Lazy days

I have had a couple of very lazy days. On Monday, I spent most of the morning tucked under the duvet (for the room was very cold), researching and planning what to do next. I have decided that I have had enough of developing countries for a while and didn’t want to be on the move all the time. Consequently, I made a lot of applications for housesits and booked a flight to Madrid for the end of June. Hopefully, something will come of the applications and I don’t just receive messages that say they have hundreds of applicants and I am not on the short list!

My room was at the far end of the balcony and round the corner
My room was at the far end of the balcony and round the corner
The red flag indicates chicha is for sale
The red flag indicates chicha is for sale

In the afternoon, I took a collectivo into Izcuchaca in search of food, there being a limited choice in Huaracondo. Basically, if you don’t like roast pork, there isn’t anything! I had a little wander around the busy town, bought bread, avocados and cake and caught a collectivo back.

The collectivos are always entertaining. I just wish I had enough Spanish to understand the conversations, although, at one point this afternoon, the accent was so strong that I wondered if they were actually speaking Spanish or whether it was Quechua! (It was Spanish, I decided in the end.) As usual, I had dinner on my lap and watched television with Lyle for a while. It was just like being at home.

Corn and quinoa drying on the patio
Corn and quinoa drying on the patio

On Tuesday, I had every good intention of going for a walk but that didn’t happen either. I haven’t felt like doing very much on either day and came to the conclusion that this was because I have been quite busy lately and haven’t had a day of doing nothing for some time. I obviously needed a break and Huaracondo was a good place to have one.

Looking over the wall at the house next door!
Looking over the wall at the house next door!
The neighbour's yards at the back
The neighbour’s yards at the back
Quinoa ready to be harvested
Quinoa ready to be harvested

I spent some time on the phone and then sat and read on the elevated patio (for want of a better word, although it was more like a platform with a table and bench seats). At about 4pm, we set off for Ollantaytambo where I was staying for a few days and from where Lyle had to pick up another guest.

The drive was beautiful, on a back road that cut off Izcuchaca and Poroy and emerged on the main road past Chinchero. It is an agricultural area so there were large areas of quinoa, in various stages of growth, and a variety of grain plantings. The road was quite rutted and the drive was much more attractive than going along the main road.

On the back road
On the back road

Lyle dropped me off as near to my accommodation as possible and I was warmly greeted by Henry and his wife, who both, I realised after I had struggled with my Spanish for a while, spoke English. It was still just about light when I arrived so I had a short stroll around town, which is extremely touristy, as it houses the main train station to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.

Lake Huaypo
Lake Huaypo

I had been looking forward to a pisco sour and, as several of the bars were offering Happy Hour (price obviously fixed!), I adjourned to the nearest one to the guest house and sat and read whilst enjoying my drinks. There was only one other person there, so I felt quite comfortable. I think I will make it a mission to sample the various pisco sours in town to see which bar makes the best!

Afterwards, I walked up the street to find somewhere to eat. All the tourist places were more than I was prepared to pay but I found a Peruvian restaurant in a back street and had a good 2 course dinner and tea for 8 soles (as opposed to the 20 – 30 soles for a main course that the others were charging). I ordered chicken but apparently they had run out, so I was offered ‘dulca’ instead. Not having the slightest idea what this was, I agreed. I was served fish and chips with rice. Dulca must be the local name for trout. This was preceded by an excellent bowl of soup. The only others in the cafe were a Peruvian family, which is just how I like it.

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