Preparations and Changes

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End May 05, 2012

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday we went to Cusco because I needed to buy appropriate clothing for my trip to Torres del Paine! 

We went to Calle Ejercito first, because it's close to where they drop you off when you arrive and possibly cheaper than El Molino. Really what I found there were just the puffy jackets that make me look like the villian in Ghostbusters, so we went to El Molino and shopped around a bit. There was one jacket that would have been perfect, but the guy only had XXL, so that obviously wasn't going to work out.

After unsuccessfully searching for the same jacket at other vendor locales, I ended up getting a different version but I think it'll be fine. It has double fleece on the inside and is water and wind-resistant. I went ahead and bought pants there too and made a deal for the two -- 180 soles for both ($60). I tested out the jacket in my frigid office on Monday and was kept pretty toasty, so I have hope!

Sunday was much more exciting, however. We went with Andres to Pumahuanca, a "30-minute walk", Peruvian time. So after an hour and a half we were there and scouting out trout.

When we started at 10 am we bought empanadas and as we were walking past the market, ran into Maria! We told her we were going up to see the trout and she said to buy one and she'd cook it for us that evening. I told her I didn't like fish and she was like yes, but you'll like it this way -- completely fried, a "chicharrón". 

We bade her goodbye, making no promises, and mentioned to Andres that if he knew of any place that was renting furnished rooms and that had a patio, to please let us know. We passed one place and went in to look, but the apartment was huge and the patio was tiny -- not really a good fit.

We left the pavement and were on the road to Pumawanca when we passed a house his friend was living in, but they unfortunately were not renting. So we kept walking and Andres remembered his other good friend lived just a ways up, so he called him and asked about rooms.

Miguel wasn't there when we arrived but we walked down the steps and looked around a bit because he'd said he did have rooms for rent -- $220 a month! We obviously told Andres we could not pay over 600 soles a month, so planned to meet him in an hour or so on our way back down.

We made it up to the trout farm and bought a big one that was 1.8 kilos for 30 soles. He took out the entrails for us and we walked back down and stopped by Miguel's again to have a quick chat about availability and prices.

He had a group of tourists there so we sat in the patio and waited while he served them lunch. He brough us plates too -- so good. We chatted for a bit and he agreed, after Andres explained we were working here and weren't here as tourists, to let us have a room with a private bathroom for 350 soles a month! This is wonderful because it includes the same we have now (kitchen, furniture, patio, utilities included) and more! He has internet and a washing machine, and his yard is beautiful and clean -- he grows corn and some other things there as well, but the internet is great for Ronald because if it works well he won't have to keep paying for the USB he has now!

We were so excited and wanted to move in this Friday, but have decided to wait until we come back from our trip because where we are now is cheaper and we won't even be there for two weeks. 

So we shook hands and walked down together to grab a beer before heading to the Cuy festival. People from different towns and organizations had their cuy and chicha on display, but we sat in the shade and shared beers before Ronald and I headed out. We still had the trout and needed to put it in the freezer or something to keep it fresh!

So we left and put the trout in the freezer before showering and heading up to Maria's. We actually walked out of the house without the trout -- the focus of the meal -- and Ronald had to go back in and get it!

Maria's daughter, Idalia, was there working on her English homework, so I helped her a bit before we ate. I didn't like what she cooked, but it was close! She didn't end up making the chicharron because the fish wasn't fresh enough or something, so she said she'd make it another time...

The kitty we rescued was still there and had pooped underneath her bed...haha! She said she'd killed a lot of her fleas, but I'm just glad she hasn't been stolen like the other kitties she had!

So Ronald is now in Chile and we'll meet on the 20th for Torres del Paine and when we get back we'll be in a splendid new house! Ronald has taken some pictures, so I'll upload these later for comparison's sake!
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