We’ve shared with you a lot of our adventures, but as with life it’s often those spaces inbetween that offer the base of support, kind of like chinking.
At the moment we’re on a bus from Cusco to Lima… all 22 hours of it. Keep in mind that it’s a first class bus as many of the buses that cover long distances are here. That means continuous movies, seats that lay darn near flat, meals served as if you are on a cross Atlantic flight, decent wifi and a stewardess dressed to kill. All this for 155 soles… that’s US $55.44. Everything is a bargain here.
Speaking of bargains…. I’ve had a bad ass toothache lately so we’ve been navigating through the dental world here in Cusco. I’m unfortunately no stranger to root canals and know the signs well. When at the dentist, with whom we were very impressed, we talked of options one of which was a root canal. Quanto questa??? I almost laughed. 150 soles… Thats $54 US dollars. That’s insane!! It was hard to pass up a bargain, but we opted to go the route of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory which seems to have done the trick at least until we get home where we can expect to pay around $1000. Can’t wait.
While we’re on the subject of bargains… get this. We made reference to the wild and crazy Czech guys down in Colca Canyon, right? They won Gary’s heart by dragging out a 2 liter water bottle full of crystal clear, 70 proof alcohol with a hint of anise flavoring. They told us that they had a big climb the next day and they needed help lightening their packs, so “lightnik” Gary was more than happy to help them out. They told us about the “alcohol” store in Arequipa where they siphon this stuff out of 55 gallon drums for 6 soles a liter or US $2.16. When we got back to Arequipa don’t ya know where Gary headed 🙂 uh huh.
What else? Lots of things, but as of today Gary is the winner of the hand knitted socks #2. I’m getting better as these classy numbers only took me about 60 tedious hours. My brothers, both of them from the big footed clan, get the next two pairs, but with their size 13 feet, well, it won’t be any time soon.
And in the time it took us to knit socks, drink moonshine, pass up a cheap root canal and watch stupid movies on a bus…. The good Inkans up at Machu Picchu moved and shaped hundreds of thousands of stone in the building of Machu Picchu. They started it around 1450 and it’s believed that they inhabited the site for no more than 100 years. It’s a fascinating place that the Spanish, during the invasion, apparently never found out about therefore it’s fairly intact. The country in which it sits is some of the most vertical and severe we’ve ever seen. The river that runs below, the Urubamba, is as severe as the rest of this gorgeous country. Kent Ford, this question goes out to you ??? Honestly, has anyone has ever kyaked all of this river? Seems it would just eat a person up.
These pillars of mountains were everywhere
As you can see, the rain shrouded this day.
The terracing hugs the vertical landscape.
Masters at stone work – the finer the stonework the more important the building for religious and research purposes. The inhabitants were thought to be the best and the brightest of the land suggesting Machu Picchu to somewhat of a think tank of knowledge.
River of mud after an all night heavy rain.
We took a hair raising bus ride into Aguas Calientes, the village below Machu Picchu that houses the masses of daily tourists. After an all night rain we opted to take the train back which proved to forge through spectacular country as well as being entertaining.
This guy danced throughout the train….
… Pulling in tourists to dance with…
We spent the night in the very cool village of Ollataytambo kind of like Santa Fe gone Peruvian. We walked into a hostal only to find friends from Huaraz there… Cool enough, right? Talk about synchronicity… There we also ran into Kimberly, Reilly and Alex from Salida who were just a few days into their Peruvian adventure on bikes. Crazy huh??
At a panaderia, Gary doing what Gary does which is to coach on routes… They’re heading to Colca Canyon… Lucky ducks!!! We’ll, hopefully, be meeting up with them this winter in Big Bend.
That’s it… We’re about 4 hours from Lima… So we’ll sign off for now.
See you all much sooner rather than later 🙂
Much love, Patti and Gary