Thoughts, notes, and observations at random

Cusco Travel Blog

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Scarcrow/Idol White Jesus in the Colca Canyon.
So i've been down here in Peru for two weeks now. Fatigue is starting to set in onto every nook and cranny of my body and every aspect of my day to day existence.  My inexperience with traveling and specifically long term travel is certainly playing a large role in this. It doesn't help that i wake up at the drop of a feather and that the hostel walls are paper thin.

Tomorrow i wake up at 330am and begin a 5 day trek that takes us from glacier at 4,500 meters to jungle and finishes at Machu Pichu. I hope i muster the energy.

Anyway enough whining. Let us proceed to the randomness.

- Jesus

Jesus is SERIOUS business here. Giant jesus idols over look every town and city, usually standing (looming) on high points where they can be seen by the entire population.
White Jesus looms over Cusco.
If a town doesn't have a Jesus statue standing sentinel giant cross symbols are carved or cut into the hills or mountains above, letting everyone know and never forget that God is watching. I even ran into a jesus scarecrow in the Colca Canyon, on the trail between to small villages, literally in the middle of freaking no where. Churches and cathedrals are to Peru as McDonalds is to the USA.

Now, im not a huge fan of religion. I believe organized religion subverts intellect and to an extent free will. So it baffles me that Jesus is what he is here, in a country that had NO idea of jesus before the oh...1550 or so. And lets not forget that the Spaniards were not gentle with their occupation and religious conversion of South America. They brought their god into this new world of imposing mountains, lush valleys, and dark jungles thru fire, blood, steel, slavery and influenza.
A warning of things to come? Sadly this wasnt the only plastic bottle i came across in the Colca Canyon.
  Yet 95% of Peru is Catholic.

I don't get it.

- Litter

Littering is a severe issue in Peru. The roads leading into cities are paved with discarded rubbish. The main squares are kept clean, well maincured and pristine but venture outside of the gringo zones and you can find entire random landfills, consisting mostly of plastic. There is a lack of garbage cans on the streets and Peruvians have no qualms with chucking used napkins, bottles, whathaveyou right onto the side walk. I did some research and learned some startling facts. Peru produces nearly 200 million plastic bottles every month. Plastic bottles of Aqua, Inca Cola, Coca Cola, and cheaper sugar bomb sodas can be found everywhere. Little kids kick them around in lieu of a soccer ball. Here's the "kicker" tho.
No one said there wasn't beauty in religion. Too bad the Spaniards pulled down Inca buildings and used the material to build their own.
..Peru has NO plastic recycling. Nothing. So that's  billion bottles a year that lay around waiting for Jesus to return. The cynic in me thinks that if things continue as they are the gorgeous Colca Canyon will be a giant landfill in 100 years.

- Toilets

You can't flush toilet paper. The sewage pipes are too narrow and clog very easily. So if you are lucky enough to have a functional bathroom in peru you deposit your soiled paper into a small bin found next to the toilet. And a word of advice...if you are staying in hostels while down here go to the supermarket and buy a supply of toilet paper. It beats having to wipe your ass with the sandpaper type stuff they provide.

- Traveling Solo can be a cathartic yet lonely venture. Being outgoing is a huge plus. Opps.

- French Fucking Tourists

Ok, so ive heard many stories about french people, most of them disparaging. We've all heard the rude french stereotype. I don't know if im just unlucky or if there is something to the label but wow. First of all there are a lot of french tourists here. Secondly, 95% percent of the ones ive interacted with have been fucktards. Rude, inconsiderate of others, loud, and obnoxious. Is it imperative to drunkenly shout until 5am in a crowded hostel? Is is so important to get on the bus that you shove and shoulder people who are waiting with you? Is your soccer match more important than the eardrums of the people around you? Would it hurt to say 'Hola' when you run into another hiking tourists on a ridge? Is tipping your bartender or waiter a even a single sole (about 35 cents) against some sort code of conduct?

I don't know. It's baffling. 

- Walking ATM machine

That's how you feel as a gringo here. It's especially evident in Cusco. I had to buy a t-shirt that reads "No Gracias" because how many times can you say that in a day? I consider myself very sympathetic to the poverty here and the financial need of the peoples but you start feeling self conscious after a while.

- Learn some Spanish before coming to Peru!!

- 14 days in Peru as of tomorrow. 44 hours spent on buses.

- When in Cusco and if interested in the night life try to step away from the clubs around the Plaza De Armas and venture towards the native entertainment, especially if you know someone local. I am lucky enough to have met a Polish gringo from my neighborhood in brooklyn and his Peruvian girlfriend my second day here. They gave me the grand night life tour. I'll spare you all the grizzly details. I'll say this's interesting. Beats the gringo filled clubs pumping bad american music and selling over priced drinks.

Stigen says:
Great blog :) Looking forward to going there in a few months.... I will certainly get one of those t-shirts...and I'll try to stay in the more obscure places that are hopefully devoid of french people :)
Posted on: Jan 19, 2012
RJ82 says:
hahah hey great tips!
Posted on: May 21, 2010
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Scarcrow/Idol White Jesus in the C…
Scarcrow/Idol White Jesus in the …
White Jesus looms over Cusco.
White Jesus looms over Cusco.
A warning of things to come? Sadly…
A warning of things to come? Sadl…
No one said there wasnt beauty in…
No one said there wasn't beauty i…
photo by: Vlindeke