Weekend sightseeing and managing to avoid the rain

Trip Start Sep 09, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Where I stayed
172 Tanda Pata, San Blas

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday/Sunday 9 & 10 October sightseeing

As I had nothing planned this weekend I thought Id go sightseeing and do a few days trips to keep me amused. Doris from SAE recommended a few. The SAE does have a list of tour operators that they recommend but to be honest its difficult to find half of them, so I ended up going into a few near my hostals and comparing prices and then went into the city centre.  I ended up going with Luna Tours one of the many companies that line the streets of Cusco, but they were the cheapest...which is not always a good thing, but I suppose its good to try them all out. So each day trip cost 30 sols which is just over 7 english pounds.  My first trip was to Moray and Moras. I had to meet outside the office for 8.45, a lady then met me and took me to the plaza behind  where there were literally dozens of mini bus vans parked and tourists crowded around.

This lady told me to wait a while and then she went off. I had to wait about half an hour and then just as it was starting to rain she got me on one of the buses that had been waiting. However the bus was full, the only place for me to sit was right up front with the driver in the middle between him and another tourist on the passenger seat. So no seat belt and just a cushion but at least I had a good views, I just prayed he didnt have to break quickly otherwise Id by flying throw the windscreen!  On the way be passed by one bus that had crashed and the front passenger side was all smashed in, my stomach turned....we then nearly ran over a pig. I really dont know how the driver missed it, it ran straight in front of us and I nearly has bacon for breakfast right then and then, thankfully we missed it. But I did have quite an interesting journey up at front...holding on for dear life. Now I realised why my trip was cheap it wasnt an organised tour by the company they just try and fit you in with any old tour!  Our first stop was Moray which was a really interesting place, very different to any of the other inca sites Id seen before, the stones were more circular this time. The weather also brightened up for us. It rained all the way from Cusco but was quite hot by the time we walked into the centre of Moray.

From there were headed across dirt tracks to Moras and the salt mines. This was really unusual not seen anything like it before. I wasnt quite sure if the mines were still being used of just used for tourism but there were some people working on them with no machinery just wooden planks. 
It was still raining in Cusco when I got back what miserable weather weve had of late reminds me too much of home. Its supposed to be spring/summer in Peru...but I actually think the winter is the best time to come when it might be cooler but it doesnt rain, I hate the rain.

When I got back to the hostal I got chatting to a Swedish lady Sharda who was staying for a few days. Shed been travelling up to Ecquador and Columbia. Shes been in Peru for about 5 months but was heading off to Chile to visit the Galapogos Islands and Argentina. We had a good ole chat, she offered my some wine, I have now discovered you can buy cartons of ok red wine for about two pounds....we chatted away until 1am.

Next day and Im up early again for my second trip of the weekend. I got down to the office for 9am and again was taken to the plaza to wait to be put onto a tour. This time is started raining heavily, Id forgotten to bring my poncho but did take a waterproof jacket but it was a really unpleasant beginning to the day, made even worse by the fact it took them over an hour to find me a tour. All the buses that in the square were for the Sacred Valley tours, the other tours came in afterwards. So I had to wait in the cold and damp, not impressed and very nearly walked off. But eventually they got me onto a minibus but the tour would be in Spanish! At this point I just did not care and was happy to be out of the rain. In fact the guys on the tour were friendly and I got talking to Henry from Lima who spoke broken English so he tried as much as he could to translate for me, and then further into the trip a Mexican guy travellling by himself who spoke really good English translated for me too. Oh to be able to speak and understand Spanish, unfortunately unless I had lessons everyday I am just never going to learn it but I am managing.

We were lucky with the weather, the rain did not follow us. On this trip we visited a 17th century church Andahuayllias, known as the sistine chapel of the andes apparently, and two pre inca sites at Pikillaqta and finally Tipon.  Again really interesting sites which make good pictures too. Tipon is also famous for its oven grilled cuy (guinea pig) so we stopped off and well I couldnt resist. But this was different to the one I tried in Aguas Calientes. This was fresh and looked like a guinea pig. I shared half with another tourist on the trip, it came with potatoes and pasta. It was much better than the first time round, but there is still very little meat on it the best part is the thigh, but I think twice is enough for one lifetime!

Once I got back to Cusco I bumped into Sharda in an internet cafe. We went for a drink and cake in Jacks Cafe which is quite famous - according to an American we met in the queue she was told they make the best cappuccionos in the world. I had a hot chocolate and a chocolate muffin which was perhaps the best Ive ever tasted in the world it was delicious.

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