Friday, October 19, 2012

Stepping out

Today I went to el centro alone. It felt really exciting to be going out by myself for the first time. I took the Huancaro there instead of a taxi. Huancaro is one of the many transportation vans in Cusco. They slightly resemble the dollar vans in Flatbush but are cheaper- only .60 cents in Peruvian Soles. That's only a little more than 20 cents in USD. 

Walking to the bus stop from Luz's house

View from the bus stop. The neighborhood protected by
barbed wire in the foreground is a community for
soldiers and their families.

View from the bus. Women selling fruit.

Another baby sack.

Once I got off the bus, with the help of the map Luz gave me and my memory I made my way to La Plaza de Armas in hopes of getting my usual soy iced latte from Starbucks. It's slightly embarrassing that I'm still drinking Bux in Peru, but it feels safe in there and the view from the balcony is the best. On my way there, I saw another peace demonstration protesting terrorism. This time there were just posters, but I learned more about Peru's history with terrorism. From what I've gathered from Luz and the internet, it seems that there was a surge of terrorism in the 1980's that pretty much died down in 2000. I'm unsure if there are any persisting problems or if these demonstrations are just to inform the people and pray for peace.


My rough translation: "We must stop sleeping.
We must wake up. We are whole, we have heads,
hands and feet to reclaim our rights. We have
a head and a heart to speak and not shut up for

The fallen. R.I.P.
I then continued on my mission to get caffeinated. On my way there was a man with a tiny guitar. I thought it was a Ukulele and got excited because I meant to buy one before I left, but it was a Charango. On the back was a picture of Machu Picchu. He pointed out the face that the mountains make which I had heard about but was never able to see from pictures. If you tilt your head to the right you can see how the largest mountain is the nose, the hills to the lefts are the lips and the last is the chin.

And then, finally, I made it to Starbucks. But to my dismay, they didn't have any water and couldn't give me the beverage I desired. I bought a bottle of water instead and went outside.
Desserts at the Peruvian Bux ain't got nothin' on los Estados
 I sat on the balcony, reading my tourist books, deciding where I want to go and what I want to see.

Next stop: Mercado Central de San Pedro.
This market is only a few blocks away from La Plaza de Armas. Here you can buy clothing, bags, jewelry, meat, dairy, fresh juice and more. I was in search of a large purse with a zipper and adjustable strap so that it could be worn across my body. This is the safest way to guard your things from pickpockets, according to Luz.

I haven't eaten any of the food or fresh juice in this market because it doesn't look that sanitary and Peru is known to give tourists stomach problems whether it be from the water, street food or fruit that wasn't well washed.  I'm thankful that I haven't had any problems. The travel doctor told me I should use bottled water to brush my teeth, but the first day I forgot and used tap water and I'm ok. Also Luz's family is careful to be super sanitary with all their food preparation.

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