At last we have a chance to post those baby pig photos I promised. I am starting to seriously contemplate procuring one when I get home and having it for a pet. Is there anything cuter?
Two more big days of riding, stopping one night at Hostal Los Libertadores in the town of Ayacucho. We made a dramatic entrance by ramming the motorcycle´s steel underbelly into their doorstep leaving a large dent in the shiny metal step protector. Though the young men working there tried to knock it out with a hammer, it was to no avail. We left our mark in Ayacucho.
It was a fantastic place for $10 (30 soles), except that we shared a single bed for the night. Tiny, tiny blankets! After cleaning off the dust from the road (but not changing out of our riding/travel clothes) we wandered down some great walking streets and found a restaurant that served up some delicious lomo saltado and chicharron de pollo. These are two very popular dishes, the first being fried potatoes with vegetables (mainly tomatoes) and beef strips sauteed in a tasty sauce, served with rice. The second is breaded pieces of chicken, fried and served with fries and three types of sauce that taste vaguely like mustard, mayonnaise, and spicey ketchup.
The next day we hit the road at about 9:00am, waving farewell to our hosts who had kindly washed and dried the motorcycle which ended up very clean on one side. I even spied one of them attempting to polish the spokes!
It was a long day. It ended at last in Andahuaylas where we promptly ate dinner downstairs and went straight to bed.
Again we were up and out the door by 9:30am. Breakfast was Pan Comón (common bread) which is a tasty, hollow roll. We bought 8 for 1 sol, which is about 33cents.
Our ride started with three rugged hours on mountainous, silty, dusty roads looping up and down canyons and heading toward the turnoff where we were excited to finally hit the autopista (paved two-lane highway!). From there it was another four or so hours to Cusco, where we found a room at Hostal Pompawasi for $17/ night just a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas and a whole lot of restaurants, clubs, bars, and shopping options for the hordes of travelers. The city´s population is about 600,000 and as you walk around you can spot Inca foundations on which the Spanish conquerors built their huge (and rather pretty) churches.
Arriving on Friday night, the city was alive. The plazas were filled with people, stages with live Andean music, busy restaurants, and fun people watching. It was also very cold. We are both pretty well adjusted to the altitude after our time in and out of the mountains but still can get pretty winded after walking up a long hill. I also noticed that after only about 3 ounces of wine (possibly less) I was feeling pretty loopy.
We had a rockin´good Friday night, and were in bed by 8:30p with our books. I have to add that I am very pleased with our blanket situation in that they are warm and soft and drapey, and large enough that they hang over the edges with no room for icy air to creep in.
Today we ate breakfast at a fantastic little place called Jack´s Café Bar. Adam and his brother Matt ate there three years ago when they came to Peru to hike Macchu Piccu, and though Adam usually likes to try out new places we headed there anyway. The food was great, but I have to say that it was the first place we´ve been in a long time that was pushing for turnover! There was a line out the door which made eating quickly seem like a good idea.
After breakfast we headed to Moto Row, where we managed to find a new rear tire and have it replaced within about two hours. Now we´re ready for the road South!
We also visited the ruins close to town, wandering around looking at the huge rocks which are perfectly fitted together and, well, amazing. There are lots and lots of tour groups wandering around, and we chatted with one couple who were also counting edges to see if they could find one with more than twelve. The famous one with twelve is down near the plaza. We took photos of ourselves next to it.
From here we head to Macchu Piccu, South to Arequipa, on to Lake Titicaca, and then to Bolivia! We have so much to see still, it is a bit strange. Our trip has been so full of sights and new places, and there are so many more ahead.
Happy Birthday to Kyle, Sandra, and Mum.
Happy Graduation to Kevin!!
Grace and Adam