October 3, 2005
I started out my day with a trip to the Museo de Antropologia in the center of Huaraz. Like the museum in Lima, there were lots of artifacts from the prehispanic civilizations here. I'm so fascinated with the various cultures. It's strange how the Incas basically enslaved the other cultures of this continent and forced them to change their cultures, only to have the same thing be done to them one hundred years later by the Spaniards. A taste of their own medicine I guess. This time, I had a guide who showed me the whole museum. We chatted a lot about life in Peru and the US, the similarities and the differences. We talked entirely in Spanish, and surprisingly, I was able to understand 75% of it. It's weird how fast you can pick up a language when you are actually travelling in a foreign country (of course, I knew a lot of Spanish before my trip, but I hadn't used it in seven years).
After the museum visit, I met with Morad and we went to get breakfast. It just so happened that the owner of the shop we went to was from France and everyone in the place spoke French except me. It was a very bizarre experience when I had to think about two foreign languages at the same time. I eventually just zoned out and watched the boob tube while everyone else was chatting away.
In the afternoon, we walked to a lookout point near the city. It was a long hike up, but I held my own. The only problem was that we went around 4:00 PM. This time of year, it always rains at 4:00. I didn't get very good pictures, but the view was still pretty good, despite being so wet.
On the way back down, we noticed an interesting restaurant. We decided to get lunch and discovered that one of their main menu items was "cuy," which means "guinea pig" in Spanish. Both of us wanted to try it, so we each got 1/2 of a fried cuy. There wasn't much meat on it, and it was a little dry, but believe it or not, it tasted like chicken. Luckily, I got a huge soup, or I would've left that place hungry.
After doing some shopping around, I decided to go with Morad on a 4 day, 3 night trek in an area called "Santa Cruz." We'll be going with 3 other people I haven't met yet. It should be an amazing experience, as the area I'm in is home to the world's highest tropical mountains. I won't be able to get on the Internet until at least Thursday, probably Friday, so I'm just getting caught up tonight. Check back in a few days. I'll probably have lots of great pictures and stories to tell.