Back to the belly button. Where's all the fluff?
Trip Start Feb 03, 2013
118Trip End Dec 13, 2013
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So after four quite intense days we decided to spend a bit of time in Cusco to recuperate and write blogs, which we had slipped 6 weeks behind on. The weather wasn't great so being cooped up inside worked out well! It won't be a very interesting blog I'm afraid as for the first 3 days we only left the room to go to the toilet and only left the hostel to eat!
14th May - We had initially wanted to leave our current hotel this morning but when we woke up our bodies ached from the thousands of steps we had climbed yesterday and we couldn't face being packed and ready for 9:00am so Garry went and checked us in for another night. We had breakfast, which was included here, and it strengthened our opinions in that Peruvians are stupid and suffered one too many bumps on the head as children
Garry headed out in search of a launderette and a new hostel as we were paying way too much in the one we were in. He got back just as I was finishing my first blog and had found a hostel for half the price we were paying and it was just off the main square. We both got ready and headed out for lunch. We both instantly knew we were going back to the nice lady in the market where we had gone on our first day here. This time we both ordered 'arroz con huevo mixto'. This consisted of rice, avocado, chips, salad, fried banana, fried egg an a hot dog. It was very yummy.
After lunch Garry showed me the hostel and I really liked it
We headed back for an afternoon of blogging before heading to an all you can eat Indian buffet for dinner. It was OK and it filled me up after one plate which is never fun at an all you can eat so I left feeling short changed.
All the blogging had completely worn me out and I was out like a light whilst we were watching prison break. That really annoys Garry!
15th May - We had a slightly more organised breakfast this morning, but the service was still a joke. We checked out of the hotel and headed towards the hostel off the square where a more cheerful man greeted us and showed us to our room, which had a balcony! We originally checked in for two nights but ended up extending it to four. We sat in the courtyard and wrote a blog each before realising that the travelpod app on my phone allows you to write a new post so we were now going two at a time
For lunch we went to the market lady for another mixto and for dinner we had pizza in a cute little restaurant on the passage infront of our hostel. Everything in between was blogging with maybe a cheeky episode of prison break.
16th May - Today was similar to yesterday. We stayed in the room to blog and only left to pee or eat. We went to the nice market lady for lunch again and for dinner we had Mexican food at another cute little restaurant on the passage. We finally got the blog to the same month and country we were in so we decided that would suffice.
17th May - We extended our stay for two more nights and decided we needed to get out of the hostel before we got cabin fever and went mad, however the weather had other plans and it rained heavily on and off all day so we were cooped up again and I created some Facebook albums.
Having had enough mixtos we decided we just wanted a sandwich for lunch and we didn't have to head far. The lady opposite the hostel had a great lunch deal so we headed in there just before the heavens opened. Whilst we were waiting for the sandwiches we had a game of draughts. Garry had never played it before and I'm not too sure I remembered the rules right but it passed the time.
We spent the afternoon watching prison break and then headed out for dinner
We headed back and watched the Bolivia Top Gear special, which I had never seen before. It was so good to watch it as they went to places we had been, like death road, and experienced the same things we had, like the effects of the altitude! It brought back many fond memories of Bolivia and with true Top Gear humour.
18th May - Today was the day we were going to spend the day out of the hostel! We decided we would walk to the bus station and sort out a bus to our next destination, Puno. Garry asked the man at the hostel what we should expect to pay for certain artesan goods as we had no idea and didn't want to be ripped off. It's also expected to barter here, which we are no good at so needed some sort of guide. He then mentioned an artesan market, which was just out of town, where we would find the cheapest stuff
We headed to the market for lunch as we were ready for another mixto, but we were devastated to see our lady's place all shut up. I'm not sure why we took it so badly because there were at least 20 other ladies serving the exact same menu at the exact same price. We went to the next door lady, but it just wasn't the same.
We spent the afternoon shopping and we must have hit every artesan shop in the city. Garry found some shoes he really liked but they wouldn't budge enough on the price so he left the shop without them.
We had a burger for dinner and enjoyed it on a kerb watching all the teenagers going to the club opposite. Us old folk headed back and finished series two of prison break - rock and roll!
19th May - Today was the day we would finally check out of Cusco. It had began to feel like home so it was sad, but we still had the day to actually explore and see Cusco.
We checked out of the hostel and left our bags with them. We decided to have our Batti Mix (like a muller crunch corner) breakfast in the main square where there was some sort of event going on. There were police and soldiers in uniform and a big band playing with a small marquee of officials and a large crowd forming
We climbed up from the plaza to San Cristibal church where we got amazing views over the city and we could still see and hear the parade in the main square. We carried on up to Sacsaywamàn, which is an Inca ruins site. Before we visited that we headed up the other hill, which had a mini Christ the redeemer and a view looking out over the city - and a great view he had. We then headed over to Sacsaywamàn where a man asked us for our ticket. We had no ticket and he told us we needed a tourist ticket which allows entry to here and 3 other ruins sites around Cusco. He said we could buy one off him for £20 each. We laughed at him and walked off. We had already seen Machu Picchu so we didn't need to pay extortionate prices to see more ruins, plus we could already see some of it from the outside. We sat down outside the entrance and I gave Garry a history lesson on the site anyway as I will do for you guys also.
Sacsaywamàn means 'satisfied falcon' in the Quechua language (the native language of the Andes region of South America) and I like to call it 'sexy woman'
There is only about 20% of Sacsaywamàn remaining as the Spanish tore down many of the walls to build their homes in the city. They left behind the largest stones, one of which weighs 300 tonnes.
Our walking tour lead us on to Tandapata for the classic Cusco cobbled experience. They were cute little back streets but unfortunately the cobbles had all been dug up! It then began to rain. In the hope that it was just a short and sweet shower we found shelter just behind Plaza San Blas. When the rain ceased we went in to the plaza and watched an old tramp lady shower in the fountains. On the other side of the plaza a band started playing and a procession left a building carrying a cross and they paraded around the square until the church. A man was letting off very loud fireworks in the square, which scared me a lot!
We then headed down another cute street of Hatunruniyoc to the 12 sided stone
We continued our tour back at Plaza de armas and I explained to Garry that there were 4 church's on it. The oldest one is the smallest one joined to the cathedral. On the other side of the cathedral is another small church all three of which are joined. The forth church is one of great controversy. The church was built by the Jesuits who wanted to build the most magnificent church in Cusco. With it being built opposite the cathedral the arch bishop of Cusco was not happy with this and complained that its splendour should not rival that of the cathedral's. The squabble between the two led to Pope Paul III being called upon who was in favour of the cathedral, but the message didn't reach in time and the church was built.
We then left the plaza and headed for another, which had some sort of fair going on. We then walked through the colonial archway of Santa Clara, which we had walked through everyday to get to the market. We had hoped that Santa Clara church would be open as apparently the interior is covered in mirrors, which was apparently done to entice curious indigenous people into the church,but unfortunately it was closed. We then wandered a different way back to the plaza and my walking tour was complete.
On the way back to the hostel Garry tried on the shoes he liked again but they still wouldn't budge on the price, but he loved them so much he bought them anyway
We sat in the hostel courtyard writing diaries until we were ready for dinner. With the burger last night being so good we were going to get one of them but they were shut so we went and had a pizza instead and sat right in front of the clay oven to thaw out as we had gotten very cold in the courtyard. We had our dinner then headed back to the hostel to collect our bags. We got our hats and gloves out as it had turned quite cold before walking to the bus station for our night bus to Puno.
So there you have it folks... our time in Cusco. To be honest I think both of us would have been happy staying there until our flight home as it is a lovely city. However, there is more to Peru than its belly button so it was time to move on and see some of its other features as we only have 2 weeks left!
K x x x