Cusco - Day 2

Trip Start Mar 08, 2005
Trip End Mar 29, 2005

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Peru is all surprises. I still don't have a handle on it just yet.

Quick story: One winter my friend Omar astutely pointed out that our buddy Fernie's car was "a little refrigerator." What he meant was that somehow it was colder inside the car than it was outside. Our hostel room is like that - a little refrigerator.

It gets down into the 40's here at night. But it's 25 degrees in our room. I don't understand the physics behind it. I'm sure it's lovely during the summer, but right now it's pretty miserable. I think they use our room for meat storage during the summer. They keep popes in there so they don't decompose. No bronzing required. (There's a bronzed pope in a glass coffin in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I don't know if they dipped him like a baby shoe, or if they used a paint brush. But it's a surprisingly even coat. He's neat looking.)

So we're moving hostels tomorrow. We also have no hot water and the owner stands too close to me when he talks.

We wanted to go to Machu Picchu tomorrow, but we can't. There's a strike tomorrow. We've been promised that trains can't run because protestors will put rocks and tree branches and burning tires on the tracks. We've also been promised tear gas and riot police. I'm pretty excited. It should be a unique experience. But we're supposed to buy all our food and water today because the town will shut down. I talked to a few shop owners and they laughed and said they'd be open. I think they're filthy liars and they want me to starve. Only time will tell.

So tomorrow is a hiking day since busses won't be running. It should be a good time. Like I said, the area is gorgeous. It's the rainy season, so it rains at least a few hours every day, but we get some sunshine too. So if the internet cafes are striking too, I'll post in a couple of days.

Oh, and for those that remember the "white" and "brown" price discrepancy I found in Guatemala and Honduras, it's alive and well in Peru. Our bus tickets to Machu Picchu - $65. Locals who bought tickets right before us - $11. But I guess that's the way it should be. It encourages the people to explore their own heritage.

Well, I'm off to stock up on goods and gas masks.

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