Thursday, 23 July 2015

Beautiful City of Cusco, Peru.

We annoyingly arrived in Cusco at 5am. We didn't want to head to the hostel straight away as its a big inconvenience for them, instead we went to an Internet cafe and killed a while, before getting to the hostel at 7am. The reception staff were pretty useless and didn't register us properly. Checkin was at 2pm, but you were allowed to hang around the lobby though if you wanted. We decided to venture to the main square in search of a McDonalds, where I proceeded to eat two ham and cheese toasties - oops.

Cusco is by far the most beautiful city we have visited. Though, as in every city, it has its rough parts, the main area was very old-school/ stylish and has an evident (and understandable), historic air to the place. (Far) Behind Rome, it's the prettiest historic city I have visited in my opinion - maybe though that's just because I wasn't expecting it.

Whilst killing time, we ended up getting a quote for a trip to Machu Picchu. This travel agent quoted $150USD for 2 nights, 3 days, without Ziplining or water rafting. Also, it didn't include a train - instead, after hiking Machu Picchu, you had to hike 3 hours back to Hydroelectric to get a bus, thus cutting your visit short. Though it seemed cheap at first, we decided against it and spent a few hours searching the city for prices.

Eventually we gave up and settled on Loki travel. It's a huge hostel name out here and so we hopped that would mean there would be nice people on the trip. It ended up costing us way more than we wanted to - but I'll explain that at the end of the trip post.

We got a quick cab back to the Center to join the 'Free Walking Cusco' tour. It started at 11am (though meeting point was at 10;30am). Weirdly, there were four recent Warwick female graduates who all basically studied History or Politics on the tour too! Talk about small world. Firstly we visited a coco museum to learn about the history of chocolate. We also went to a few view points, watched a man play local instruments/ tell us about Andean music, and went to a museum on the history of plants in South America. It sounds boring, but some of it was interesting. It ended in a bar with a free cocktail. Of course they work for free, so you´re supposed to tip - which we did. Overall, I found it was too much uphill walking haha. It was good though, Matt really enjoyed it.

Arriving back at the hostel (Kokopelli Backpackers - 30 soles a night (6 pounds) at 1:30pm we hoped to check-in. However, hugely infuriating - they wouldn´t let us check in till precisely 2pm, so we had to sit and wait (not backpacker friendly!). When we finally did check in though and rushed to the shower, it was delightfully warm and powerful, I just wanted to stay there all day. 

Eventually, I did get out... We walked around Cusco for a bit and got dinner - McDonalds again for myself and KFC for Matt. We couldn't look more tourist if we tried. We had lama jumpers on, eating classic Western junk food and Matt was wearing a Death Road t-shirt too. Talk about cringe hey!

After a few drinks at our hostel with 2 English girls, we had a session to inform us about the trip at Loki at 7:30pm so got a taxi there and listened to this man go on for an hour about what we were going to do. Totally pointless and highly irritating. I almost fell asleep! We got a taxi back to the hostel and swiftly fell asleep, ready for the day ahead.

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