First stop in Peru was the historic, beautiful city of Cusco. We had a few days to explore before we relocated to the village of Tipon, around forty minutes from the centre and one mighty uncomfortable minibus ride back in.
Tipon is famous for its Guinea pig, which I tried and was just not worth the hassle; too little meat, too much staring into petrified rodent face. More importantly is it also the home of NGO Taxi, which is our most recent Workaway place. More accurately, it is the home of Yudy, a wonderfully awesome woman who accepted us into her beautiful house and made us feel at home.
On our arrival at NGO Taxi we were, I must say, a little confused. We thought we were heading to a charity running volunteer placements and instead found two men, an idea, and not much more. Also, and this was the biggest stumbling block for me, it probably won’t ever be a charity, but a company.
Not to dwell too much on the details, I can safely say we had a good, if quiet, three weeks, largely due to the constant cheery company of Chris, whose optimism is overwhelming, beautiful, sweet Yudy and the wonderful Yoel, whose delicious cooking I hope to replicate. Unfortunately we (which is obviously to say I) had our fair share of disagreements with the founders Stefan and Kristof, who are really passionate about, if not extremely good at coherently explaining, their dream. We were unexpectedly left alone a couple of times, time which I used to perfect my crochet (I now make socks too!), luckily after a run of constant traveling we were glad of some quiet time, but really we had signed up to be useful, not crochet! (NB egg does not crochet, only me). Hopefully we were helpful, and one day the organisation is up and running helping people.
Other things about our time in Tipon; Noel and Leon and the puppies running around the garden, our second stay with no hot water and a return to bucket showers (plus my realisation that they are probably not better for the environment), many attempts at making a successful fire with wet logs, some furniture rearranging, delicious mate with herbs from the garden, a strange fire volcano and many really good night’s sleep.
Meanwhile, we were lucky to be in Cusco for Easter week, so we got to see the procession of the master of the earthquakes. This was pretty impressive.
We passed a delightful Easter weekend hiking up to the ruins in Tipon, and then watching the sound of music with homemade mug cake. Other social highlights include Tuesday night film nights in Cusco (a catalogue of ever more brilliant but depressing films), poker night and a lovely leaving meal.
Egg had mentioned that I need to say about coca brownies. He loves them. It became our Cusco treat, he even argued with the lady in the shop once for a bigger brownie. Coca is interesting actually. We went to the coca museum (and the cocoa museum!) and we chewed coca leaves (I dribble green and egg gets confused and eats them).