We left La Falda a month ago today, taking the reverse of the journey described here, with the difference that we spent a night on the bus, a night in Humahuaca (in northern Argentina), then a night on the train followed by a bus to La Paz from Oruro.
It was a bit surreal to be back in La Paz as tourists after having lived there for five months last year. We stayed at the Adventure Brew Hostel, where we had stayed for 10 days back in 2012, in part to see the city from a different center point. We did the things we needed to: stopping by the university for last logistics, dropping off a borrowed phone and saying thanks and so long for now to the good folks at the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund who helped us settle in and find a place for Anna and Zeke at the Los Amigos school. We didn’t manage to have api and bunuelo or say hello to Dona Marcela at our neighborhood store or ride the teleferico one more time. But we think we will be back in La Paz.
After two days, we headed for Copacabana and the Peruvian border.
It was a familiar journey, having done the reverse in 2012. It is rarely bad for a bus to arrive early, but our overnight bus got into Cusco at 4:30am, an hour before we were told it would. We had just resigned ourselves to waiting at least for daylight before finding a taxi when a woman came up and told us about a hostel for 80 soles (about $25) a night. Now I wouldn’t normally recommend getting a hostel from a stranger in a bus station, but we didn’t commit to taking it, and she said we could go there and check in now, at 4:30am. So we did, and the Hostal Milenio was a bit rundown, but clean enough and it felt good to sleep horizontally for a few hours.
We spent two nights there before heading to Ollantaytambo and the Casa de Wow, a sweet hostel we spend a few weeks at in 2012. Three and a half weeks later (with a 2-day gap), we are still here, and we think we will make it our base for the next few months. Ollantaytambo is known as the “Living Inca City”; on this street are many houses with the famous slanted doorways; inside, instead of a museum or shop, there is laundry hanging and chickens in the courtyard. In 2012 I wrote hereOllantaytambo is charmed; we still think so. We realize that in February 2012 we were still recovering from the car accident in January, and we didn’t explore outside of town all that much. This time around, we are. There are the famous Inca structures just above town (that cost lots of money to get into) but there are free things with hardly anyone else around all over. These last photos are from a recent hike to ruins above the famous ruins.