1.8 Could a llama trample me?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a group of just thirty five adults or seventy children are able to trample a human being to death.

This is true of just a small herd of cows or horses, even fewer camels or elephants, or perhaps a larger group of pigs or goats. Chickens or ducks can trample on me all they like, but I doubt the effect would be the same.

For this reason, I am afraid of most farmyard animals. (me)

It just makes good sense.

What does not, therefore, make good sense, is how I ended up riding a horse, hooves and teeth and all, over the sunny foothills surrounding Cusco, and actually finding myself having quite a good time.


Yesterday morning, we sacrificed the neños (I mean, we sacrificed going to the neños – very important clarification, kiddos) so that I, and Kati, who has now also succumbed to the megavirus, could be well rested enough for our planned riding trip. This trip is something that we have been planning for weeks and we haggled like crazy for it. The three of us went into the tour guy´s little office, sat down, got out our notebooks and pens and played hardball for a good half an hour to come up with the price we got. I feel so gangster.

I also felt a little like an English country gentleman, casually saddling up a horse and going for an afternoon ride, apart from of course, there is and was nothing casual about my horsemanship. I generally try not to look it straight in the eye (is that horses, or owls?) and stay away from the business end. Although, the business end of a horse is all the ends, so I make a pretty hilarious sight, I am sure.


I am Indiana Jones. Can´t stop, won´t stop.


Outskirts of Saqsay

Once I´m on the horse, though, I figure it really can´t trample me, so I just enjoyed strolling around the countryside and generally channelling Indiana Jones to my heart´s content. We saw another side of Saqsaywaman (apparently a fortress, not a temple, my bad) and also the Temple of the Moon. There was a sign up saying that you could only visit the temple barefoot so we spent a long time prancing about with no shoes on before we realised that we were on the path and you only had to take your shoes off when you were on the temple. We hurriedly redressed ourselves and tried not to look embarassed.


Temple of the Moon


We really enjoyed the riding, but afterwards, our guide, who didn´t speak English (or, by all accounts, Spanish?) sort of ushered us off to wait on the kerb. We assumed the taxi driver that was included with the riding tour would be with us shortly. Half an hour later, one of a group of guys having a kick about on the other side of the road waved towards us and shouted “Havier?” I just kind of ignored him, but then we remembered that our taxi driver was called Havier and after much gesticulation, while still managing to play football remarkably well, the guy came over with a small child in tow. He smiled, loaded his son in to the boot of the taxi, turned to us and announced “I am Havier”. Now, he clearly wasn´t Havier. However, he clearly had the keys to the taxi and the authorisation so in we got. On the way back, his son periodically tried to climb out of the window, or sort of dive at us from the boot, and in an attempt to stop the little boy from clambering snottily all over us, I settled down to chat to him about his sabre tooth tiger rucksack. Nearing the plasa, the driver periodically yelled “Polizia! Polizia!” although whether this is because he is a wanted criminal, or because he wanted his son to sit down and try and look inconspicuous, we will never know. If it was the latter, it certainly didn´t work because the little guy contined roaring and laughing hysterically. Just as we pulled up at our destination, he took a good look at the back of Kati´s head, lifted his Sabre-tooth-tiger-rucksack, and, with a roar, leapt forward, and took a huge swing. Bullseye. If it wasn´t so hysterically funny, it might have been quite harrowing.

Anyway, we wanted to chat to the tour provider because a few of the things with the tour still needed to be discussed. He wasn´t having it, and so I did what any self respecting woman does when she is in a difficult position. I turned in to my Mother. Also, slightly, my Grandmother. Anybody even vaguely acquainted with my family will understand just how formidable that combination would be. We had words with the tour man, and managed to smooth things out.

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This morning, Kati was sick and Wang didn´t want to get sick, so I took the bus to see Los Neños by myself. I was really sad to say goodbye to them, and El Profesoria made me the most beautiful woven bracelet ´from me and the kids so you won´t forget us´I have obviously loved every second of the volunteer work, and I think it made me realise that childcare is something that I could do seriously, in one capacity or another, and it´s not just ´something I do.´

Might be Radio Silence for a few days now, as we are planning to head to Lake Titicaca (that will never not be funny) and then we are beginning the Inca Trail (SAVE ME). As ever, I will post updates as regulary as possible, but please don´t assume I´m dead quite as readily as all that. If you start to get worried and feel the need to write a touching obituary extolling my many virtues, my inbox is always open. (Just kidding..)