Cusco, oh beautiful Cusco, hello!
As a first timer in this wonderful city, I need to start off with: WOW. I don’t know what I love more, the sense of community, the mountains, the food, or the people.
I’ve also been getting my BOOTY KICKED. There are so many stairs! I might even argue that there are NO FLAT SPACES in this entire city. At first, I was unable to go anywhere due to not being able to climb in this altitude, and I still struggle now, but I climb them anyways.
We’ve found an apartment up in the hills with a view of the entire city, a plus for sure. As I lounge in my bed all day looking out, I feel the love and joy of this beautiful culture. There are constantly invisible fireworks going off, and llamas grazing on the side of the roads. Every person is wearing brightly colored alpaca sweaters and hats, the andean babies are running around on the streets with their siblings; this city is ALIVE.
At every corner there are people sitting, selling their jewelry, bags, hats, sweaters; they want your attention and money. They want to talk, they want to share with you.
There are restaurants I would love to take home with me: crepes, burgers, falafel, pizza, and although none are native to the Andes, they are doing it better than everyone else. Everyday is a run for an empanada, quiche, or a fresh loaf of bread, baked that morning, with your eggs and coffee. Life is pure here. Life is good.
Baby goats, a personal favorite animal of mine, are everywhere. It’s amazing. I’m so full of joy and smiles whenever I see them carried in colorful mantas and ornamented with flower crowns and decorations. This is a piece of information that I hope gives you visions of elderly andean mama’s carrying goats around like babies, with actual babies on their backs, giggling and playing peek-a-boo with you as you pass. I hope you see the cobblestone roads that you climb up, and the buildings older than anything in the US that you flatten yourself against as cars zip past. I hope you see the women outside their shops “massage?” “facial?” “sweaters!”. Cusco presents more visuals than I can ever hope to bring to your mind.
I hope you see the beautiful, frightening, magnificent Ausangate Mountain. Snow capped and strong, the mountain looks over the Sacred Valley, reminding all who see it what really is in charge. We are living in a culture here in Peru of respect. The Peruvians respect this land, they know that they are at the elements mercy. Despacho ceremonies are an offering to mother earth, a sacred ceremony celebrating our mother, our provider, and are performed every morning in villages in the valley.
I am in love, and so so excited to spend another 2 months here exploring and loving up on this wonderful city that takes so many in.
*Song: Mykonos – Fleetwood Foxes*