Last weekend I went camping in the countryside of Peru for the second time in a row. It is so rejuvenating to see the sun. Here in Lima now that it is winter, it is overcast every single day. The most confusing part, is that it doesn’t rain. The sky is just grey. I never thought to take weather into consideration when planning to study abroad, but honestly it is a factor worth considering. The overcast days made me long for the thunderstorms in Mississippi, therefore my mother sent me a video of one several days ago. I never thought I would miss thunderstorms, but I also never really considered that there are places in the world (besides extreme deserts) that don’t have them.
Our camping trip was to a place called Marcahuasi. It is known for its eroded rocks that are shaped like faces and animals. Some claim that the rocks are proof of a pre-Incan culture while others claim they are the work of aliens that visited the planet. (I personally think it was just wind and rain but the other stories are much more interesting) I had read about Marcahuasi before coming to Peru and it had been at the top of my list of places I wanted to go at some point. The only dilemma was that you need to camp there and I was without a tent and sleeping bag (did not think to pack these for a semester abroad, but I definitely should have). Fortunately, people are always willing to lend you things. Borrowed a tent from a friend and a sleeping bag from my host family.
Three friends and I went in our Peruvian friend’s car. When estimating how much time it would take to arrive in Marcahuasi, we did not take into consideration that the final stretch of the way would be up the side of a mountain on a two way road (which was really only wide enough for one way). Due to the floods and landslides that affected the country in March, the road was in pretty poor shape. Would have been better to have been in a bigger car, but we luckily eventually made it. We arrived in the dark and hiked up to the campsite (which is normally a three hour hike but it only took us two hours) with a trusty donkey to help us carry up our stuff. Marcahuasi not only is known for its eroded rocks, but also for it’s view of the stars. Unfortunately during our night there, there were clouds that prevented us from seeing the stars. The clouds disappeared the next day though and I was able to drink in the warmth and comfort of the sun (also in the night the temperature dropped to what I believe had to have been below freezing because the grass had ice on it in the early morning).
This weekend however, I decided to take a break and stay in Lima. Don’t have any special plans really other than spend as much time as possible with friends as we honestly do not have that much time left with each other. Planning my end of the semester trip to Cusco, Puno, and Arequipa with some of my Colombian friends and really looking forward to it.