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Back in Cusco for a few days now, before heading to Arequipa via Puno.
This time round we're staying at Hostal Pascana (PEN110), a place we wandered past last time we were here.
Been visiting the odd museum; some great, like the Regional Historic Museum; some rubbish, like the Museum of the Site of Qoricancha.
Had a Pisco tasting the …
... pools, then process the salt left behind, selling it on a cooperative basis. The economic aspect is fascinating, but the visual impact of the terraces, carved out of a hillside of the Urubamba Valley, is what attracts the most attention from visitors.
Last activity of the day was a train ride down the valley along the rushing Urubamba River, from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, our base for tomorrow's venture to Machu Picchu!
... potatoes. Plus a large rooster and his brood of hens. Quite fascinating. The most amazing site was a flock of birds who descended on the Papaya trees and sucked the fruit making the most amazing plopping sound. Again we were treated to a beautiful sunset over the river. I think I have enjoyed the boat rides the most on this ...
... enjoy buffet awaiting us and I'm quire certain that no one left hungry! We were given our pins at lunch since we'd have the afternoon to explore on our own.
After lunch we walked as a group to the hotel, the Libertador Palacio del Inka. Walking up to it, the hotel structure was actually very modest. It is literally shoe horned into its surroundings, and we found out it was once a palatial, 16th century estate before being turned into a hotel - and what a hotel it was! ...
... the carneval, we went out again the day before our bus to Puno, this time on the hunt for a salsa bar (where we were supposed to meet the waiter from Jacks), didn't really find eaither, and ended up being hungover for our busride. The busride ended up being a lesson to bring our own food for bus rides, so as not to end up having to eat crackers and chocolate bars.