Q & A

How am I?  Good thanks. Never been better. Well actually that’s a lie. I have been better. But this is pretty good. Up there with the best I’ve ever felt.

Where am I? Cusco in Peru. Staying in a lovely boutique hotel right off the Plaza de Armas – the central square. Smack bang in the middle of tourist heaven. The main square is literally outside my hotel entrance.

Any bad things about the hotel?  The Starbucks and my hotel share the same entrance…

Why is that bad?  I see a lot of bewildered looking people looking for the Starbucks but not sure where it is. So I point them in the right direction

How is life otherwise?  Good. Just had a lovely lunch and I am currently sitting in the Starbucks with a black coffee in front of me, typing this, and occasionally looking out of the window onto the Plaza de Armas. The sun is shining, the big main Cathedral is shimmering in the golden haze, the red terracotta rooftops of Cusco look magical in the dappled sunlight. I think I will stay here till the sun sets, and watch the colours change – and maybe, take some pictures. Would you like to see some?

What have I been doing in Cusco?  Well I did the Sacred Valley Tour yesterday – that took the whole day. I’ve been walking around this lovely town – taking in the place, wandering up the alleyways, fending off the persistent touts – and er, lifting up children from off the pavements and buying them sweets. Yes, I have. There was a 3 year old girl in a strop lying on the pavement crying whilst her mother (sitting in a roadside stall where she worked) looked on laughing. I picked the girl up, took her to her mother, and brought her some sweets – a lollypop. Yes, she stopped crying.

How do I feel?  The desperateness of the people really gets to me. I see little girls with their school bags sucking on ice-creams happy and content on their way home from school in their dirty uniforms – and I see the same girls, a little older, hanging around the pavement and square – selling massages, restaurant meals, and the ubiquitous tourist stuff – to the foreigners. It breaks my heart and I buy things because I want to help them. This world is so beautiful, yet so cruel and difficult.

When is the last time I cried?  On the super luxury train from Puno to Cusco. I was so happy on the train. The experience of standing at the back viewing platform and looking out as the train passed through the market, and the people got off the track – where they had their stalls – was funny and yet unlike anything I’d seen before. And they were waving at us, – we as we stood at the back of the train looking out, and they wondering what it must be like to be us. But that was not what made me cry. The train stopped at a scheduled stop in the middle of the mountains, and a group of villagers walked along the track and came to us, begging us to buy their wares. A little girl – not more than four – holding a llama doll, offering it to me for 10 Soles. She broke my heart. She reminded me of my niece – yet compare the lives. It’s so unfair. But what has fairness got to do with it. Life is cruel. Life is unfair. I long for some justice – not for me, but for those that don’t have. For those that look in through the glass, from outside. She broke my heart. I gave her 20 Soles. I didn’t take the Llama – what will I do with it?

Have I been to Machu Picchu yet?  No. Will go when I am ready. Need to be mentally in the right place, to make the most of it!

When was the last time I laughed?  Not more than an hour ago. An old crone of a woman walked up to me, and tried to sell me some cochineal wrist bands and waist bands. I refused and she cackled: “Hey man this is good stuff man, what’s da wrong with you?!”

Reminded me of that scene in the movie ‘The Beach’. You know which one right?

What is it like being a tourist / traveler?  A burden. The guilt starts building up and it begins to weigh you down. After some time the weight is too much for you to carry.

Why should I carry all the weight?  Good question. But I don’t see others willing to carry any. But why the guilt? Is it my fault?

How is my tooth?  Back to normal. The stitches are out and I use both sides of my mouth to chew now. Thanks for asking!

When was the last time I experienced love at first sight?  This morning. When I looked in the mirror

Have I still got that cool Bolivian hat?  Yes. I wear it to bed. Smells a little now, so I have brought a new one. More colourful one this time. Made of ‘Alpaca’ wool. Very warm but a little itchy. Keep scratching my head…and I look like a right gringo wearing it. Like a bee magnet, a magnet for the touts and beggars, and sellers, and massage women. A babe magnet…

What am I wearing right now?  Slippers, shorts, T-Shirt, Alpaca hat, sun-glasses and pheremones

Do I look sexy?  Do you even have to ask?

When will I be posting some new pics?  Soon. Be patient.

What am I listening to right now?  The Gladiator theme tune. ‘Now we are free’. See below. The perfect background music to this majestic place of bewitching landscapes that ache your sensibility, and throw your soul into disarray.

Music to dream to…

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