The bug bites are quickly disappearing - what a relief! After arriving in Huancayo, we checked into Casa de la Abuela, a colorful two-storied home. The adventure we went on today can only be described as...well, let´s just say that on this trip so far, I haven´t been this tired nor this proud of myself. I could bore you with the details. Instead, I present to you the condensed highlights of our trek:
1. Going uphill, the sun blasting me in the face, for a very, very long time.
2. Seeing a dance procession with males in one line and women in another, dressed in traditional Peruvian attire. I am following this group as a group of schoolchildren probe Nikhil with questions like "How do you say ´mother´ in English?"
3. Continuing to hike uphill, eating our bananas on the way, stopping to catch our breath after every few minutes, and treading onward, our goal in site.
4. Reaching the towering sandstone structures known as Torre Torre, and taking a nap in the shade of the copper red monuments.
5. Realizing we´ve hiked more than five hours and are not even half-way, the end point being a village (that we never reached) below the mountains.
6. Watching a golden sunset melt into the horizon, watching the village roofs darken slowly.
7. Starting our trek downhill and panicking, because getting lost in the mountains at night is never fun.
8. Looking for, and eventually finding, a dirt path with the help of one solar-powered flashlight (which also happens to be a crank-powered radio).
9. Exhausted, no longer in the mountains, but unable to find a taxi for thirty minutes that seemed like eternity. Time just goes so much slower when one´s feet refuse to walk unless you order them to do so.
10. Eating a sparse dinner at a Hare Krishna vegetarian restaurant called Govinda´s, and being told by the hostess that I could pass for an Andean tribal. Now that´s what I call a compliment.
11. Passing out on my upper bunk and hearing the wood creak every time I budge.
All in all, it was a fulfiling day. I have no doubt in my mind that by the end of these six weeks I
1. will be ten shades darker
2. am going to get buff like never before