What a wonderful and busy 10 days with my mother! It was so great to see her and show her how I live down here. I think it was a bit of a shock for her especially with the realization that my life down here is real and that I will not be coming home anytime soon to live; just to visit.
I will try and recap as best I can the events of our adventure together! Mom got in on a Tuesday afternoon and I was fortunate to be able to pick her up and take her home before I headed off to teach some classes. I re-worked my schedule a lot but there was no way I was going to be able to have all 10 days free with mom. It actually turned out for the best since mom had some trouble adjusting to the altitude. We went for a walking tour on Wednesday morning and in the afternoon when I had to work she passed out. Perfect!
On Thursday morning we ran some errands and found out that mom had a health insurance form she had to fill out by the next day. It was frustrating for her but a small bump in the road. She managed to get herself back to the internet place to scan everything and she even walked home. That is not an easy feat for the second day in a new city. She even did it in the dark. Way to go mom!
On Friday we took a tour of the Sacred Valley which was fun but tiring. I broke down and decided it was a good idea to buy the tourist tickets because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to see any of the ruins. We went to Pisac, Ollantaytambo and to the church in Chinchero which was quite a sight. In the evening, I sang with The Guardians at the Dragon’s Palate. It was so great to sing for my mom. She really enjoyed it almost as much as she enjoyed chatting with Elena, one of the owners of the restaurant who is a doll. ☺
Saturday was a full day of work even though it was my birthday. It didn’t matter though because after a full day of working, I was able to relax and enjoy a really nice Peña (music and dance show) dinner at Don Antonio’s with Marco and mom. It was a buffet and it was delicious! Marco gave me a rose and a really nice leather wallet. Mom gave me my violin fixed up as well as a backpack that I really really needed. Thank you mom! They sang Happy Birthday to me and presented me with a cake that I proceeded to start eating the garnish only to realize that is was for the buffet as well. Haha! It was a tasty cake! I didn’t have a crazy 5 cake, show in the night with all my students birthday like I did last year, but this was just as great if not better because I was with two of the most important people in my life! Mom also had a treat from one of the dancers dressed in the Saqras or devil costume.
On Sunday Marco played chaufer and took us to the four ruins outside of Cusco; Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay. They were fun and simple and it was a gorgeous day. In the afternoon we headed back to Marco’s house and mom met Pepe our wonderful dog! We also had chicken from El Tablon with chica to boot. It was delicious. Oh! I forgot, we had Olas Bravas for lunch which is a seafood restaurant. Yummy! It was a full day of food. As you can see below I thoroughly enjoyed Sacsayhuaman.
On Monday we got up super early and headed out to Ollantaytambo to catch the train to Aguas Calientes. A kitten made friends with me in the coffee shop and mom held her ground with the lady who attended us and wanted to charge us 30 soles for two drinks that were only 8 soles each. Way to go mom!
We boarded the train at 5:45 and left at 6:10. We arrived in Aguas Calientes around 8:45am and promptly took a bus up to the ruins. It was a gorgeous day and not too sunny until the end of our time up there which was actually quite nice. People get baked from the sun. We had the benefit of Marco’s military binoculars which allowed us to see what we think is a helicopter pad on another mountain, as well as people who climbed up to Huayna Picchu. I showed mom where Roger left the picture of Leah. She said it looked perfect. After about 3 and a half hours at Mapi we headed back down and chilled out until we had our 6:45 train back to Ollantaytambo. While getting some grub I was bombarded with a giant hug by my friend Julia who worked at Maximo and had to leave in September due to a nerve busting in her brain. Scary stuff but she is healthy and she was back with her family to do the touristy stuff. I was so happy to see her. I really bonded with her a lot in the last few months of her being here. It was a full day and exhausting. We got back to Cusco around 10:30pm and both mom and I crashed.
On Tuesday I had a lesson with my teacher Alison and in the afternoon mom and I made pumpkin pie. Oh how deliciously cinniminy her pies are. We made two; one for Marco and myself and one for Thanksgiving dinner.
On Wednesday we took a bus out to Coya to visit Alison and for me to have an unexpected pedagogy lesson. I was thinking we were going to Huchuy Cusco in Lamany but Alison had other plans. It was very interesting though and mom enjoyed it as well as the delicious lunch. We went to the Pisac market as well and shopped around for everything mom was looking for. With gifts in hand we made our way back to Cusco.
On Thursday we ran some errands and visited the popular art museum. I worked in the afternoon and evening and mom spent Thanksgiving with the wonderful people of the healing house. I felt bad leaving her because I had to work but she said it was really touching. A lot of people were very teary eyed especially since a close friend and guide name Miguel Jove had just died on the Choquequirao trek a few days before. My mom felt very blessed to be with such loving people. I am so glad! Thank you Niki and all the healing house people for hosting a great dinner. I scarfed down a huge plate later in the evening when mom came to drop it off at work. THANK YOU MOM! It was delicious and it was the first vegetarian Thanksgiving I have had. Not bad at all even though I do love me some turkey. Christmas eve....
That evening I went to Garabatos with Marco to celebrate Julia's despedida. It was super fun and she said she might be coming back in a month! PLEASE COME BACK JULIA! I MISS YOU! Seriously, it would be so much fun to have her back. The funny part of the night is that Marco forgot to pay. We think that Carlos might have paid for everything because no one cam running after us to make us pay. If that was the case, thank you Carlos. If not, too bad for you Garabatos. Haha!
On Friday we went to the Qoricancha or temple of the sun and enjoyed a final lunch at Jack’s Café. We had a quick goodbye in front of my house as I set mom off in a cab to airport. We didn’t have time to get too cry but I will admit I got a bit teary eyed as I watched her drive away. The great thing is that I just booked my tickets to come home in May so we will see each other very soon!
It was a wonderful 10 days and I am so glad and proud that my mom made such a great journey to Peru. I have a feeling she will be frequenting this country more often in the future. ;)