Cusco, Peru
3° 16' S 72° 25' W
Jul 17, 2006 10:21
Distance 0km

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Text written in: English

Signing on day

Monday 17th.

5.30 loomed (it gets light then, and everything, except tourists come to life). A quick shower and shave. Cleanest cloths on, a quick cup of Cocain tea, and down to the Cathedral to get in for free. There were hords of people, lots in their colourful dress pouring into Mass. I got well squashed into the middle of a pew, which was good as I bobbed up and down with everyone else at the right times! It did sound good and the organ was awsome. Very few 'touristicos ' that I could spot. However it did move me to say a few prayers, that everything goes well for Elena in Sydney, and for Mum & Susie back in England. All in all I am really glad that I joined in the Mass with such devote and happy people. (The Spanish certaily did a complete conversion). After the Service I stayed and looked around. It is so impressive. The Rheos and Alter is gold and vast. They could build 'em 400 years ago! As I left I got a guilty conscience and split the difference and popped a 15Soll ($5) note in the box. Still well worth it. Back up the ' Church Steps to the top of North Hill' road.. Call Restablossa and back into the Picolla Laconda, with a few odd looks. It must have been my halo.

The normal huge Italien style breakfast was waiting, jugs of fresh fruit juce, jugs of yoghurt, cakes, pastries, and bread of all kinds.  Picolla Lacconda Hostal support a village school and in return the children do all this baking and send it all in for us at any time, not just breakfast. Realy nice. We just help ourselves when ever we come in.. smashing idea.

09.15 prompt sees me at the office of Peru Adventure & Treks (PA&Tks). 2 others of my group (will eventually be 16 of us) there already, they must be keener than me. Petro (office manager) sorts us all out most efficiently, we pay our balances, have passports checked and are then given detailed verbal and written instuctions on what to do and what happens in the days to come, after that he went over the route and terrain that we would be taking... 3 x 3000ft valleys and 2 x 15500ft passes/ridges ...Oh! and dont slip and fall into the river on one of the  narrow path as it is 2300ft. down.... s***.   "Did anyone want to back out. by the way your Trail Fees are non-refundable" ...  Right comedian... some choice!  Petro arranged my hotel for my extra day in Agua Caralentise and also arranged with the family in the village of Chinchero for me to go and stay with them. Peru Treks support 15 families in Chincero who can show 'worthy and willing interest' in bettering themselves... whatever that may mean .. they still give you cuy (guinea pig) to eat!

A lot fixed up and understood  and its only 10.30. Internet time, emails & BoD again. Almost every other shop has internet as people cannot afford machines themseves. Who needs one at 1Soll for 3 hours. At lunchtime decided that I had better find the route to the bus station for tomorrow's ride to Cinchero ..PA&Tks had given me a good map, so 20 mins later (you have to walk slowly at 12500ft, or in Cusco,  as they are both the same) I found myself way off the tourist track and actually at a proper bus station with proper 30 seater buses (that means you get 50 + assorted baggage and livestock onboard). 

Rumbling tum at 2.30pm pushed me into a cafe that looked a little bit OK, and a happy lady burst forth a torrent of enthusiastic Spanish. I looked un-fazzed, squinted around (it was a bit dark inside) saw a chap tucking into somthing that looked edible, pointed to that with a 'uno plater of that, par favor, Oh and a beer and agua, gracia.'. I got it, got charged 6Solls (inc beer & bottle of agua) and what ever it was it was really good.

More wanderings and more museam visits and more bottles of water. Had a nice Spaghetti, some Italien sweet, and a jug of wine in the restaurant attached to the Picolla Laconda and a pleasent chat with the family.. Dad & Mum moved from Turin 35 years ago with 4 kids. Set up hotel. Supporting local Italien school project and has voluenteers over from Italy for 3 month stints, 2 at a time. Really good and useful idea. Lots of good conversation and wine and its 11pm ... Im flaked,  bid 'Buonos Nochos' and 10mins later I'm out for the count.