Supposedly as of yesterday everyone in Group 1 and Group 2 has been off except for one team. At least two of those teams returned Thursday due to problems, and apparently one team lost a mototaxi after hitting a pothole and rolling it down the side of a mountain into a river (not sure on the details here, but apparently it almost rolled over a girl but everyone is all right).
Mototaxi update: We are supposed to find out around noon to 2PM today how many will be ready to go Saturday morning, currently expecting 8 to be ready out of the 22 left. The rest may have to wait until Tuesday. We are now looking at shipping the remaining ones to Cuzco and having a launch from there, so the rest of us may fly over there in order to do some exploration while waiting until Tuesday (Macchu Picchu and all that). I will update this afternoon.
I spent most of the afternoon with Scott and Nate from team Hombre Lobo (who are sadly almost definitely dropping out now due to the delay) and we finally did go exploring outside town, and spent some pretty cool time at Torre Torre. Getting there was an adventure – the cab driver got stuck on a closed road and let us off early and we sorta wandered up the side of a mountain until we found some kids who offered to give us a tour of the place for about $.20 (at the end we gave them s/10 or ~$3 and totally made their day). It looked underwhelming from the road but it was actually quite cool.
It's basically a small canyon with lots of areas to climb around, some fantastic views of the city, and overall just a wonderful place to chill. I was hoping I might find a spot or two to try out some parkour, but it was all fairly steep and gravelly and quite dangerous in places. Closest I got was a few precision jumps that were quite fun. At one point I did a fast run up the side of one hill towards the top only to almost go flying over a ledge and down a 30-40 foot fall because I thought there was something at the top – instead it was maybe a 12 inch ridge followed by a big drop!
After climbing around for awhile and generally having a great time relaxing and exercising, we turned around for home. We decided to walk it since we could see the main plaza from the mountainside, even though we knew it would be a few hours. It turned into quite the experience, walking through the poor area that was clearly being worked on (interesting that in the US the hillside around a city would be filled with rich homes). We randomly stumbled across some strange buildings and some sort of zoo, and at some point Scott was accosted by a group of school girls who I think wanted to take him home…
You see, Scott is pretty tall (I dunno, maybe 6'3"?), medium length blond hair and shiny blue eyes. He's like a little god down here, and these school girls didn't want to let him leave. They forced him to take pictures with them one by one until everyone had a go, it was quite adorable. (for the record I think they were quite interested in Nate as well, while I hid behind my big floppy hat and glasses).
On the way home we ended up walking past Plaza Vea (the big mall) and I decided I was in need of comfort food. We checked out the food court and although they did not have Chipotle, they did have a Burger King! I ended up paying s/16 for a Whopper combo meal (~$5 – later that night, Rob, Will and I all had burgers for s/17 at a local place) and Scott and Nate grabbed KFC. The BK wasn't that good but it was nice to pretend for a moment that I was grabbing a late night snack around the corner from my place.
Overall a very de-stressing day, so really thanks to Andy for letting us know about this place! More pictures on my flickr, of course!