Zoe and Dan's South American Adventures 4/12/03

Category: Other stuff
Date: 07 December 2003


Hola amigos

We are now in Cusco, and start the Inca Trail tomorrow, for four days of blood, sweat and tears! This is the four day (uphill) walk at altitude to Machu Picchu. We've packed long johns, kendal mint cake, and attractive yellow and orange rain ponchos. More of that when we get back...

Cusco is nice - colonial city, with lots of museums etc and other Inca sites around and about. Went to a huge Inca fortress at Pisac which was great. Even managed a night out on Tuesday for someone's birthday, assisted by the many free cuba libres offered by the bar touts. Never call us boring gets as we danced to Kylie minogue and Beyonce, and a dance remix of Another Brick in the Wall (must be the altitude). Unhappily, no Shakira.

Between Nazca and here we stayed in Arequipa, another colonial city but a really nice one. We went to its museum which has got some frozen inca mummies which were found on a mountain - bit gruesome but very interesting!!! We also spent two days on a tour to the Colca Canyon - world's (second biggest/deepest/highest) which was really good. Developing twitching habits - we saw lots of condors there - one that came really close which was quite exciting.

Our Spanish is now blinding - we now know how to say doggy bag, sleeping bag, handbag and any other variation on the word bag. Planning to enter ourselves for GCSE when we return - taking bets on A*s - any takers? Currently reading Cervantes in original language as a warm up.

Cusco is gripped by football fever today, and we have tickets for tonght's big match. Cusco's team, Cienciano, which is probably the Peruvian equivalent of Birmingham City (the monied clubs are all in Lima) are playing the second leg of the semi final of the Sudamericas Cup, against a Colombianian team, Athletic Nationale. They won the first leg 2-1 a few weeks ago, which we saw on TV. The nation is very excited as you can imagine because this is the equivalent of champions league (with less money). The other semi final was last night, Sao Paulo (BRA) -v- Riverplate (ARG), which we watched on telly. The final score at full time was 3-3. A big punch up, several sendings-off and a penalty shoot-out later, Riverplate went through. We can only hope for the same sort of excitement tonight.

HAIR UPDATE: From the hirstute to the sublime, Dan is now sporting a number one haircut. A misunderstanding with the barber led to the loss of his prize sideburns. New ones in progress.

BELLY UPDATE: Both beer bellies somewhat smaller in size, Dan's in particular is a shadow of its former self. Man-breasts still in evidence however (and that's just Zoe).

FOOD UPDATE: Declined offers to try Guinea Pig, Llama, and alpaca steaks, but did breakfast on fried banana, fried egg and rice (who fancies coming round for dinner to try that on our return?). Cactus fruit surprising tasty. Most unusual starter to date: a small saucer of popcorn.

Recommended Christmas reads (we have a lot of time to do this kind of thing): Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, Any Human Heart by William Boyd.

Thinking of you all and the annual christmas traipse down Oxford Street in the rain. Have a mulled wine on us and send us the gossip from your christmas parties.