Vlog by Isabelle: see below.
We wake up quite early: 7am. We discuss, in our bed, about our future house in Belgium next year. We don’t have a house there (only 2 apartments) and we’ll need to find one quite rapidly, since we can’t stay long in our apartment in Ixelles. I know we’ve been getting used to sleeping all together in the same room but I don’t think we could stay more than 2-3 months there. So we need to start thinking about our future house. Isabelle’s parents saw a nice opportunity near their house and they are going to visit it. In parallel, we are asking a friend to give an estimate of our 2 apartments in case we decide to sell them (one for sure; for the other one, it depends whether we can rent it rapidly).
Kids slept 11 hours last night; good.
We go and take a breakfast on the Plaza de Armas. Juices are very good. We eat sandwiches with chicken and tomatoes (they unfortunately don’t have avocados).
There’s a ceremony on the Plaza de Armas, with a lot of school kids parading. They wear nice uniforms.
We try to find a transport to go to Ayacucho tomorrow. As per the Lonely Planet, it’s very complicated (but worth it). The trip lasts roughly 6 hours. There’s only one bus, at midnight; not for us…
We find drivers ready to drive us there in their car for 350 soles. We continue our investigation to check this price. We go to 2 different places. We eventually book a private car (even if we take a ‘collectivo’ car, it will be only for us since they can’t fit more than 5 people in their cars) for 350 soles, departing tomorrow at 11am. We ask the car’s brand and name to check if convenient for us but they give us an unknown Chinese name, which is not very helpful…
We start our 3km walk to Sacsamarca, all uphill. At this altitude (Sacsamarca is nearly at 4,000m) it’s quite challenging. The weather is great today.
I wanted to attend the Fiesta de las Cruces (that’s the main reason we came in Huancavelica) but it’s apparently next week. But today they seemingly celebrate this festival in Sacsamarca, a village linked to Huancavelica by a uphill path of 3km. We arrive around 1:30pm in Sacsamarca, a nice village with stones houses. There are not many people in the “streets” (we counted no more than 5). We could understand that the fiesta (involving bringing a cross to the top of one of the surrounding mountains) will start around 3pm. We decide to walk a further 30’ to go to San Jeronimo where there’s apparently a corrida today; the kids really enjoyed the corrida of yesterday and would like to attend another one. We arrive in San Jeronimo (which is basically a remote “district” of Huancavelica), where the corrida already started, with many people attending. There’s a band playing from the roof of a nearby building (and there’s also part of the orchestra of yesterday playing from time to time). It’s not as “organized” as yesterday: there’s no stadium / arena and since it’s free, people sit / stand everywhere. We buy a sandwich from a street vendor (+ popcorn and cotton candy). We take 5 seats (or rather make them available…) in the main (and only) stand. Some of the toreadors are the same as yesterday.
We don’t stay as long as yesterday. We are not settled as comfortably and we have the sun in the face.
Isabelle and I would like to go back to Sacsamarca to see what is happening for the Festival of the Crosses but the kids don’t feel like going back there. We put them in a taxi, back to the hotel.
Isabelle and I start walking uphill, back to Sacsamarca. It’s quite hard + we are afraid to arrive a bit late (it’s already 3:30pm and the sun sets around 5:45pm here) so we take a “taxi” (a car passing by) up there.
When we arrive, we can see a dozen of people with the cross high on top of the mountain and we can hear them playing music. Nice spectacle. We don’t wait for them to go down since it’s already 5:15pm. We go down to Huancavelica, on the same path as the one we took this morning to come up.
We reach our hotel around 6pm.
Kids are enjoying the wi-fi connection in the lobby. It’s cold.
We take our showers and we go and eat in a nearby Italian restaurant. We take a pizza and a couple of pasta dishes. Not great but correct (we were hungry).
It’s so cold that Ludivine put the top of her PJ under her jumper after her shower, to go to the restaurant, in order to be ready to go directly to bed when we come back to the hotel (and she won’t have to put a cold PJ…).
Back in the hotel, we work in our bed (with our hat on our head…). I’m trying to figure out which road is better to reach Ayacucho: via Lircay or via Rumicacha. The second one passes by the nice Laguna Choclochoca (at 4,700m), the first one is described by the Lonely Planet as “involving even more stunning scenery”. Difficult choice.
I work till 11:30pm. I also check which other schools we could try to register our kids in Brussels for next year. The 3 schools to which we sent the registration files for the girls were indeed not very optimistic regarding the chances of Ludivine and Florence to be accepted (and we won’t get any confirmation before end of June anyway). We will most probably consider St Boniface and Notre-Dame des Champs (and maybe Collège Saint Michel, but I’m not very keen to put the girls there).
Friday 04/05 (1/3)
Before leaving, I walk a bit near (and on) Plaza de Armas, to take some pictures.
We liked our stay in Huancavelica.