We arrived in Cusco about a week ago. This is the longest we will be stationary in a single city, perhaps for the entire year. We are planning on being here for a month if you include Machu Picchu.
The altitude here is about 3400 meters so the temperature is a bit lower and sun is intense.
We had some medication for altitude sickness but that made me ill so at the advice of Dr. Dani I stopped taking it. Instead, I just developed an intense cold and cough that has been with me for about a week…including loss of voice.
We are attending Spanish school before continuing our travels through South America. Three weeks will obviously not be enough to have meaningful conversations with South Americans but will definitely help. It is really intense with 2 hours of grammar followed by 2 hours of practice. Even with my limited French vocabulary, I find myself reaching for French words when I am unsure. The unfortunate part is that sometimes these words are correct only solidifying my bad behavior.
After school, Dani and I have been wandering around Cusco aimlessly thinking…well we are here for three weeks so there is no rush to see anything. This kinda of reminds me of home in that when you live somewhere you typically don’t visit the sites in your hometown.
I have visited the cathedral which has a massive collection of colonial art. There is a painting of ‘The Last Supper’ by Marcos Zapata that includes a guy (guinea pig – an Andean speciality) and regional fruits and vegetables to give the painting a more Andean sense.
Dani had a massage while I visited the church.
Dani has also made some local friends.
And we have eaten some interesting local food.
As part of the Spanish learning program, we are staying with a host family. There are three generations living in this home. The grandparents, their three married daughters and the daughter’s children. In addition, there is a cousin and her daughter bringing the total to 15. It is really interesting to watch this dynamic even when you only understand 25% of what is being said.
Two more weeks until Machu Picchu!!! We booked a five day trek yesterday. I am so excited and mildly petrified.