Cusco Revisited

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
Trip End Jun 16, 2013

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Travelling on the local bus system is the best way to experience the every day Peruvian person's life – how they engage in commerce, parenting, going to school, driving, getting around, etc. And what they smell like when collectively jammed together (18 people in a small van)!  And, because collectivos and buses usually wait until they are full, and I mean FULL, one can end up sitting and watching life happen for long stretches of time.

Many people take tours from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, stopping at multiple sites along the way.  Not us.  Although we have not been to all the ruins and churches available to us, we feel like we have seen plenty, especially after the magnificence of Machu Picchu.  Living beneath the mountainside ruins in Ollantay and being able to see them all day has helped us feel satiated with ruins and churches.

We are back in Cusco in our favourite haven – Ninos Hotel.  We are nestled in away from the noise, dust and traffic of the city.  We have all we need – a rare and fantastic Internet connection, coca tea in the courtyard while sitting and writing in the afternoon sun before the cool afternoon air sweeps in brisk 12 degree air, and one of the best restaurants for food and ambiance with its cozy fireplace all - right here in one spot.  Jim exclaimed, "I could live here!".

We got up early to further wander the streets of Cusco and check out Jack’s Café as recommended by our dear friend Frank during our skype call last night.  What a breakfast (huevos rancheros for Jim and French toast for Donna – shared of course) and coffee worth drinking!  Cusco on a Saturday morning is a hopping spot – weddings, parades, street vendors galore, tourists and tourist buses coming and going.  A long walk to get our bus ticket for tomorrow led us from the bustling touristy historical center through Cusceno's Saturday activities into a questionable part of town with dirt, smells, and….  We took a taxi back.

I am noticing our rhythm of travel is slower and more gentle than previous trips.  We seem to take one day, sometimes two, a week where we settle into a comfortable spot and rest which includes Jim processing photos and me writing, reading, meditating, chatting with other travellers.  We enjoy 3-5 days with some good physical exercise, visiting sites and 1-2 days travelling to new destinations.  Our energy and health is great; we sleep as much as we want and have so little stress along with sufficient space in our lives to just enjoy each moment.  For instance, a good hike followed by a hot shower is pure delight.

Another delight is staying in touch with people.  Between email, this blog, skype and skype-to-landline phone calls we feel the love and support of many from a distance.  Given this is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, we want to express our gratitude for being able to do this travel and to our widespread network of family, friends and interested others who appreciate our spirit of travel.
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Basia on

Following your blog is like having and advent calendar -- with each entry, it's like opening another window and being surprised by something completely delightful.

This time, I am stunned by the incredible colours of the textiles in the photos.

Can't wait to see what's next!

Katharine on

Happy Thanksgiving a week later to you both. I am enthralled with the skies in your photos...they have been exquisite, so too the portraits, the colours, textures and weaves of the clothing worn by these people. Beautiful. And so enjoyed reading about the rhythm you are creating and following through this magnificent world of ours. Love to you....

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