Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today we have the day off school for Inti Raymi, the festival of the sun for the winter solstice. It's very nice to have a break, we've been busy and I'm always tired. We went to the parade things this morning but I wasn't feeling too well during it, it was way too crowded.

Strikes started here a couple days ago and at first I was pretty worried even though they told us not to be. Strikes happen here all the time and are nonviolent. These ones are a bit different because people came from outside in city of Cusco. They're just trying to get attention for their cause by stopping traffic and stuff. They burned a bridge on their way here but a lot of them were stopped by the police outside the city. I'm less worried now because the big festival is over and I still haven't seen any protesters even though they were apparently close to my house. It's interesting and they seem to have a good cause and it sounds like the most it will affect us is inconveniencing transportation.

Classes are going well. Geography and humanities are taught by Cal Poly professors and they're very understanding of us being tired and busy all the time. They're both good, interesting teachers too. My Spanish class is hard, I'm in the "advanced" class with 7 other people. I'm sure I will learn a lot.

I can't believe we've only been here a week. It feel like much longer...4 more to go.

Anyway...Sunday we went to Pisac, the Sacred Valley of the Incas so here are the pictures! We drove to the top of the mountain where there were ruins and walked down. I was tired at the end but the hike is probably nothing compared to upcoming ones like Machu Picchu. It was a beautiful hike. Afterwards, we ate lunch in a restaurant in Pisac then went to the market. It's huge and fun to barter, everything's pretty cheap.

We stopped at a llama/alpaca farm on the way. I loved it, they're all so cute and funny looking.

View of the Valley and the Urubamba river on the drive in.
You can't see it but the mountain in the back middle is has snow on its peak!

The ruins up on the mountain!

The Incans made these terraces along the mountain sides and we walked along them on the way down..amazing.

This is the first actual Incian Trail we hiked. When we got to the bottom I couldn't believe we went that whole way.

The famous Pisac market!

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