It´s been a while since we have updated the blog so here is the lowdown from the past week and a bit. The community project was an eye opening experience. We mingled with the local children, they thrashed us in soccer twice and greeted us with a small presentation of songs and poetry. They were absolutely delighted to have us there especially when we played with them and attempted to teach them English and games. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was a hit (Albert forgot the lyrics)
Going to the houses was a bit of a shock when we saw how little these people really had but they welcomed us into their homes (gave us traditionally cooked potatoes) and we formed bonds with many of the families some of which had children at the Huatata school. We now understand how much the chimneys and water tanks will improve the living conditions of these people. It was a sad day when we had to say goodbye to the community. They put on another presentation to show their gratitude for the help that we gave the community. During the week at the project we had the privilege of traveling back to Cusco to watch the Inti Raymi (festival of the Sun, from the time of the Incas). Saqsaywaman (ruins were the festival was held) was packed with people and the festival was amazing (we didn´t understand the Spanish but the dances were interesting). After the project we had one nights rest in Las Chulpas eco lodge before setting out on the trek with our guides Chalo and Erin.
The trek was challenging, we froze like icicles on the first night and got soaking wet on the third day but that didn´t keep us down.At the highest point on the trek (4600m) the view was spectacular and the food cooked for us was delicious. The hot springs at the end were well worth the effort it took to get there. From the trek we transferred back to Cusco then on to Puno to visit the famous Lake Titicaca. The bus to Puno took 9 hours but we were able to stop at 4 sites (with really complicated names) along the way and see a bit more of Peru. At Puno we took a boat out to the Uros (floating) islands. It was a bit disconcerting walking on reeds knowing the water was only a few feet below. We watched a demonstration on the building of the reed islands and visited the local houses. After that we enjoyed a ride on a reed boat. This morning we took a bus from Puno to Arequipa, it took 6 hours, crossing through a lot of desert. Plans for the next two days in Arequipa include shopping and visiting several tourist sites in the city. It is frightening that our time here has passed so quickly and that soon we will be home. We will see you all in a few days.
Nat and Andrew
P.S. dog count: 1360