Living with the locals

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, October 14, 2011

After a quick day in Cusco getting things sorted for our homestay and the Inca Trail we headed to Ccaccaccollo Community where we were to spend a night with the locals.  On the way there we passed an animal rescue centre and popped in.  Wasn´t anything too special but I did manage to get a great pic with a huge condor behind me (wing span about 3 metres).

We arrived at what was to be our home for the next 24 hours and it seemed miles from civilisation as we hadn´t seen people for a while and had gone up and over at least one mountain to get there; it´s situated in a beautiful valley.  We were paired off and were introduced to our ´mothers´ who gave us little bunches of flowers as welcome gifts.  Our families seemed very shy and spoke no English so communication was a bit difficult but lots of smiles seemed to help.  Tara and I went with our ´mum´ to our new home and were given what i think was the best room in the house.  Our ´mum´ and the eldest daughter make woven items to sell at the local market and the project we were on helps educate the women in how to do this to make a living for themselves. There was a loom in the yard of the house and the items they made were amazingly intricate.  We were then dressed in traditional clothing (hat and all) for our lunch of soup with a mysterious piece of meat in it followed by rice with a cheesy type sauce, but I was already stuffed with the soup!  Next came our ´work´ - off to plough the fields.  The equipment was basic and the ground hard!  A little blister later we left for a game of football with the local boys (they were all probably between 7 and 12) who beat us hands down: 7:2 - I blame the altitude!  I then helped prepare dinner by ´doing the beans´ as Nan would say, and preparing the spinich.  The kitchen was great - it had a real wood burning stove which Diego, the youngest boy, had to keep filling with wood.  I think he was hungry because he kept looking in the pot so we went and played with toy soldiers with him.  Tea was some more soup (with the beans) and some rather tastey potato and spinich fritters.  After tea off we went to a fiesta!  Well, a small gathering in one of the families homes where we all got together.  Gilly turned up with her potato fritter hidden in her bra because she couldn´t eat it and thought it would be rude to leave it!  It was still warm!  We had a little dance with the ladies and listened to them sing to us.  Then it was bed for all (not the most comfortable night´s sleep, but ok).

The next day after quinola porridge for breakfast we said our goodbyes to our families.  It was sad to say goodbye to people who had been so completely welcoming to complete strangers.  Then we got on our bus to our next stop...
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