I spent the first night in a rather shabby alojamiento, just glad to be out of the traffic. When I came back from supper, the door lock was jammed. A short struggle ended with a broken key in my hand. I saw no other solution than to break the window beside the door, but the young employee tried a smoother way: he fiddled for about 10minutes with a wire sling through a small slit, succeeded to open a window and through the window the door. There is always a better solution than brute force. Think twice.
The other day, it was time for a new haircut and I picked one of the countless similar peluquerias. I had a nice conversation with the barber, an elder man, about andenean music. In the end, he showed me the back stage of his shop: a whole orchestra of instruments with an exhaustive digital recording equipment! Waiting for clients, he always practises some tracks. Use your spare time. Follow your dreams.
Leaving Cajamarca for San Marcos, I could not resist the temptation of a beautiful camping spot overlooking smooth hills. Just when I was about to secretely pitch the tent far from any house, two dark figures, hats deep in the face, appeared out of the darkness. I did not have time to be scared but asked them what they were looking for and if this was private ground. They wanted to warn me of the cold and eventually invite me to their house. They politely said goodbye, disculpe… Never trust the first appearance. Always grant a reserve of faith.
Along the way, I saw two women in front of their house weaving elaborated coloured patterns in long panels of drapery. I intriguedly observed them for a while: as they told me, it needs a week to weave a bag which they then sell on the market. Good things need time. Have patience.
On an evening walk in the cozy village Cajabamba, I got into a political demonstration, considerate speeches and a traditional music corps. Suddenly, someone patted my shoulders and asked me for the bicycle: the cake seller had remembered me leaving Cajamarca on bike. You are always on stage.
After a night in a comfortable hostal in Cajabamba, which I felt was underprized, I offered a tip to the ama de la casa. She only accepted it due to my insistence: „usted tiene un camino largo para regressar a su pais, yo ya vivo en mi tierra.“ Money is not the only currency.
On a long climb up, I passed an elder woman, obviously walking with pain due to arthritis in their feet, but carrying a heavy bag of greens. I offered help asking what she was carrying: feed for her cuys (guinea pigs) which she gathered on her lot 5km down the hill. Never stop caring. Love and duty keep you alive.