I was easily distracted from packing my bags. My friends knew I was going home soon but they only spoke of my return. One female friend insisted that it would be very soon. When I argued that it would take a lot of work and saving for that to happen she said to me ‘OK! I give you two years and then you return.’ Two years seemed like a long time then but it has already passed and I have not yet made the trip. It will happen.
Catty and Liz invited me to join them at the Coffee Tree. It was quiet that evening, early September. The season was settling to a slower pace of visitors. Twilight was setting itself for transition to starlight mode. Alex joined us as we sat outside.
I had a surprise which I revealed from my coat pocket. I had spotted it earlier in the Pacha Mama Shop. A bottle of ‘Abuelo’ Rum. I had been planning on giving it to Henry the owner of Casa Del Abuelo, one of my home’s in Ollantaytambo. I showed it to my friends. They were very impressed with the label and we laughed about my idea of giving it as a gift to Henry, the husband of Catty. ‘I think we will have to try it first,’ I hinted. They were all in agreement. Alex went to get the glasses with some coke and ice. It certainly went down well. ‘Henry will never know,’ Catty giggled as we drained the last drops between us.
Just then some bikers hauled into the Plaza De Armas, parking just across from us. ‘Motor Cycles!’ Catty cried in glee. ‘Harley Davidsons!’ I exclaimed. We crossed the square to take a closer look. The owners of the Harleys had made their way from Chile. They certainly didn’t mind our interest and allowed us to pose for photographs.
It was my second last night in Ollantaytambo. It contributed a mellow setting for the ending of this story in which I had placed myself. I recalled that first week, as I sat huddling in the square, thanking Venus for its familiarity and despairing at the silent sun’s rapid descent. A drama had unfolded. It had all the highs and lows of any tale that has ever been worthy of expression. But it was I who lived it, I who told it and the imprint is forever with me.
© Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)