This summer we won't be sending the kids to camp and hitting the beach. Instead, on June 26th, Scott, Melanie, Lucas and Sydney depart for a 2 month adventure in Peru where we'll immerse ourselves in peruvian culture, volunteer to help those less privileged, hike the Inca Trail and live in the jungle. Follow our blog for regular updates, pictures and videos from all 4 of us.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 3: Taquile

Our "mama" woke us about about 6a.  We slept in our clothes and there's no running water for showers so it didn't take long for us to be "up and at 'em".  Breakfast was pancakes with jelly…which everyone loved.  After saying goodbye to Lindy (Celestina's adorable 3 year old),

then came the long dreaded trek back down to the boat, but this time with a twist…our "mama" strapped our suitcase to her back and carried it for us!  Admittedly, I did the hard work of carrying it up the hill, but Celestina carried it, strapped in a blanket and hanging from her neck, all the way down the mountain without 1 complaint or so much as a stop to rest (I was not as generous going up).  She explained that all girls on the island, starting at age 15, learn to carry very heavy loads on their back…Melanie and Sydney have a lot of work to do to catch up!!!

Once loaded up, we started the short trip over to Taquile where we observed how the locals weave clothing the old fashion way…by hand on a loom, crafting designs entirely by memory.  Then…more hiking.  We spent the next hour walking to the city center:

where we had lunch of lake trout and of course potatoes and rice!  There's really not much more to tell about Taquile…it's much like Amantani where locals spend their entire time either catering to tourists or farming potatoes.

After lunch we walked over 520 steps down to our boat where we started the now 3 hour boat ride (which should probably only take 20 minutes on a normal boat) back to Puno.  In Puno we hit an internet cafe, since I was suffering from withdrawal, and then we had pizza dinner (pizza is incredibly popular in Puno…you can barely walk 10 feet without coming across a place that serves it).  By this time the kids could barely walk…in fact, Lucas fell asleep on the lobby couch at the hotel we where we waited to be picked up.  Our ride showed up at 9p, and took us to the bus terminal where we boarded the "night bus" back to Cusco.  Honestly, the night bus may have been the highlight of the trip for the kids.  Each seat reclined into a bed, we had movies (the kids watched Ice Age in Spanish) and we even had wifi!!  We probably didn't fall asleep (in the same clothes we've now worn for 2 days straight) until near midnight and the bus rolled into Cusco at just before 5a.

Exhausted and disgusting we spent all of Sunday recovering.  Enjoy all the pics and the few videos we took.  Next weekend is Machu Picchu!

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