Wednesday, June 20, 2007

¿Did I mention theres a party going on here?

Well, there is. A huge party, in fact! I have heard conflicting stories about the reason...which is why I need to replace my Lonely Planet book. Anyway, this weekend is the biggest festival of the year in Cuzco (and, I suspect, Peru), called Inti Raymi.It is for the winter solstice, when the Incas begged the sun (Inti) to come back. After living here for just a few days, I can see why! Apparently you are all roasting in CO but it is quite chilly here, as I may have mentioned already. The other reason I have heard for this week´s partying is that it is some anniversary of Cuzco´s becoming a city. Who knows.

So, every day this week there is a massive parade through Cuzco with groups of costumed schoolchildren dancing, which ends in the main plaza, where there is music and more dancing. This starts at about 8am and goes past midnight. I finally made it down to the plaza today-I wanted to go yesterday but was having a major case of lethargy-I blame the altitude. It is hard to describe, but it is quite a sight. I´ve never seen anything like it.

What have I been up to since I last updated? Ah yes, I had the new student dinner at a nearby restaurant-who can turn down free dinner? Especially when a pisco sour and another drink are included? seriously! So pisco sours are the local drink here. From what I can tell, they are made of pisco (local rum), lemon or lime juice, maybe some sugar, and egg whites. I thought it tasted kind of like a margarita. They come in bitsy glasses as they are quite strong. Dinner, oddly, was the same as lunch (breakfast & lunch at the school are included in my package). Rice, potatoes sort of like french fries, but not as salty and without ketchup, and meat cooked with onions and peppers. We also got a salad, which was really a tomato stuffed with some sort of veggies. Dessert was ice cream on this peice of sweet bread which I{m not very fond of....think if twinkies made bread...I had some on the flight from Lima. Anyway it was a lovely time. Lots of people went out to salsa lessons afterwards but I STILL hadn{t slept by then so I came back to crash!

12 hours later I woke up. My room is right by the terraza or common area so it{s pretty noisy but I still managed to sleep until 10Ñ30! Remember, I think that{s only 8Ñ30 at home. So I had been planning on going down to the square La Plaza de Armas to sightsee and buy some things,b ut i was REALLY lethargic. Got dressed, checked my email, did Spanish homework, was cold so I got back into bed to read and doze. Although I slept through breakfast I did make lunch. It was different. I don{t knwo what anything is called here. It was potatoes covered in a strange yellow sauce which I{m not sure how to describe, but it wasn{t bad. We also got a salad of tomatos and olives and i think tofu, and these fried "yuca" which are apparently some sort of root related to a potato, it was white and not too flavorful. We got dessert too'watermelon'because here lunch is the main meal of the day. Spanish classes that afternoon, then I went out to dinner with a group from Holland, England, Germany and Canada. It was sort of an aggressive experience, people in the plaza all try to get you to come to their restaurants and show you menus and sort of corner you. I was glad to be in a big group!Anyway we went to a place where we got 5 courses (2 were drinks) for $3-4 so that was pretty impressive. After that we went to the highest British pub in the world for giant sized beers, and then to some other bars-clubs in the plaza. All these people offer you free drinks to go in their places so I don{t think we bought anything at the next 3 places. (I was ready to go but the group I was with wanted to dance all night!)

Today I did go to the plaza and took some amazing pictures of all the dancing, which you do not get to see yet! Oh, and I found my camera, which I had lost, and VERY luckily was turned in to the office. Yay! After writing this epic blog, there is a bingo game, something involving quinoa for lunch (and rice and potatoes I{m sure), I have Spanish homework, and class. Then, who knows?

That{s it for now, hope everyone at home is doing well!


The Lindahl News said...

Nice post from Peru! I hope you are now acclimating with no more lethargy.

I'll keep checking on you and perhaps will soon see a picture of the party goin' on there!

cellothug said...

I am feeling much better! Still haven´t downloaded pics though....the internet place I´m using...more of an internet bar than internet cafe....has the USB ports blocked! Argh! I will keep trying, there are tons of touristy places that offer downloading your pictures for you onto a memory card. But that´ll do me no good if they don´t allow the USB ports to be used!

The Lindahl News said...

Thanks for the two pictures! I love the bright, intense colors of the girl's clothes in the parade.

Today at the library I read a new book: THE INCA RUINS OF MACHU PICCHU by Jennifer Silate to further educate myself as to your
location. The author talked about the human influence there with the ruins and how hikers are limited to 400 a year on the Inca trail =
40 per day with guide only! Is this fitting into your plans? Can't wait to hear more about your experience.

cellothug said...

Never mind, figured it out!

cellothug said...

I thought it was 500 a day but I could be wrong. I did have to book several months ago; many people here did not book it in time to do it. It is mandatory to go with a licensed guide. Thanks for the book info! I am reading a book simply called [The Incas[ from my mom but that one sounds interesting too! I{m sure you are like me, having an extra bag just for books when you travel! Good to hear from you Deb!