We decided to hire a car to take us to Abancay and when we showed up to to the car place they told us they would not be able to take us because the farmers were striking and had blocked off the roads. They were striking because of they have not had enough rain for their crops and they want the government to do something to help them. We were not sure what to do so we went to see if any buses were leaving. Our driver called us a few minutes later to say that he was going to take us through, he said the roads were clear enough. When you rent a car and driver, you rent the seat so we planned on paying for the whole backseat, but a couple from Argentina wanted to go too. Lyle took the front seat and I sat in the back with the couple and it wasn't too bad. You just need to hang on to something everytime you take one of the millions of hairpin turns, but we were not flopping all over each other like I thought we would.
Below are some pictures of how they block the road. They put huge trees, logs and rocks across the road. Road crews had been working all morning trying to clear a path for vehicles to get through.
Finally we made it passed all the road blocks to Andahuaylas. As soon as we got out of the van a parade greeted us. Wasn't that nice of the Andahuaylans? Each local village or area has their own traditional costumes and dances. Peruvians love to dance. This parade was not as fancy as the one in Puno, but still all those handmade costumes were beautiful.
We had a little time to hang out at the Park. We really like this city. We were stared at a lot because of our white skin, in Cusco there are a lot of tourists, but this place is so hard to get to they do not have many North Americans visit.
Here are just a few pictures I took while in the park. They have this little boardwalk along the creek with all kinds of shops.
|look-alike shopping bags|
|The children are so patient, this boy will wait all day with his mother while she works.|
|This lady is selling roasted squash, she explained how she cooks it for 11 hours in a wood-burning oven. Then she wraps it up in some blankets and puts them in her wheel borrow and she is off to the park to sell hot roasted squash.|
|Waiting while his mother sells hot dogs at her stand. If they are not at school, the kids are at work with their moms.|
|These dogs are in dog heaven at the market.|
|I have seen so many little women like this walking in and out of these tiny doors. This is where she lives and she just sent her grandson off to school.|
|The Zone Leaders that set up appointments for us. We love hanging out with the missionaries and they even get a little help on their own family history when we are not too busy.|
|Just setting in the park in Abancay.|
|This 9 year-old girl is so cute. We gave her a my family booket with her picture in it. She is going to have to get permission to open an account because she is so young, but she is excited to put her family tree on familysearch.|
|Well, we planned ahead and reserved the front top seats in this nice bus weeks ago for our trip home. So Lyle gets all comfy in his seat when he notices that the seat will not stay upright, he just slowly falls backward. Oh well!|
Then the bus gets a flat up on this mountain road. I sat for an hour watching people come to this stream to wash their cars, clothes and whatever else needs washing.
Despite the flat tire and the man next to me, it was a beautiful drive. We are living in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The other missionary couple and our friends (and Lyle's favorite companion on his mission in Italy) are leaving for home after a 3 year mission here in Cusco. They will leave next Tuesday. We are so sad to have them go. Elder Hasler gave Lyle his favorite hat. It kind of feels like a changing of the guard with the transfer of the favorite hat.