Welcome to our blog!
Here you can read all about it. Sometimes it's traveling, sometimes it's homeschooling, occasionally we bitch. For some background, read our first post ever.
Yes, we're in Peru now, but we were traveling so much the past couple of months (21 beds in 45 days... three continents and five countries,) that we have quite a backlog of material -- . This is from Sienna, Italy.
We landed in Cusco with a hotel booked for three days. Altitude adjustment claimed our first day, and the next day we spent wandering around with our new (super-helpful) friend Doris, looking for a place to live for the next few months. We found a place that day, but we couldn't move in until the end of the month. What to do? Hit the road again for a while. We took off for Lake Titicaca.
We went to Titicaca to see the Uros and their islands. The Uros are a pre-Inkan people who live on floating islands that they make out of reeds. That's right - artificial islands made entirely - of layers - of reeds! Each island is about 30 yards across, and has 5 to 8 houses on it. It's mind-blowing, really. Imagine the skill and knowledge, passed down through generations, that it takes to
Lima, Peru has a population of around 10 million, or about one third of the entire country. We flew from Madrid into Lima, and spent 3 days there before heading up to Cusco. Our plan was to take one demon on at a time: first jet-lag (seven-hour difference), and then altitude (11,200 ft).
Have you been to Lima? Let me describe it for you: Take a piece of paper and a good #2 pencil. Write the word LIMA, all in caps. Write it big, maybe using balloon letters that you fill in. Lima is a big city, so you need a big word.
Inti Raymi is the traditional Incan festival of the sun. It coincides with the winter solstice, and is an invitation for the sun to come back and play. The official Festival day is on June 24th, but in Cusco, the celebration lasts most of June. Cusco's Inti Raymi is the second largest festival in South America. Hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the world to join the party. On the actual day of Inti Raymi the population of this city explodes, the main square becomes a madhouse, and the beer flows like wine. Every car becomes a taxi, with a homemade cardboard sign propped in the window, and every able-bodied child becomes a vendor, selling foldable straw hats, homemade chicha morada (purple corn juice) in plastic baggies, on-the-spot shoe-shines, watercolor postcards, bracelets, cheap sunglasses, and gigantic kernels of sweetened puffed corn scooped from massive bags.
We weren't in town for Inti Raymi day. We headed up to Puno and Lake Titicaca to escape the crowds. The parade you see here was a few days before, when everyone was gearing up, and the town was nearing full swing. It features students at the university. Each different school has their own banner, their own costumes, and their own dances. Except the future lawyers, they're very dignified. But hey - check out the dental students! Those guys know how to party!!