A Travellerspoint blog

Cuy in Cusco

I tried cuy a few days ago for lunch at a restaurant that was recommended by one of my teachers. It's a place where a lot of locals go to eat. I like getting recommendations from my teachers because they know the good, clean places. I went with 4 other people. One guy, Mike, and I decided to order one plate of cuy to share. The other people just wanted to take a small taste. Well, I didn't care for it that much, so Mike ate most of it. What I didn't like was the texture. It's kind of slippery. Eeew! Also, it's hard to get past the little carcass staring up at you off the plate. Here are some pictures:
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I had to at least give it a try. "When in Rome..." right?!

Posted by Kristinh 08:18 Comments (7)

Machu Picchu

on the 4th of July!

Buenos Dias- I spent this past weekend in Machu Picchu. We took a train to the little town closest to the ruins, called Aguas Calientes. It is a total tourist town with lost of markets and restaurant fighting for you business as you walk up and down the streets. They approach you and try to get you to eat at their restaurant. We got to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon on Saturday. We stayed in a hotel and got up really really early Sunday morning (4:15 a.m.) to get in line for one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. We got there right when it opened. It was still dark out. We climbed up to a high spot and sat on some rocks to watch the mist rise off the ruins. It was very peaceful and beautiful. The place was not yet crowded with hundreds and hundreds of tourists. As the day went on, the sky was clear and you could get some great views of the ruins from everywhere you walked. We walked all around and took pictures. In the afternoon we hiked to the Inca Bridge, which turned out to be nothing special, but the hike was nice with a lot of shade. It got pretty hot in the sun in the afternoon. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Machu Picchu:

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Early morning overlooking the ruins.
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My favorite picture of the day
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Sonia and I
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Christine, me and Sonia
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Tres Ventanas (Three Windows)
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Checking out the Llama
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Our favorite rock spot, looking over the ruins.
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I really like the Llamas!!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I truly enjoyed my time at Machu Picchu. This coming weekend, I'm not sure what I'm going to do for an excursion. There is a transportation strike going on right now, so I don't want to go down south to Lake Titicaca because I may not be able to get transportation back to Cusco. I may stay around town and check out some ruins nearby. There is a place that I can walk to called "Sacsayhuaman". It is pronounced "sexy woman". Tee hee! It cracks me up every time someone says it. Well, ciao for now. Kristin

Posted by Kristinh 08:27 Comments (11)

Pictures

I have some time now, so here are some pictures.....
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This is the main plaza, Plaza de Armas
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This is the view from my school which is way up a long hill
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One of my teachers, Yobi
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My group class (Katelyn, Jana, me, Mindy)
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My class in the plaza on our way to a cafe

Posted by Kristinh 12:03 Comments (5)

Mi Vida en Cusco

My life in Cusco

Hola!
I am settling into my life here in Cusco. I am safely past the "Oh my God, what am I doing here" phase and I'm in the "this could be really cool" phase. I enjoy my Spanish classes a lot. I have a small group class in the morning from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Then later in the afternoon from 4:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m., I have a 1:1 class. It's a lot of Spanish in one day, but I want to make the most of my time here in Peru and learn as much as I can. There are people from all over the world studying at my school. I have met twins from Poland, a girl from Slovakia, Canadians, Germans, Dutch and lots of Americans. On our first day of classes the school had a welcome dinner for all the new students at a nice restaurant. They had a Peruvian band play for us. I took video of it, but I wasn't successful yesterday in uploading it onto the blog. I may try again next time.

Cusco is a nice city with tons and tons and tons of taxis everywhere. I have to take taxis to and from my host family house to the Plaza each day. It's a 5 minute walk. The taxi only costs a dollar each way. The school is up a big hill off the plaza. The plaza is really beautiful with flowers and park benches in the middle and 2 cathedrals, shops and restaurants. I have some pictures, but I'm having a hard time finding them on my computer right now. Next time!

The food situation has been a little rough for me this past week. What I have learned about myself is that I don't like Peruvian food. Bummer for me! I've had some meals at my host family's house. It's mostly some sort of pounded thin, breaded and fried piece of meat or fried chicken on the bone, rice, and sometimes potatoes. I do like the vegetables, if there are any. Breakfast at my host family house is dry, tasteless bread with jam and some sort of juice. I have had some good luck with food at the restaurants in town. I had Alpaca last night at a restaurant off the plaza with a group of students from the school. It was quite tasty and came with couscous, vegetables and fries. A traditional peruvian food is Kuy (guinea pig). I'm going to be brave and try that before I leave Peru! Dana and I chickened out when we were in Ecuador. I will NOT chicken out this time! I have heard from people here in town that it is tasty and very nutritious. Hmmm, we'll see about that.

I'm going to Machu Picchu with 4 other students from my school this weekend. I'm looking forward to that. What a great way to spend the 4th of July! For next time, I will definitely figure out how to upload some pictures.
Buenos tardes,
Kristin

Posted by Kristinh 14:00 Comments (3)

Lima, Peru

and onto Cusco

I arrived safely in Lima late Thursday night and didn´t get to my hotel until after midnight. I was so tired that I slept until 10 a.m the next morning. I walked around the neighborhood I was staying in called Miraflores. It is a nice area in Lima. I walked down to the ocean and ate lunch at a nice seafood restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I decided to sign up for an afternoon tour of the city since I only have 1 day in Lima. They took us to several historical sights around the city. It was interesting, but nothing spectacular. My overall impression of Lima is that it is a gigantic, crowded city with way too many people. The population of the country of Peru is 30 million people. 9 million of those people live in Lima. Yikes! Also, Lima is very cloudy and dreary during this time of year. It is winter in Peru right now. They are opposite of our seasons in the U.S.

I came to Cusco yesterday. This city is a lot smaller and very sunny! I like it better than Lima already. There is a big plaza in the center of the old part of town. There are lots of shops and restaruants all around the plaza. My host family´s house is a ways from the city center. I will probably take their mini-buses which are like minivans. It costs only about 25 cents to ride from my host family house to the city center.

I am going to an orientation at my school today at 4 p.m. and then I start class on tomorrow morning. I´m anxious to get started with learning more Spanish. I have a really hard time understanding my host mom. I´m off to walk around the town for a couple hours to get familiar with the city. I have to be back to my host family house by 1:30 p.m. That is the time of day that people eat their biggest meal of the day. Her extended family will be there which includes her 3 sons and a few grandchildren. That should be interesting. I may get a little overwhelmed with trying to understand them and trying to communicate.

Until next time...Kristin

Posted by Kristinh 08:13 Comments (8)

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