Wednesday I was the first one awake in the morning. I went outside to look at the Traudi grounds, since all had been dark when we arrived the evening before.
Things were pretty much the same as they had been a few years ago when we were here for our friend Corina’s wedding. Jadzia was just a toddler that time.
I talked briefly with one of the worker ladies and asked if there was any breakfast. She said they could make some, and asked for how many. I told her for five, but that my family was still sleeping I thought she told me that when we would come over they would prepare something.
Anyway, after a while I got everyone up and we began to get dressed and what not. I asked Yoli to check with those ladies to make sure everything was kosher.
As it turned out, the breakfast was going to be pricey — and it was already set out for us. Oops.
We hadn’t brought our entire cache of treasure to Samaipata, only a small amount. The town does not really have an ATM, though there is a cooperativa that will give you cash somehow if you swipe a credit card. Presumably there is a fee, but I don’t know.
The breakfast turned out to be nine little round breads with hot water for tea, butter, and orange/papaya marmelade. For 15 bolivianos a person, it was beyond skimpy. But the marmelade was delicious. It was homemade, and Yoli said it reminded her of her mom’s.
The girls were ready to run around and play. We saw the parrots, the dogs, the cats, and the sheep. Traudi is maybe not as European-oriented as the lovely place across the street (La Víspera), but it has quiet and wide open spaces, which is what I have been craving and is perfect for the girls.
After a while, it was time to make the excursion into town. Traudi is situated a little ways outside the main part of Samaipata. We were planning to eat lunch at a restaurant, and then go grocery shopping so we could prepare our own breakfasts and dinners for the rest of our stay.
It was a nice walk, except for the occasional taxi kicking up dust clouds along the ruddy dirt road. The girls held up pretty well. When at last we made it to the shady plaza in the center of town, we took a nice rest on the benches there.
After a bit we made our way to a restaurant at Hotel Paola that had some good prices. When we walked in, there was an immediate problem. While there was a table big enough for us, half of it was blocked by a motorcycle. Thankfully a couple at a different table moved down to the end so our crew could slide in.
We bought two chicken milanesas and a chorrellana (beef with onions and tomatoes). All the dishes came with a big side of rice and half a potato.
As usual, I was concerned about whether my daughters would eat all the food — especially Jadzia, who began saying “I’m not hungry, I’m full” as soon as we sat down. But this time they came through, and helped us eat all the food. We tried to explain that lunches would be our big meals in Samaipata, and we would eat only small dinners at home. Similar explanations in the past have made little impact when they have been unwilling to eat, but today … all went well.
A man named Javier at the restaurant was very helpful to us. He pointed out how to get to the city’s main market and gave us some other suggestions.
We followed his map to the market and ended up buying some pasta, tomato sauce, tuna, and mandarin oranges. As we headed back along the streets that would take us out of town to Traudi, we stopped by a couple other stores to buy matches, sugar, and 24 little breads.
After the long walk home came nap time — or heaven time, one might call it. I finally got some peace and quiet in a hammock. I listened to a flock of parrots, the occasional rooster call, horses whinnying, sheep bleating, distant music from the cleaning ladies, and other lovely ambient noises. The sky was beautiful blue and the weather was perfect. These days it has been mildly hot in the daytime but quite cold at night.
The only drawback is that the button on our Canon PowerShot A590IS is on the fritz again (I had fixed it a few weeks ago), and no amount of flicking it with my fingers will fix it. Normally you push the button halfway to focus and set the exposure, then the rest of the way to take the picture. The button is stuck halfway, so that it is sort of constantly focused and can’t be changed, nor can you initiate any other function (like changing to Macro Focus, or to look through photos in browse mode, etc) because the camera thinks you are pressing the button when in fact you are not.
Because of this, I couldn’t zoom in to take some of the mountain and animal shots I wanted to take. But I did the best I could. When we get back to Santa Cruz, I will see if I can find some jewelers screwdrivers to take the camera apart again.
The kettle is whistling — water is boiling. We’ll use some for tea for this afternoon, and put the rest in the fridge for drinking water. Time to stop writing and wake the girls.