My eyes sprung open with the brightness of my first morning at La Casa Del Abuelo, my new home in Ollantaytambo, Peru. I had moved from the market side of town where the bustle of trade was evident. Men rushed along laden with the back-packs of Inca-trailing tourists and drivers called to fill their buses with those travelling to nearby towns and the city of Cuzco. Women sold their bundles of grass for the fattening of animals that ended up next door chopped up on tables ready for the cooking of dinners, providing strength for the workers in fields and offices and the raising of families.
The first ‘new thing’ I remembered, I had my own shower and I was given a vital tip by my host that it was best to use it at 6a.m. so as to ensure an adequate supply of hot water. This was a luxury after four weeks of sharing a shower that involved going outdoors. When I sat up in my new bed I remembered the second new thing. I had a window with a view and the view was going to be spectacular. I peeked out through a sliver of the curtain. Spectacular!
The sun sparkled its rays across the theatrical terraces of Ollantaytambo’s finest display of Inca heritage. The ‘Fortaleza’ as it’s called, warranted this town its UNESCO status along with its ‘living’ Inca culture too. And my favourite part of it was directly across from my window ‘The Temple Of The Sun’. I had a particular affinity with this part of the Fortaleza as it had inspired my writing of a novel of more than 60,000 words in the previous year. I don’t care if it is still unedited, unpublished and mostly private, I had the satisfaction of writing it entirely and when the remainder of these adventures are culminated I will sit still once more and meddle with it to my heart’s content with every effort to make it even more fictitious and fantastic than the first time round.
For now I was too busy living my way into the seams of a sequel. For, the best way to write any novel fictitious or not, is to go to source of your inspiration, put your nose right against the rolling stone of curiosity and watch carefully for the clearing that comes after all the dust has settled. The only trick I had to observe, not to spoil the ending of any of my unwritten stories by revealing too much in this travel oddity.
The third ‘new thing’? I also had WiFi included in my lodging. I could now talk more privately to my folks back home who were five hours ahead of me. On this bright new day, I dressed myself more spritely and made my way to ‘The Coffee Tree’, where I helped out with the catering from time to time. I’m smiling as I look back on it now. This was a good move.
©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)