Cusco. Time to acclimatise.

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End May 07, 2008

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Arrived in Cusco about 6 in the morning. We were all shattered and had to look for a hostel looking like we´d been dragged through a hedge backwards. Most of the places we tried first were either booked up or fairly shitty. Edd and Lou then found a nice enough little place called Hostel Resbalosa about 4 million breath robbing steps from the main Plaza. Cusco is over three thousand metres above sea level and it was absolutley amazing how it makes you feel to walk up a few steps with a backpack. It was like we had run 8 miles full pace. Sleep was needed so we obliged.

We spent the next few days in Cusco trying to acclimatise to the altitude before we embarked on the Inca Trek. This was made harder due to the fact that we had both picked up colds in transit somehow. Add a few beers to that and you´ve no chance of getting better. Cusco is a great spot though. Very touristy with lots of large americans with large video cameras and a slow walking pace. "Hi I´m Fernando and I´ll be your thief tonight". Paul and Connie hit the Inca Trail on the Friday and I lent a pair of loose combats to Paul only to find out later that he has never worn underpants since about his early teens. Hmmmmm.

We both found a good way to spend the money fairly between us though. Lou buys herself clothes and toiletries and stuff now and again and I would drink and eat the same amount in beer and beef. I think you´ll find that a great deal if you know us well enough. We visited the San Blas area one of the nights with Edd and another addition to the group, Steph, a kiwi who lived in Walkinstown for 6 or so years. San Blas is the marbles in the mouth part of Cusco with trendy bars and restaurants. We had walked this place aimlessly one other night looking for a trendy restaraunt called the Fallen Angel but somehow they kept moving it like a game of hide and seek. That night instead we found a jazz bar. I don´t think the girl singing knew the words to any of the songs cause she just kept singing bu dop be du bop diddy dee dop doo wop shit and the bloke playing the keyboards looked about 75, crusted and had a great nack of being able to play one handed while rolling a ciggy. The next night the Congelo radar was at full power though and of course we found the Fallen Angel tucked away in a corner of a small plaza. Cool place. Old bathtubs filled with fish and covered with a pane of glass were used as tables and the walls and ceilings were awash with all sorts of art and crazy looking  figures of angels and stuff. Not to mention the food which was the nicest we´d had to date and even though it was pricy for Peru standards a nice lump of steak only cost about 8 euro.

On Saturday we checked out of the Hostel and into our Hotel which was part of the Inca Trail package. We wathced Engerland (Jammy Baskets) frustrate the french and were back in the hotel for our pre-trek briefing for 6.30. 2 minutes into the briefing and we were told we couldn´t go after spending all that money. Somehow Trailfinders and Tucan Travel had not forwarded our new passport details to the cusco office for Tucan. There we were sat in the hotel lobby at half six on a satruday with all Inca Trek offices closed till monday being told we could not go because of this fuck up. We couldn´t believe it. What´s Peru without Machu Pichu? We had a sleepless night of phonecalls and worry after this to try and sort out the entire debacle but it all seemed to be worthless. Nobody knew what had happened and Sunday is hardly a day for getting anything done in any country. We packed the duffle bags provided in hope and gave copies of our new passports to one of the people from Tucan in Cusco. They were going to try and get us on the trek by begging at the first checkpoint while we were to wait back in the hotel until at least 11 the next morning. We were supposed to be leaving at 6.30 to head to Kilometre 82, the start of the trek.

After breakfeast we sat and waited.... then in came this little chipmunk looking dude in a bomber jacket and he rushed us out to the street and began waving down taxis and haggling prices with them until he got one dude down to 90 soles to bring us to meet the rest of our party. Thank you jeeebus, superman, ronald mcdonald and chipmunk dude. We were on the way.
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