After I finished the last blog entry I went in search of Terry on the main square Pisac. Terry had found a bunch of global expats holed up in Ulrike´s Cafe. We had a long talk with all of them, they all seemed to be seeking refuge from their busy lives back in Europe and Canada. We had a long chat with Birgithe Vestergaard from Denmark, she was cafe sitting while the owner was traveling. She was given free room and board to watch the place, this doesn´t seem like a bad deal to me, I am going to have to check into this hostal/cafe/business sitting option in foreign countries, it sounds like fun.
In the morning we got up and strolled around Pisac. This is a picture of the colorful wares available for sale. There were a lot of stalls, but not many customers, I don´t know whether these folks actually earn any money.
I had convinced poor Terry that the local bus was the way to go when it came to trans-Peru travel. I don´t think Terry was ready for what was to come. We made it from Pisac back to Cusco on a packed local bus, Terry was not pleased that a baby spat up on him. We then maneuvered to the bigger buses for transport from Cusco to Puno. We paid extra for the panaromic view seat at the front. The 6 hour bus ride cost a little over $6 each. I have also discoverd who the badly behaved travelers are and its not the Americans, it´s the Australians. In Pisac a group of young Australian women decided to wear tank tops instead of long sleeves like all the Peruvians, I thought that was a little inappropriate. But when they sat down at the outdoor cafe one of them took the cake, her thong was showing above her pant waist, with her fat ass cheeks hanging out....disgusting. If she had been American I would have given her an earful.
Now back to the bus. Peruvian bus seats are assigned. When our seater on the bus showed us our seats, there was an Australian man already sitting in them. He refused to leave. Begrudgingly he agreed after a few minutes of spirited conversation. He took the seat behind us complaining every minute, then was upset because there was no bathroom on the bus, then he complained that he couldn´t open the window. He just wouldn´t shut up. Again, had he been American I would have reemed him a new asshole. The Peruvian seater kept on moving him to the back, the Australian got what he deserved.
I think the beating the US is getting globally is having a positive effect on American international travel behavior, or perhaps we are in such a remote place the ugly Americans just aren´t here. The other American tourists here are extremely polite and most are attempting to speak espanol.
Terry was complaining that we weren´t doing enough touristy things and I was spending way too much time making him run up and down mountains, so I reluctantly agreed to go on a tour of Inca ruins near Puno called Sillustani. Puno is on Lake Titicaca and it has had a number of different tribes/societies/conquerors including the Incas and Spaniards. These ruins are on an island on a lake near Puno. After our tour of the ruins our guide asked us if we wanted to visit a Quechuan farmhouse.
At the farm we met Maria, pictured here. Her clothing is indicative of the way most of the native women dress, I´d say at least 25% of the women in Peru look like this. She is pictured cooking on her little stove, she uses alpaca dung as fuel and she doesn´t wash her hands after she puts some in the fire. The best part of Maria is her teeth, look at these beautiful chompers! Maria does not eat any sugar, coffee or tea. She is twenty years old and has never brushed her teeth, they are beautifully white. Many Quechans drop dead with the most beautiful set of teeth, very impressive.
Regarding my meals. I have decided that if I recognize a food option on a menu, I won´t order it. So far I have eaten something called "jumped back" which was delicious. Last night was a fish dish called Jerreny, I think. This morning we ended up in a hole-in-the-wall, our server spoke no Spanish, just Quechan, but she brought us something that I think was called Cornado (I think), a giant pile of carne, huevos and arroz for $0.60, delicous. Tonight I want my cuy frito.
Tomorrow we head to Copa Cabana, Bolivia on Lake Titicaca. Terry wants another stamp on his passport and will jump through hoops to get it. I have no idea whether Bolivia has Internet but we will find out.