Friday, November 16, 2007

leaving the Sacred Valley

It seemed to take days and days, but it was finally time to leave Aguas Calientes. You know how long the hours are, when there is not much to do. So we wandered back to our hotel through occasional little spits and spots of rain, almost unnoticeable, to pick up our backpacks.

And then, le deluge. The skies opened up and poured buckets and buckets of rain on us. We had our Goretex raincoats, which we wrapped around our shoulders and our backpacks full of gear (cameras, etc) and made a run for the train station on the other side of the river. By the time we got there, our pant legs were soaked, as were our feet, but the gear was dry. We settled in for the 4-hour train ride home.

So this is the funny thing about public transit in Peru: the entertainment. On the bus home from Nasca, cards were distributed for Bingo. The whole bus (except us, I think), played Bingo. It was funny. PeruRail does something wilder. On the ride back to Cusco, the attendants put on a fashion show. I had my eyes closed, but I heard the music.....runway style music. Marc said the attendants were doing the whole shtick -- the model facial expressions, the runway strut, the turns. When it was all over, they wheeled a trolley up and down the aisles selling traditional alpaca stuff, sweaters, hats, socks, etc. Before the fashion show, a guy came out in some kind of old traditional clothing with a white face mask covering his head, with red slits for the eye holes. It totally freaked me out, I did not like it at all.

Pulling into Cusco felt like coming home. I swear I think I could easily chuck it all and open a little shop in Cusco for the rest of my days. Marc and I went back to the restaurant run by those two girls and ordered three dishes, which were (as before) cooked individually, after running out for ingredients. Yum.

Yesterday we flew back to Lima, back to the hotel (and room) we left so long ago. It's an odd feeling; our vacation is really over, but it's not over yet. We have to kill time in Lima until our flight leaves just before midnight tomorrow night. We're trying to figure out how to spend all day Saturday after we check out of our hotel. Maybe a cruise around some nearby islands (called, like all the nearby islands, the little Galapagos), maybe rent a car and drive north, who knows.

I feel (and so does Marc, I think) ready to get home. This has been so remarkable, a truly unique and amazing trip. It's the first place we've been together that we both would come back to. I'm not at all eager to go back to work, but I think it's time to get home. Since I don't have a computer, and next week is Thanksgiving, it may take a couple of weeks before I get photos uploaded, but if you are interested, I'll post a note on my main blog when the photos are here.

As everyone here says, ciao ciao.

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