On my fourth day in Cusco, I met Pedro in the Plaza de Armas, he was a new friend I made and also my travel agent. He was worried because I didn’t have a plan to visit Macchu Picchu and I only had 5 or 6 days left in Peru.
My birthday was also coming up, and he thought I could spend it in Aguas Calientes. I thought he could decide that for me, since I didn’t want to make any effort with my traveling plans. I wanted Cusco to decide for me, as it had since I set foot in it. Cusco was magical, I could feel it in the way I smiled for no reason and how I felt like crying when I visited the Valle Sagrado for the first time. I was in love with every moment and feeling Cusco gave me.
I gave Pedro $20, to get a sit in the bus that would take me to Aguas Calientes. I realized I would have to walk for 2 hours to get to Macchu Picchu and that didin’t excite me at all, I have to be honest here, I am not into making any physical exercise. I’m the lazy kind.
We walked to my hostel, I wanted Pedro to meet some of my friends, but halfway there, he got a phone call, so we said our goodbyes because he had to get back to his office. That was the last time we saw each other.
On my way to the hostel I found a very interesting boutique, I realized I had all the time in the world, and so, I got in. Two guys were there and I couldn’t help but ask about that peculiar store. They were both from Chile and so I asked them in Spanish, which is my first language: “¿De qué se trata esta tienda?” or “What is this store about?” - About consciousness - they replied. That was very interesting to me, so I decided I had to get me my first birthday present.
As I started to browse some of the wonderful articles in the store, I found a beautiful mini skirt. It was colorful and woven. I thought it would be expensive and anticipated a feeling of sadness which was replaced with awe when I saw that it was only 20 soles ($6). I couldn’t understand how such a beautiful thing was so cheap. I approached one of the guys and asked him if that was really the price. He replied “Its probably a mistake, you should take advantage of that mistake”. I told him I will, since my birthday was coming up in 2 days and I would love to wear it in Aguas Calientes.
I left the store with a smile, which was not something unfamiliar for me. Cusco made me smile for no reason.
When I got to the hostel I realized I wanted to get a glass of wine, a crèpe and do some drawing. I sat in one of the tables and felt like I was in Paris, this hostel made me feel like I was living La vie Boheme.
I started to get comfortable, the wine was wonderful and the crèpe delicious. I was very happy drawing the things I saw around the restaurant, when two american guys got in and were trying to finding a table.
I had the hardest time trying not to listen to their conversation, since they were quite funny and interesting. Things got worse when a beautiful lady joined them and they started having the most fascinating exchange of ideas.
Before finishing my glass of wine, I decided it would be great to have a cigarrete with the most wonderful view of Cusco. I was charmed with how my day had unraveled and as I finished my wine and cigarrete I asked the universe to make me meet those wonderful people.
Cusco didn’t fail to amaze me once again, and just as I got back inside the restaurant, one of the guys talked to me, he asked me something like if I had another cigarrete, I said yes. A few minutes later we were smoking in the balcony.
I was having a great conversation with this man, when the beautiful woman approached us. She was just astonishing, there was something in he eyes and the way she talked, made me feel like I already knew her. We were left alone, and I felt like telling her, the story about my new skirt. I could see she was amazed, she asked me if I found that skirt in the store near the hostel. I said yes. What happened next just blew my mind. She told me how she was staying and working at that place and that she picked that skirt and set that price. “The skirt found you”, the beautiful woman finally said.
What happened next was out of this world. I ended up meeting this other 2 beautiful characters. And when we said good-bye, they invited me to join them for a lunch the next day. I said yes. How couldn’t I?
The next day I put on my colorful woven skirt and joined those wonderful people for lunch. I had the most memorable time there. I met one peculiar lady who made me laugh since the moment we met. She asked me what did Anahí (my name) meant. I replied “I have no idea, but once a friend of mine told me something about a tree. I asked her what her name was, (which I don’t remember now), and later asked her again –what does it mean- “Pff, tree, I guess” I couldn’t stop laughing. I now call her tree in my mind.
I talked with all these beautiful people, I met a girl who was about my age, who told me how she decided to leave everything behind and finally move to Cusco, how her parents didn’t handle that very well. Without even thinking I told her I would one day move to Cusco, even if it were only for a month. That place had become my beating heart in a way.
The night ended with some dancing and a Little bit of drinking.
I woke up the next day with a heavy hang over; I couldn’t wake up for Macchu Picchu.
I found all kinds of presents in my purse and in my heart.
The mini skirt gave me Henry Miller, Anais Nin, all kinds of memories and it took away my favorite pants and necklace, which I gave to the beautiful lady.
Thanks to this skirt I got a glimpse of amazing life, and it also gave me some wonderful friendships. It’s been over a month since I left Peru and I really can’t feel my heart without thinking of Cusco. I’m sure Macchu Picchu is beautiful, but I wouldn’t trade what the skirt gave me for nothing in the world.