Location: Paucartambo, Peru
We arrived back to Cusco from 3 days in Paucartambo last night. The festival was amazing, the little village completely packed. Wed morning at 2am we took a car to Tres Cruses (approx 1.5 hr drive) to view the salida del sol (sunrise). It was bitterly cold (-2 c), but fortunately they have a little ´snack bar´ where we were able to get some hot coffee and pan con queso (bread with cheese). The sunrise was amazing - you are way up high in the Andes overlooking the cloud forest and the sun rises over the clouds. You can watch it moving.
Throughout the days and nights in Paucartambo, groups representing different areas dance through the streets. The music and fireworks go on day and night, usually letting up a bit around 2am, then on again bright and early. Since the festival is a religious one, the chuch bells ring out and people gather at the church steps and inside. The second night there is a huge fireworks display - not like any we are used to. They are set off right in the middle of the village. Fortunately all the roofs are made of clay tile or tin. In our "penthouse" at the hostel (story for another day) we had only the tin roof above us and all night I could hear the fireworks go, then them landing on the roof above me.
I´m uploading a few pictures, check them out!
Location: London, England
We arrived at our hotel in London just before halftime of the England-someone game. We checked in and watched the rest of the half in the lobby with the hotel staff and miscellaneous visitors.
After the game ended and we had settled in, we wandered off in search of the Indian restaurant we had stumbled onto during our 2002 stay. The area around Buckingham Palace is beautiful and peaceful after the tourists have gone home. We were greeted by a colourful parade of flags and music as we headed out on our curry adventure.
My brilliant memory served me well. Putting together the Trocadero mall and TGI Fridays, we found the back street and the Indian Brassiere. Ahhh, yes, the food was lovely.
On the walk back we had a chance encounter with a Prince.
We were crossing the street and 3 gentlemen were crossing towards us. The one on the far left was in formal military uniform and highly decorated. As we were drawn to him, Shaina and I both noticed the man in the center. We passed them and then looked at each other. Both of us had our mouths open and said 'that was Prince Charles!'. We turned and watched them disappear into the building across the street (later identified by Papa as Prince Charles' London residence).
On the way back, we stopped at a nearby pub to watch the next world cup game, and Shaina and I shared our first pint together.