that stage and I could, in fact, be turned away from any hostals, but we´ll see how it goes!
After that, I´m meeting Bridget and Julie in Puno and we´re going to travel through Bolivia together, which I´m really looking forward to!