Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Story Time: Round 2


A lot has happened since my last post! I have left my dearest Casa ITA and my family within to finish my internship with 12 days at the Inkaterra Pueble Hotel. 

My last day in Puerto Maldonado, a friend and I rented a motorcycle to see the whole town. It was all so beautiful, and I wouldn't be able to forget it if I didn't burn my leg on the exhaust pipe getting off. It got a little infected for a while, but is doing much better now! Here is the best picture of it! 
Hahaha sorry about showing you that.. I'll make it up to you by showing some of the beautiful street art that is all around Puerto. 
One special thanks to my best friend at Casa ITA and my guide, Yasmani. 

Before I made it to the hotel I had a couple days in Cusco to do some exploring. I met up with my great friend Katie, one of the volunteers from Casa ITA, the day of her flight back to the states. 
Then when I was solo I wandered the markets, visited the beautiful cathedrals, and did other touristy stuff. One day all I had for breakfast and lunch was the delicious tamales that old women sold on the street corners. 
I also made the mistake of eating this ceviche from the market. Not sure what I was thinking, but I woke up that night puking and you know what else. I didn't fully recover until after a few days at the hotel. 
Cusco is a charming city that I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit. 

I didn't expect all of the wonderful people and things that awaited me at the Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel. I had the honor of working with a very intelligent and beautiful biologist there, Carmen Rosa Soto Vargas. Her and her team became very close to my heart. 
I also encountered another new fungus! It produces a beautiful turquoise color (my favorite)! 
Besides from all of my work there, I also found a bunch of friends. The workers in the Eco Center spoke very good English and were able to help me with my spanish. I grew very close to them, and it was another difficult goodbye to say. I will always remember these funny, sweet, and smart people. 
My dearest Carmen couldn't be in the picture, so here is a separate picture to show this very special lady. 
And then another friend that didn't work in the Eco Center, Raul! 

I had the honor of participating in a special ritual to give offerings to the Mother Earth. One experience I will never forget. 

Oh yeah, and I saw the breathtaking Machu Picchu! 

I took a bus to Cusco and then left the next morning for Puno! 6hrs later of a bus ride through beautiful landscape like this:

I had finally arrived! I met a friend of Carmens who hooked me up with a great hotel and a cheap tour of Lake Titicaca, the Uros Islands, and Taquille Island. It was all very impressive. They are tons of communities living on floating reed islands in the middle of the lake!
We had the privilege of eating a delicious lunch of quinoa soup and filleted fish wish this astounding view of the lake. 

Last night after my market bought dinner of bread, avocado, tomato, and the best fresh cheese I stumble upon two young boys performing a comedy skit in the road. They had an impressive crowd of people and from my picture you can see how funny they are. 

In about an hour and a half I will be off to Arequipa. I'm excited to see what awaits me there! 

Thanks for finishing this LONG post.