I always wanted to trout fish outside of North America. For some reason I find it fascinating that trout exist around the world. Our host, Bill, knew that this is something that I love to do and so he arranged a fishing excursion for Liam and me on our last day in Cusco. The girls were not interested in joining us. So as soon as we arrived back to Bill's house from our night bus journey from Puno, we set off again. We were tired, but enthused. Bill came with us in a local taxi to make sure that we made it to the taxi depot that departs to the town we needed to go to meet our guides. From then on, it was Liam and me along with a number of closest Peruvian friends for the journey into the mountains. We had no time to make or buy a proper lunch so we found a small shop selling sundries and bought water and some chips. The woman behind the counter spoke perfect English and had spent years in Maryland. There are so many interesting stories. Our guides met us promptly - the fishing rods and reels that Bill loaned us must have been the tell. We piled into another taxi with them to go further into the mountains. About 15 minutes into that ride, the car stopped and the lads got out. They came back minutes later with their fishing equipment - some bamboo like canes and tin cans. After another drive, we stopped at our final destination. We got out and hiked about 10 minutes to the river. The lads took off their sneakers and walked along the river overturning rocks to find live bait which they kept in a pop bottle. The entire campaign was the most low tech phenomenon I have ever witnessed. I think of my friend Dwayne and how we both obsessed about having the best gear. These two Peruvian lads were very successful and were gracious to let Liam and I reel in some of their catch. They were friendly and upbeat. The language difference was not a significant barrier in my mind as fishermen don't really need to speak to one another.
When we decided that we had enough, we hiked back to the road, flagged down a station wagon and hopped in after some readjustment of the passengers. There were nine of us in total and the two guides climbed into the hatchback part of the car. We unloaded most of the others in the first town we came to and the station wagon driver took us all the way back to Cusco. The guides stayed with us all of the way. I think they really wanted to see Bill and to personally hand him some of their catch. There was a lot of mutual respect happening on that sidestreet in Cusco when we arrived at Bill and Nic's house. Liam and I were so tired. In fact, I think I was just about sleepwalking when I slipped down some stairs on my ribs. Four or five weeks and I should be back as good as new. My first accident on the trip and not my last one either.