On Thursday (project day 4) we continued rendering, and completed most of the walls, leaving only a small amount to finish on the Friday. The welder arrived with the metal Bram had bought on the previous days expedition to Cusco, and a team spent the day helping him. Their first job was to sand down the six beams of metal to get them smooth enough to paint electric blue! We then helped hacksawing the beams down to size for welding into window frames, while the rest of the team did the (women’s job apparently!) of scraping the render off the floor of the room, leaving a nice smooth concrete slab. By the end of day we had a complete window frame – but due to the wonky wooden frame (built by the team before us!) it didn’t quite fit.
This meant that on Friday (project day 5) the welder was busy modifing the frame to fit, and moving on to weld other frames in situ. The rest of us continued rendering which was finished by lunchtime, (finished render) after which most of the team decamped to Oropesa to play football, shop or use the internet. We came back to a typical evening of socialising, soup for dinner and diary writing.
On Saturday we did a massive coach tour of the beautiful sacred valley. Our first stop was the viewpoint for the sacred valley, from which we the could see most of the lush farmland of the valley and the snow covered mountains of the Andes brap (Alex made me write brap!) It was a popular coach stop and many randoms with annoying whistles kept coming up to us but this didn’t entice us to buy one!
We continued on to the ancient market town of Pisac where we saw lots of colorful stalls with clothes bracelets and voodoo dolls (called voodoo by Dave as an excuse because he’s scared of them.) After a snack of inside out pizza we jumped back on the coach and continued along the valley.
We arrived at our lunch stop after another hour of gorgeous scenery. Ollantaytamba is a huge site of terraces used for farming, and the start of an Inca temple abandoned because of invasion. The stones are huge and its really hard to imagine how they got them up the hill from the quary site on the opposite side of the valley. There was also an amazing house, which we could imagine them living in, we got to stand in the top floor windows looking down onto the room below.
After a failed attempt to visit some salt mines (vetoed because we found out we had to pay) we continued to some awesome circular terraces (Moray), which looked like a huge arena.
We were taught a game here by the Peruvian scouts called the Spider Game. Six of the guys had to make a circular rugby scrum leaning shoulder to shoulder I (Becky) then had to jump on top of the scrum, put my arms round Dave’s waist and flip over! I then had to hold myself upside down whilst five other people got in similar positions round the circle. More people were supposed to get on top to make a spider but we all fell over too quickly!
We then had an epic journey home of 2 and a half hours on the coach. Everyone pretty much went to bed straight away when we got back because we were all so tired.
Sunday was another day full of tours. We travelled into Cusco on an extremely full bus, which was probably way over the weight limit! We walked around Cusco and into an underground museum where we found out all about the Inca’s traditions. We then arrived at the main square where a huge parade was going on. There were dancers and muscians everywhere, it was incredible to watch. Our team, then had a steep walk up to some more ruins which were called Sexy Women. By this point in the day we were all absolutely starving, but we found smooth rocks which everyone slide down. This cheered us up a lot!
We then walked into Cusco town centre to our guide’s house for lunch. We ate 1/4 chicken and chips each! So we were absolutely stuffed by the time it came to walk into the market square, where we saw furniture being sold on the side of the street! It was crazy! Getting a bus back to Oropesa proved difficult with the number of us that there were, but we managed to get a lift in a small minibus. By the time we reached Oropesa square the festival was over so we walked back to Asul Wasi, only to find that there had been a power cut, so diaries where written by candle light.
Becky and Katrina