Author: Ben T. Location: Cuzco The cool morning began with an extremely enjoyable hot shower. The other two Bens and I went up to the roof where there is an incredible view of downtown Cusco. Local cathedral bells that brought churchgoers together rang out through the foggy mountain morning. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, toast with butter and jam, and a myrad of juices. Coca tea has become extremely popular in the group because of its altitude sickness curing properties.
After we picked the coca leaves from our teeth, we were to be assigned a “mystery” activity. The staff members created a scavenger hunt for the group, which was divided into smaller groups. Activities during the hunt varied from taking photos in front of famous cathedrals, to singing happy birthday to a stranger. It was absolutely hilarious. One of the tasks was to ask 5 different people how to say hello in their respective languages. One of the girls in my group was doing great, until she asked a woman from Holland how to say hello in Polish. Everyone was hysterical, including the woman. Overall, the hunt improved my understanding of the city and strengthened my bearings on its cobblestone streets.
The adventure really began when we hopped on the bus in the afternoon and headed to some beautiful Inca ruins to hike and horseback ride. Many members of the group had never rode a horse before, which made for some comical moments during the ride. Stones weighing hundreds of tons and measuring meters high made up the Inca temple ruins that the group explored in an equestrian fashion. As the sun set over the mountains and dashed the clouds with color, the group sat in a circle and listened to the history and belief system of the Inca told by our Peruvian tour guide Ronald. Although very cold, it was extremely enjoyable and eye-opening.
Dinner was followed by a great session where interesting stories accompanied by photos from the scavenger hunt were shared with the group. Everyone had a good laugh, and went to bed. I am writing this from my bed with my two other roommates, the Bens, who are making funny noises and obnoxiously snoring in their slumber. Albeit, they are cool dudes, and I might have to throw a tennis ball at them only once in a while to stop their snoring. Hey Mom and Dad. Don’t forget to feed my pet cow. Don’t be so cheesy about it. I am getting tired and punchy so I will stop now. Goodnight from Cuzco.