All posts tagged: cusco

Into Bolivia: Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol

Those last few days in Cusco passed quickly in the blur of trekking recovery, spent walking in the pleasant sunshine of its streets and squares, playing cards in its restaurants and deciphering a wide selection of Spanish-dubbed films for my mum from the wide screen in our hotel room. This was also the week I decided to make big on my plan to extend my trip, booking another plane ticket two months after my intended return date, allowing me to fit Patagonia, Buenos Aires and, crucially, Rio and carnival into my itinerary. The finality of this move did nothing to diminish the wave of homesickness that broke over me as my family and I prepared to part ways – the two of them to London and me into Bolivia. I seem to always have to endure a fierce internal battle whenever I’m traveling for an extended period. This war rages between my freer spirit, independent and spontaneous with a thirst for discovery, solitude and the great desire to climb to the top of every rock …

Chicuchas Wasi: Fighting for Girls’ Education in Peru

My final Global Giving project, and what’s brought me to the bustling high altitude town of Cusco for so long is a girls’ primary school nearby. Chicuchas Wasi was started by Rae Lewis, who I had the pleasure to touch base with first in California. She told me the story of how the school began when she was travelling in Peru. Moved by what she saw and wanting to help, she did so at first by looking after street children in her own home. I finally get to meet her partner in all this, Ruth Uribe, who lives in Cusco and directs the school. She picks me up at the bottom of the steps to her home and we drive the short distance over to the school, including a struggle with a rocky dirt road. We bond over our language studies, as Ruth’s learning English just now, speaking in both Spanish and English over the idiosyncrasies of our languages, double-checking vocabulary and points of grammar with each other. Placed amicably among the rolling hills of …

Hostel Hopping in Cusco

I have a habit in this blog of dwelling particularly on the many and gruelling journeys between my destinations; the hours in airports sleeping on my rucksack and the long transport delays you come to expect from Latin America. Perhaps this is because these challenging experiences place me into a heightened and particularly perceptive state where all that passes is memorable and eminently reportable. My journey from Medellin to Cusco was no exception. Rushing down to Peru in time to cross over with Rae, founder of the school I’d be spending some time visiting there, meant three flights in 24 hours and a brief sleep in notoriously dangerous, underwhelming Lima. In fact, the usual gymnastics of flight check-in and boarding were further complicated that Sunday by my one-hour sleep and the enduring effect of the bottle of gin I’d shared just hours before in emotional farewell with my Medellin flatmates. I felt a mixture of nausea and amusement as I approached the desk at my first airport, a mood which endured through most of that …