I'm in Bolivia now, about two weeks after I'd initially itended to leave that dear country of Peru. Funny, how one can grow so attached to a place.
Cusco became my base, my home of sorts, the place where I constantly ended up returning to, for whatever reason I might choose to use to rationalise the decision.
After leaving Arequipa, I returned to gather my thoughts and regroup. I went to the jungle, only to return to Cusco for Inti Raymi (which was great fun, just quietly). Then when it finally was time to have a Proper Farewell after all of those 'fake farewells', I found myself almost overcome with sadness. It's not because Cusco is the most amazing city in the world (although it certainly does have a lot of charm, and quirks out the yin yang). Nor is Peru the most amazing country in the world, although it is spectacular in myriad ways. More so, I was astounded to find how attached I had become to the friends I'd made during my time at Amauta-the-Spanish-school, and the weeks afterwards when I kept returning.
Yesterday was my last day in Cusco. It was spent in the sun, catching a bus and taking the scenic route to some mediocre hot springs with three friends. We were the only gringos, we took a little taxi, the four of us crammed into the back seat through a windy road where a landslide seemed to have just occurred. At the warm springs (tepid at best springs) we bobbed up and down in the murky water, we were conspicuous, we drip dried in the non-sun then took a little car back to Calca. Then we went to Urubamba. We bought stale bread and awesome avocado and sat in the sun, eating sandwiches while listening to creepy carnival music. It was a hippy market. I bought a ginger cupcake and shared it with someone spectacular. The bus ride back was long and tiring and silent but content with hands held and napping on shoulders. Shit, son. Then it was dinner at The Israeli Place one last time, playing Pigs one last time, hanging out at the school one last time then GOODBYE, time for a huge hug. Saying, "Keep in touch" and actually meaning it. On the other hand though, don't farewells while fighting back tears at five in the morning at the edge of the Plaza de Armas make you feel kind of alive? I'd venture to say yes.
If you're wondering about the jungle, it was amazing. It was exactly what I needed at that stage, time to relax, to be away from the maddening crowd, to sit in the wilderness and just think for a little while. We swam in an Amazonian lake under the moonlight, trouped through the jungle, saw monkeys and parrots and otters and all manner of birds. Tarantulas and those little crocodile things as well. It was sweaty and hot as fuck and I got attacked by mosquitoes and I fell through a bridge but goddamn, was it ever incredible.
Bolivia? It seems quite a bit like Peru so far, but slightly different. I'm fairly exhausted, not having slept much at all in the past few days. I wandered around the city tonight, wrote, ate some brie, then bought a minature Millennium Falcon, becuause that's just the way I operate, guys. Tomorrow I'll probably book a tour to the salt flats. I might take my Millennium Falcon.
I'm tired, and kind of sad, but at the same time I'm excited. I'm excited because I've got three more countries to get to, over two months. No time for hesitation son, no time for tears or moping because that phase has finished and there's a new one about to begin. CAN YOU FEEL IT?
Anyway, apologies for the lack of photos. They're a bit of a bitch to upload from shitty internet cafes. Hold on tight, I'll upload some eventually. At any rate, I'm sure most of you that read this have me on Facebook anyway, and are up to date with my photographic adventures.