Sunday, May 1, 2016
This morning has been a true test of our resilience. The overnight bus ride wound up being both too hot and too cold, crowded, smelly, and an all around unpleasant experience. I think if we added up the amount of sleep we all got, we might have a full 8 hours. However, this is all part of the adventure. This morning at the bus station in Cuzco, we were one weary, sad-looking crew of teens. The lack of paper towels or toilet paper at the bus station did not help.
However, as soon as we left the bus station, things started to look up. The recently risen sun was lighting up the sparse section of clouds in the sky with silver and the ride to the hostel gave us a good look at the hills of beautiful churches and residential spaces that outline Cuzco. The hostel wasn't ready for us until 11:00 so we left some of the more "under the weather" members of the group on the couches and terrace and went out to explore the early morning scene. We quickly realized that there was something going on today in the Plaza de Armas when we saw a gathering crowd of people dressed up in traditional dress, adorned with sequins, tassels, and baby llamas swinging from their backs. We sat in the square, munching on tamales and watching them prepare for what we believe was going to be a parade, and by the end there must've been hundreds of fully adorned Peruvians in the plaza preparing for the parade. After getting our first cups of real Peruvian coffee, and watching the festivities from the balcony of the square, we decided to go back to the hostel and check in on our room and our infirmed--and to get a nap.