Cusco, the glorious Inca City
The Arrival of Danni & Charley
We’d been looking forward to Danni and Charley arriving for quite a few days and they finally arrived! They endured pretty much a 24 hour journey to get here, flying London – Madrid – Lima – Cusco and all in one go. Absolute heroes! They then walked in through the door in remarkably good shape given the length of time they had been travelling and the fact that they had gone from sea level to 3400m in that short a space of time. The one piece of advice I am sure they would share though would be to avoid Europe Air who they used to fly London to Lima. Although cheapest price the flight was very cramped, service was pretty poor and there was no leg room at all.
So their first night we just had a pretty chilled afternoon and night and had an early eat at some typical non-descript tourist restaurant off Plaza Regocijo which was perfectly decent, and then in the evening at Moreno which was actually a very decent restaurant at good prices, and not touristy at all (on Calle Plateros, just off the main square) .By this stage they were both flagging pretty quickly so an early night for all.
The following day was a bit of an organisation day. We have booked the Rainbow Mountain tour through Flashpackers Connect and that required a final cash payment on the morning of pick up and we’d booked the Inca Trail through Alpaca Expeditions and needed to sort our final payments out with them as well. We had a pretty funny couple of hours trawling back and forth to the Alpaca Expeditions and the Bank as we tried to make sure we fully settled up.
We took them both to Green Point café which is a place we had been recommended by another traveller and had already been to before they got here. It is a Vegan café and so we knew Charley as a vegetarian would enjoy it as much as Michelle did, but it is fair to say even Danni and I as two stand up carnivores appreciated the delicious and exceptionally healthy food. Would definitely recommend.
Proper Cusco Tourists
In the afternoon we became proper tourists. Charley was organised enough to have brought a Cusco travel guide with her and that recommend a good half day trail that can be taken if you get a taxi to the furthest point and walk back (or a full day trail if you walk both ways, but on reflection this would be a pretty challenging day and probably not for the fainthearted!).
The trek takes in all of the main sites local to Cusco and according to the book doing it from the furthest back to Cusco means that the sites get more impressive with each one. We actually got quite lost though a lack of any decent instruction followers in the group but I think that actually made for a much nicer walk as we wandered through fields, through valleys and taking in the sites as we found them. Unfortunately, due to the extra time it had taken and the fact that the rain was coming in we decided to forgo the last 2 main sites and vowed to taxi back up to them the following morning. The main site is Sacsayhuaman, which is a huge Inca ruins where the size of the stones are so impressive that they have to be seen – so we really did want to catch them in a good light. So we headed down to Cusco and stumbled straight into an Irish bar at the start (or end in our case) of the completely cool San Blas area.
We also established that because of the upcoming early starts that this night would be the night to hit the juice pretty hard. And we did! Starting at the Irish bar, moving onto the Republica del Pisco, several Pisco Sours, a great live band, some ridiculous ‘at table’ dancing and no food = some pretty fragile group members the following morning!
One of us didn’t make it up to Sacsayhuaman (holding my hand up here) but the rest of the group did. They got some great views of Cusco and saw the really interesting Inca Ruins.
Whilst the rest of the group were up in the hills above Cusco, and with a sore head I decided to have a look around Cusco town and see what I could capture with my iPhone. Here are some pics:
The rest of the day was a very relaxed affair, pizza delivery at the hostel, watched the new Jason Bourne movie and were all in bed by 9pm. The alarm was set for the following morning for 1.45am!!