Yat's Big Trip travel blog

25.07 Maaike (Holland) helps paint the logos

Suz displaying her artistic side

26.07 Sketching Tower Bridge with paint

The logo of Inti Huahuacuna going wild...

...all over the room!

Waiting patiently at the Plaza de Armas

Playing at Inti Huahuacuna...

...with the children!

Paddington returns to Peru to paint his story

07.29 Leaving Tower Bridge...

Rowing across the Atlantic...

Arriving into New York...!

South and through the Panama Canal...

...at the other side of The Bridge of the Americas (Panama)...

And taking a well deserved break...

Arriving back into Peru!

At the Plaza de Armas of Cusco...

Playing with the children of Inti Huahuacuna...

And painting his story!

I was dismayed to hear last weekend that this week won't be another full working week... Thursday to Sunday are national holidays, celebrating Peruvian national holiday. Instead of being happy to be caught up in yet another festivity (as had been hoping to witness), I hoped that I would be allowed custody of the keys to Inti Huahuacuna, so I could continue painting.

Have recently realised my time limit in Cusco, that my free visa into Peru is valid for ninety days, which is approaching in three weeks' time!! Wow!! I have been in Peru for a loong loong time!!! Think that the painting would be finished by the end of next week, so that I could do a trek to Machu Pichhu before heading onwards to Lake Titicaca and Bolivia.

Hence the week has been progressive, and settled into a routine. Turning up in the late morning, and painting throughout the day, until about six or seven in the evening. Luckily Doly has entrusted me with the keys over lunch, so that I could go down the road for some "Arroz de la Cubana" (boiled rice with a fried egg, fried banana and salad) and use the internet as a break.

On Monday drew lots of logos of Inti Huahuacuna, running all over the wall, as a link to the direction of the story. Especially after Maaike and Suz helped painted in the logos, the walls immediately looked more energetic.

On Tuesday, whilst Vicky attacked Paddington's boat across the Atlantic, and Philip finished off painting in the logos, I attempted to paint Tower Bridge. Tried to paint it the same way as the skyline of New York, but the scale was totally different and rendered it much more difficult. It was a long morning, and gave myself a break by doing some drawing of children playing in Inti Huahuacuna. I gave the bridge a last stab at lunch time, using the monochrome technique taught in A'Level Art. Firstly, painted the whole bridge a medium shade of grey-green, scratching out the lines of the different parts of the bridge. Then added more definition to the bridge by using a darker tone of green. It was good fun, free expressive work, and went home much happier than had been earlier.

Returned on Wednesday, still happy with how striking the bridge looks, even from the window. Unfortunately had mixed it with lots of the cheap white paint - the same used in the background, and which leaves a white powdery residue. When I placed my hand on Tower Bridge, it takes away with it a fine layer of white dust. That would not do!! Had no other option, but to attack the wall with yet another layer of paint to resemble Tower Bridge. Though took me more time than had expected to spend on the bridge, but it was worth the effort, and the finishing touches were put on Thursday. When not painting Tower Bridge, also began working more details into the second room, of Paddington back into Peru.

Also mixed enough blue paint for my helpers to begin filling the white spaces of the first room with sky. Well done in particular to Philip and Yhomar who put in lots of energy huffing and puffing with the rollers to cover a lot of space. Tony also painstakinly painted the outlines of the skyscapers, to make New York look more complete. As a result - though there were still bits of whites to be filled in (especialyl bits which the rollers can't reach) - the first room looks a lot more finished!! I felt so pleased with the progress!! and that it feels like we are almost getting there!! Wonderful!

My last working day of the week was Thursday, which was only a half day effort. A delayed start to the morning, as I didn't get handed over the keys afterall, and got to Zarzuela late - and no-one was in! When about to give in to using the internet, Fernando - the university student I'd met in Tica Tica turned up, waiting to start painting. We walked over to a nearby playing field, where Nestor was playing sports with the kids. By then, laziness was about to take over, and was about to give the day up (despite knowing the time constraint!), and we swung half hour away on the swing. But resolved to put at least an hour and a half into painting, which turned out to be almost three and a half hours! Phew!

Fernando patiently did more outlines of the sky around the objects for me, whilst I sketched out the Plaza de Armas on the wall for Cusco. Painted more large areas in blue, then finished up on Tower Bridge, determined to give myself more time to work on the second room next week.

Overall, the first room is more or less there, and the second room is beginning to take shape. Happy with how the room is looking, though painfully reminded of my time management. Would like to think could get everything done by the end of next week (providing will have a constant stream of helpers), but realistically, reckon would need another week to really complete things off, and make them look good. So now, am planning to put another two weeks into the project, then celebrate by going into Bolivia (before my visa runs out) to spend some time chilling (literally! pretty cold up on the highest lake in the world!) before coming back to Cusco to do the Machu Pichhu trek.

Apologies for lack of photos recently... Cable for my camera has been stolen, and hundreds of pictures using up all memory space and waiting to be uploaded!! Will take more pictures on Monday so you can see the most up to date progress! Also, I know this entry is more of my talking to myself, but once it's all finished, will give a better commentary on Paddington's journey home!!

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