The Incan Capital
Trip Start Nov 17, 2010
38Trip End Feb 27, 2011
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The bus rolled into Cusco, 3400 metres above sea level, at 6am. We shared a taxi to Loki Cusco, checked into our rooms and slept until midday. The Loki hostel in Cusco is set in a restored 450 year old Peruvian National Monument - Casa Ladron de Guevara, with restoration beginning in 2004. (Check out the 'before' pictures). There is a lovely courtyard, and grassy areas within the hostel, and there is also a meal area with a bar and kitchen. The hostel is located at the top of a very steep hill, which can get very tiring to climb. Luckily we had already spent a few weeks at this kind of altitude, so it didn't impact us too much.
We checked out the Plaza de Armas, with its cathedral on one side, and a park in the middle. As we sat in the plaza, many locals tried to sell us paintings, 'genuine' Ray-Bans and other souvenirs. I ended up buying both a painting and some new sunnies, since my old ones were pretty scratched
At the 'Stone of Twelve Angles', Oliver got told off for leaning on the stone whilest getting a photo. There were guards watching the stone at all hours of the day!
In the afternoon we ended up at an Irish pub near the plaza to watch Liverpool vs Blackpool. Unfortunately Liverpool lost after going up 1-0 early in the first half. We ended up chatting to some people in the bar, and it turned out that two of the girls there worked at Loki, so we had some friends in the bar for cheap drinks.
14/01/2011 - Friday
Oliver went off to a farm to help plant trees, which was part of a volunteering program run through the hostel, and I spent most of the day wandering around the town and catching up on diary entries.
I also went and confirmed our Inca Trail booking, which we made back at home. The company we chose was Llama Path, which was recommended through the Lonely Planet guide book.
Friday night at Loki was Karaoke night, and after a few too many Inka-Kola and vodkas we did a duet of The Strokes' "Last nite", which was a hit, and then headed to Mama Afrika's, the local gringo joint at the time. It was almost daylight by the time we arrived back at the hostel, just as a group of Argentinians, who were staying in our room, were leaving to start the Inca Trail.
15/01/2011 - Saturday
Just a day to relax, we didn't get up until after midday. I ran into some Brazilians who we met back in La Paz, and at night we had our briefing session for the Inca Trail. Our group was made up of 1 German, and 5 Austrians, who the guide originally mistakened for Australians. We were served coca leaf tea, introduced to our guide, Cassiano, and given a summary of each days' walks and events.
We were recommended to have an early night, as our bus left at 4:30am the next morning, but we hung around in the bar for a bit and ended up going to bed around 11pm.
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