Looking back we spent a lot of time in the Sacred Valley – eighteen days! We did not visit the bucket list of Machu Picchu nor did we do a trek like so many people came here to do. We did visit a handful of amazing touristy sites but what the heck did we do with the rest of the eighteen long days?
Well that is the gift of slow travel. If we had come here on a vacation, we would probably have packed our schedules to the brim to maximize our time off. But this is strangely not a “vacation” for us. This is our everyday life wherever our wheels go and not just a trip. So here it goes…this post does not have any new and exotic destinations but we wanted to remember the everyday and equally important things to us.
Like making a pretend campfire while wearing a makeshift plastic bag hat.
Or building real ones and roasting marshmallows with the French kids that we met in Ecuador. When we finally said goodbye to these two crazy families, they were on their way to a 4-day trek with their combined six kids ranging from four to ten years old. I can’t wait to read about it on their blogs. In the first half of our travels, when Ty met other non-English speaking kids, he would still ask us to please translate some things for him. Some time in Colombia he stopped doing that and just played.
Lots of meal times. Sometimes cooking a real meal could be the event of the day. Going to the market, cooking and cleaning while taking care of the two rascals could take up the entire day. For our camp kitchen, we still love our Coleman gasoline stove and GSI dutch ovens in which we cook all our dinners. Our Rubbermaid kitchen box now doubles as Jamie’s eating table. And after months of Jamie rejecting the traditional bib, we finally figured out to use one of Ty’s t-shirts to cover everything so Jamie often ends up looking like a football player.
So much play time with Luna. Jamie loves her. He cannot get enough of her and calls Luna more than he calls Mommy. As far as he and Ty are concerned we are a solid family of four.
The brothers sometimes play exceptionally well together. Like when Ty decided to read a book to Jamie, or when they set up a morning “picnic” all by themselves at the campground.
Since we left Central America it had been harder to meet other travelers on the road. The countries are bigger and there are more routes to choose from. In Cusco, there is a great campground where travelers converge. Our days just got lost here. Most other travelers were Europeans (lots of French and Germans, with some Dutch and Belgians). We only met one other USA couple and also caught up with Canadians Rich and Ash again.
We made a trip down to Centro Historico almost daily, to buy food, shop, and do a fair amount of eating out too.
During this time Ty and I also nursed a terrible lingering cold, one that gave Ty black eyes because he was so congested. Luna got spayed – very important as she got frisky with a campground dog. And we spent a few frustrating days at the mechanic re-welding the track bar. We also got “stuck” in the city for a couple days as protestors blocked the streets against heritage sites like Machu Picchu being leased to foreign concessionaires. It was a big deal. While it seemed innocuous in Centro Historico and therefore to most tourists’ eyes, the perimeters of the city were not safe as evidenced by much broken glass on the road as we finally were able to drive out. Our friend Melanie’s boyfriend Ronnie also got pulled out of a taxi, chased and stoned as he tried to ride a taxi to work on protest day. After two days of shut-down, the streets cleared. Adios, Cusco!