Alternating with the dry areas, the villages located in the green valleys are so alive. The best word to describe them could be “movement”. I had little flashes from Morocco, India, and Cape Verde. There were many details that reminded me of those places. The tuk-tuks like in Asia (I didn’t know I was going to see moto-taxis in Peru! I love them!), colourful shops and markets like in Morocco, the unfinished and semi-painted constructions like in Cape Verde.
That was actually something very striking. Pretty much every house had the second floor half built. Head high at the front of the house everything looked nice and new, but looking up at the sides of the houses, it was unfinished, unpainted and you could see the raw and grey materials. It was so startling that I asked about it. The best explanations were, “this is a way to avoid paying taxes because you only start paying once the house is finished”, and about the painting, “this is because at one point someone is going to build a house next to them, so why should they waste the money”. So, mystery solved as to the look of many of the little villages we passed through.
When you are travelling, arriving somewhere where you find smiley and friendly faces makes you feel so good and welcome. It makes you feel at home. I had never travelled to a Spanish speaking country and to be able to communicate in my mother language was so awesome! During this trip, I was going to be able to express my thoughts exactly the way I wanted. I am sure this helps to connect to people, but it was easy whatever language you were speaking. Everyone was friendly and happy to chat and answer questions about whatever we wanted to ask. It was beautiful to see how involved they are about protecting their environment and how much they know about their history. I had some very interesting conversations with taxi drivers!