Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jaw Bone Soup

It had rained throughout the night and in the morning, it was still drizzling. I got started around 6:30 and rode slowly. There were frequent muddy sections of the road and there were a few slithering moments of doubt.

I met a family on a motorcycle that were riding to Cuzco to sell their disks of cheese. Their rear tire was going flat so I helped them pump it up. I agreed to ride with them to the next village. We stopped two more times to fill up their tire. They were probably my age, though it’s hard to tell. Their child was in a sling that was tied to the mothers back. It was a quiet child and seemed happy. I admired the man’s courage for trusting himself to keep his family safe on that muddy and slippery road. I also admired the woman’s trust in her husband. She sat on the motorcycle quite comfortably and didn’t flinch or clench.

We finally made it to the village and they found a tire repair shop. They gave me a round of cheese which I was excited about. It tastes wonderful!

I found a street vendor to eat breakfast/lunch at. It was an experience! First she served soup with an animals jaw bone, complete with teeth and all. I suppose that was normal, but not for me. There were potatoes and another vegitable that looked like rotten potatoes, but were something else. I can’t say I enjoyed the soup! The second course was normal food and quite tasty.

I finally made it to the pavement and rode to Cuzco. Just before the town, there was a road block. A union was having a strike (I gathered) and had closed the road to Cuzco. I took another road that circled around the mountains and after another hour arrived at Cuzco. It’s quite a beautiful town and has a lot of old colonial buildings that are built upon Inca foundations.

This is the Festival of Cuzco and there is energy in the air. There are more young people with buckets of water and canisters of spray foam. The two teenage girls who were operating the hostal got all dressed up in their traditional dancing clothes and were quite excited. They had perfume, make up and the full attire! They left in a big flurry of color and fast talk.

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