The first major stop in our Peruvian journey is to Cusco, home of the Inca's. This town looks exactly like I thought it would,which is awesome, because so many times we build things up in our head only to have the reality be less than the imaginary. Not here kids!
The sky is intensely blue, the clouds are puffy and white, the backdrop are lush green hills, while the town itself is adorable. Tall churches dot the city, towering over the meandering tourists. There are alpaca shops galore! The Spanish influence is strong with red tiled roofs and stucco buildings, yet there remains an inherent Peruvian feel as well. The short Peruvian people kinda help with that feeling.
During an afternoon wandering we stumbled upon San Pedro, the local market. Clearly, I was excited, because we all know that I love me some markets. I love looking at the fresh produce, trying to identify herbs and vegetables that I know and others that are a complete mystery. I learned on a bus tour of the city that there are 1,000 types of potatoes in south America. That's a lot of spud! Little teeny tiny chalk white potatoes and very long reddish potatoes.
It's strange traveling again in some aspects and oddly similar and comforting in others. A lot of it is what anyone goes through when in a new town. Ok, where am I? Where is my hostel? Where is food? Normal adjustments to a new country and place. Then other pieces feel oddly familiar and comforting. Bartering for a hostel or taxi no problem! Trying to make the street hawkers smile or laugh, easy.
Part of me is excited to put the traveling mantel on again. The excitement of new places, of experiencing a new culture. I'm always blow away by how inheraintly similar but different everyone and all cultures are. Another part of me is like really? This...again?? Oi! But I take breath, pause, and look around at my beautiful surroundings and remember why I do this and love this. Then I go find something interesting to eat and I'm all better.