After spending a few days in Cusco, we were eager to drop back down into the Sacred Valley and hook up with our good friend Gian Marco and his family. We had already had several great adventures with Marco up North at Pico Alto and Canete. And lets not forget the Pisco training.
We arrived at the Vellutino family compound in Huaran just in time for Duilio’s birthday party, and it was a wild one. Duilio is the oldest of the Vellutino brothers, and can be seen in the photo below pouring Pisco down Marco’s throat. The younger brother, Piero, is also in the photo. He is the guy filming me filming his brothers. Missing is the father, Antonio, who came to Peru from Italy and now owns a bad ass hotel in the Sacred Valley. Got it? Ok, now you know the Vellutinos. These brothers are actually quite famous in the world of kayaking. In addition to doing most of the first descents in the country, they also run 3 different, successful tourist businesses in Peru.
Anyway, the party turned into quite a bender. I would expect nothing less from these bros. It was great to have been invited, and even better to have been accepted and welcomed as family.
I think Soleil had a fun time as well, or at least she survived her first Sacred Valley Pisco party.
Below, Gian Marco and Alejandra still holding strong in the later hours of the party. Not everyone in that photo was still standing an hour later… no names…. 🙂
Marco demanded that we stay at his house in Huaran instead of a hostel. He keeps insisting that I stop acting like a tourist. Fair enough.
Actually, one of the best things about tapping into a true local is that you end up having experiences that you would never have as a “tourist” passing through.
Gian Marco has been great at getting us off the tourist path and into the real Sacred Valley. We’re pretty grateful for this. A lot of travelers who we’ve talked to have left the Sacred Valley a little bummed with the overly-touristy experience. I think we’re getting the opposite hanging out with Marco and his family.
This is the hang we’re entrenched in..
We decided that we wanted to cook Gian Marco and Alejandra a special dinner, so they took us to the grocery store to buy ingredients. This was it.
And of course, everyone wanted a piece of Sol. Yes, those are dead chickens hanging up behind them.
By the way Sis, this is how you create a vegetarian. Any questions?
So now we’re bouncing back and forth between Cusco and Marco’s house in the SV. We’ve more or less been adopted by the family.
I swear, the hardest thing about this life we live, (aside from being away from family), is meeting, falling in love with, and then having to say goodbye to our amazing friends. And each time it’s the same thing. The new family of people who embrace us act as if we just moved here/there for good. They don’t know. They don’t really understand… that we’re leaving. Despite telling them our story, and our future travel plans, they still talk about what we’re going to do next week, next month, next Christmas.
But Stevie and I know. The road life is one goodbye after another. And it’s sad.
Anybody who tells you different is either full of shit, or just bad at making friends.
Thanks Pa and Nana for my cute baby alpaca sweater and Cusco dolls. Now I’m really blending in. See you in August. Love – Soleil