So last night turned in to a very strange but hilarious night. It started when we heard a brass band playing outside so we went to check it out and there was some kind of fiesta around the main square with traditional dancers and music from live brass bands. After a while we decided to go in search for a bar and with some dodgy directions from the hotel reception we headed off through town. After walking up and down for a while we found a busy place with beer so we went in and saw there was a fighting ring in the centre and everyone was sitting around it. We had no idea what kind of fighting it was until a little while later we saw a picture of a chicken on the wall then everything began to make sense. The plucked feathers on the floor, the blood up the stairs, the chicken footprints in the ring, we had just walked in to a cockfighting arena. Safe to say we made a quick exit before the fighting began!
We continued our search for the bar and after asking for directions a second time we found it, and it was disappointing. It was a dull old fashioned diner type bar with basically nobody in, not even bar staff!
We decided we may as well go sit in the square with some beer from the supermarket. It didn't take us long to attract the attention of a drunk called Maximo. He stood beside us for ages trying to make conversation but we had a problem. I don't speak enough Spanish, but Elizabeth does, however Maximo spoke the local language of Quechuan, which neither of us spoke. After a few hugs from Maximo he began to cry telling us he was all alone and we were his only friends. Then he asked us to go wash with him, at this point we sent him on his way and moved to the other side of the square so he couldnt find us when he returned.
In our new seats it didn't take long to attract attention once again, this time from a group of kids. They found it hilarious to poke me when I wasn't looking, then turn around when I looked. It was like a 'poke the gringo see if it roars' game!
We eventually gave up on the square and sat on our balcony for a while waving at the weird guy staring up at us until he waved back, but he wouldn't, he just kept on staring! All in all a pretty interesting night!
Today we decided to go and visit the local waterfalls so after a very cheap breakfast of empañadas, little meat pasties which cost around 25p each, we headed for the bus station. After arguing and haggling with combi drivers, taxi drivers and what seemed like everyone else in the bus station we finally found a taxi to take us to the nearest town. I have to thank Elizabeth for actually getting us there due to my complete lack of Spanish comprehension when spoken at speed! The taxi weaved it's way through the mountains with amazing scenery until we reached our destination. From here we had to take a tuk tuk to the waterfalls, which chugged up and down his along a tiny dirt track perched on the side of a mountain but eventually we got to the beginning of the waterfalls. We made our way to the first one and the view when you get there was spectacular. You arrive at the very top of the waterfall looking over to the forest and river below. It had recently been raining upstream so the water was really powerful. We made our way down to the bottom of the waterfall where we wanted to go into the water. The gaps between the rocks were covered on big thick cobwebs which made me more than a little concerned, but Elizabeth, being an Ozzie, said they would just be little spiders and there would be nothing to worry about so we went and stood in the river for photos and after about 20 minutes Elizabeth began acting strange. She then decided to tell me she saw a huge spider run across a rock, jump in to the water, SWIM, then climb on to another rock! Safe to say I didn't stick around for long but wanted to check it was safe to get out the water, which was when I saw the worst thing ever. A huge spider was perched under a rock just chilling, eyeing up my feet! As soon as I saw this I grabbed my things and fled up the stairs to safety, no way was a spider eating me today. Naturally Elizabeth found it hilarious.
After this ordeal we headed to the second waterfall. This waterfall was busier as a tour group had arrived also but when we got there again it was amazing. You arrive at the bottom this time where there is a huge natural pool to swim in so naturally we spent the next hour or so swimming under the waterfalls, which was one of the most relaxing things I think I have ever done.
When we got out to take some photos a local guide who we recognised from the town centre came over to talk, mainly because he liked Elizabeth. He took her email address then we fled to catch a tuk tuk to take us back to the main road, which was about a 40 minute ride away. This didn't go so smoothly, while waiting a spanish girl came over to talk to me to practice her English but had to go when her tour bus was leaving, she was on the same tour as the tour guide we had just met. As no tuk tuks arrived we were kind of stuck so we decided to pimp Elizabeth out to the guide and see if he could take us to the main road on the bus, he went to check but took a while and in the mean time the Spanish girl asked how we were getting back, Elizabeth seized the moment and pimped me out and the girl went to ask the driver if we could join them. He said yes so we packed on the bus and all the peruvians laughed at us right until we got off. All in all a pretty fun and relaxing day! Now it's time for the 6 hour bus trip back to Huancayo for my final week of volunteering!