Peru – 01/24/12 (Day 3) – 06:55pm

Had an awesome day today with some new friends – Tom and Phoebe (sp?).

We went for a walk to the top of the ridge behind our hotel where there was a
giant “Jesus Blanco” that sat upon a pedestal on the highest part of the ridge overseeing
the city with his arms open wide.

Oh! How we met! Well, they sat at my table for breakfast and we talked quite a bit. I told
them about The Knowledge Cafe, “Screw Business…”, sleep patterns, Nathaniel…well..I
guess I told them alot. I am a chatty bitch, after all. Anyway, they’re from Australia –
Sydney. They’re “on holiday” from “Uni” and have been traveling quite a bit. First to Lima,
then Chile, Argentina, Vancouver (Tom’s fam was there), then finally to Cuzco to finish
their grand adventure with a 4-day Inca Trail hike.

They’re a pair of good-looking, intelligent and adventurous kids. I think they’ll go far!

So when we were up at the “White Jesus” (which true to the name, is bone white)
I listened to a great conversation between a gentleman named Peter and a local
gentleman playing a many-stringed instrument shaped much like a small guitar.

I overheard them speaking about taking a picture, but Peter was without a camera. I
offered to take a picture and email it to him – I handed him a card so he could contact
me later on.

Soon after we were approached by a local gentleman who offered to take us on a
horseback ride around the local ruins and sites for 35 soles (17.5 dollars, approx.) We
bartered down to 25 and were off!

Somehow I managed to cut two of my fingers (middle + pinky) while getting on the
horse, but luckily I had my first aid kit and promptly disinfected and bandaged the wounds.

We went to a place that had been used by the Incas as a quarry at first, then a
defensive position when the Spanish invaded. They hid in the tunnels they had created
while mining. I asked about going through the tunnels and our tour guide (and my fellow
tourists, Tom and Phoebe) obliged me.

The tunnels were of course not at all frightening or difficult to navigate, but I’m sure
that he could have selected a few more long, labyrinthine, and wet tunnels had he so
desired. I can’t fault him for his selection, though, since it was just enough to give us a taste.

We left the quarry and rode through countryside vistas that would have left Peter
Jackson jealous. And surprisingly I was even able to handle the horse I was given (who
certainly had a willful personality) fairly well. Especially in the latter part of the ride. I did
almost fall off at one point – he moved suddenly backward, the stepped sideways and
forward. The movements were probably small and inconsequential to him, but between
them (and the awkward toe stirrups I’d never used) I was at a 45˚ angle on his back
within just a few moments. How I righted myself I can’t say – a lot of instant thigh and
core strength due to the sudden surge in adrenaline, no doubt.

Next was the temple of the moon, which was a very interesting ruin. It was (and is)
a temple of moon and “Pacha Mama” offerings – mostly for natural as well as human
fertility. Celebrations still happen in August after the equinox (in Sept?) has passed.
Aug. is also the Andean New Year.

Back to Cuzco for lunch at Juanito’s, then off to do some shopping for our trips (TP and
granola) and for ourselves.

I got to watch some kids playing, and of course it just got me thinking about how
exciting this place would be for Nathaniel.

I found a great little hand-made guitar for him, and a “Pacha Mama” necklace for my
beautiful doula wife.

And then lion and parrot finger puppets for N. Because they’re cute! Oh, and an
alpaca hoodie for me. Its a little short in the sleeves, but I love it!

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