Hi, my name is Becca! We have arrived at beautiful Cusco, nestled in the Andes mountains. On the flight from Lima, early in the morning, we passed over the mountains and munched on crackers, very excited to land. When we got there, we got on a bus and drove to a welcome party, complete with marshmallows, advice, and coca tea. I liked the coca tea a little, and it really helped with the altitude sickness. I took some photos of the nearby fountain and pretty flowers.
Afterwards, we got back on the bus and started driving up the mountains. We drove in a zig-zag line, so that the sudden change in altitude wouldn’t bother us much. Along the way, we saw small villages and waved to workers and kids going to school. They have to walk several miles each way to get to school every day! I could never do that. Our guides, Luis and Edgar, told us about the buildings in the villages: the straw and mud bricks that dry in the sun, the crosses in between miniature bull statues on the tops of the roofs, the formerly Spanish houses that have the coats of arms above the doors…. We learned a lot.
We made a stop at a “weaving school,” where local women weave in the traditional Incan style. A woman named Nilda started the school because she didn’t want the Incan traditions to disappear. I watched as women took alpaca wool, made into soft yarn, strung it on their looms and moved a wooden shuttle in and out. They made blankets, ponchos, hats, and scarves that were for sale. There were three little kids there with their mothers. I took a picture of an especially cute mother-daughter pair. I hope you like it!