It was unusual to have lashing rain in the middle of the dry season, in Peru that is. It was not so unusual for an Irish person to see a downpour, but my Peruvian friends were caught unawares. That first night it rained heavily. I heard a dripping sound towards the end of my bed and by morning a neat patch of dampness had spread outwards upon my blankets.
I had a chat with my friend Henry, the owner of this new hotel. He explained that he was arranging with the land-lord to fix the leak. It was not apparent how long this would take however. He took a look at my situation with the bed. The room was so small the bed could not be moved to avoid the leak. The rain was not stopping either.
Henry was convinced the rain was a temporary thing, it being the dry season. He was amused by my questions about weather forecast. I realised that it was it was more an Irish obsession to be fixed on daily weather reports. In this part of the world, the weather was usually consistent with the seasons. The forecast however was not good. A week of rain was imminent. This was doubly not good as my trip to Machu Picchu was only days away.
Henry agreed to allow me to swap to another room. It was a slightly bigger room but the gap under door was wider and more exposed to the driving night time breeze. It was always cold in the night time. I was used to making a cave for myself within the heavy woven blankets. During this damp cold week I resorted to sitting on my pyjamas before changing and wore additional layers to keep warm.
The streets turned rapidly to mud. Mobile networks and internet were cut-off completely for a few days. There was a more isolated feel to it. The surrounding peaks gnarled a stormy greyness and snow fell on higher ground returning tourists swiftly to their base having had to abandon downhill biking trips.
Within a few days, the rain slowed to intermittent showers but a damp coolness remained throughout the week. The year before I had been fortunate to see the parting clouds revealing the Inca City of Machu Picchu in splendour beneath a pure blue radiant sky. How would it manifest itself on this second visit amidst the cold rain?
I was sympathetic to these elements having had so much pouring of my heart the previous week in Cuzco. I was living in a minor key and Machu Picchu was beckoning to accompany me within these strains. It was some just desert. I would eat it up and accept that it would be good for me no matter what.
©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing Blog.