Altitude and Alcohol - what a mix!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Alex: We rounded off a 14 hour bus ride walking around Cusco (3326m above sea level) trying to find a nice place to stay as we will be here for 5 days before heading out on the Inca trail - after about 5 places we were so knackered and out of breath we took the next place even though it was only OK and not dirt cheap - we moved later to a nicer, cheaper place with the only downside that it is up a massive hill so you have to stop every 2 minutes to catch your breath.

Cusco is very pretty and colonial with a few amazing Incan walls thrown in for good measure - how they fitted them so well I will never know. It is also the most touristy place we have been since we started this trip. On the Plaza de Armas (the main square) and for about 4 blocks in every direction around it all the shops are tourist related: tourist restaurants, bars, tour operators, internet cafes, native craft shops etc... and as you walk down the street people try to entice you into their establishment or try to get you to buy their crafts, paintings, have a shoe-shine (even if you are wearing trainers - albeit mucky), it is quite exhausting after a while! That said we have done quite a bit of shopping mainly buying practical things for the Inca Trail, or at least things that I want and claim we need for the Inca Trail (see the photos for some of our more attractive purchases).

One of the things we did discover is that alcohol and altitude really do not mix. We popped into a bar for a quick drink at about 6 and stayed through 2 happy hours before heading home sometime after 12 - opps. The bar claims to be the highest Irish owned pub in the world (with another Irish pub round the corner a slightly dubious claim I think). Anyway we met many new friends and had a lot of fun (and probably made fools out of ourselves) but have some definite memory lapses and wasted a whole day with the hangovers from hell! First G&Ts of the trip though, yum.

Inca Trail tomorrow...4 days of walking at over 4000m above sea level - is this a good idea?
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