Cusco, Peru 22 Nov 2011
We finally arrived in Cusco after travelling for 2 days and 2 nights. All we want now is a bed to lie down. It was 5am, we took a taxi to our Hostel and got in the bed in no time. This hostel is recommended by the 2 french gals we met in Huaraz and they told us about the Jungle Inka Trail they did with this hostel.
Without wasting time, after we had a little sleep, we check with the owner about the trek. He explained us the package and options. I wanted to visit Waynapicchu as well and with my student card, I could get the package @ $160. Francois only wants to spent $160, without a student card he can only visit Machupicchu. The highlight of the trip includes biking down from Abra Malaga @ 4350m to Santa Maria @ 1250m, a descent of 2100m in 2.5 hours, a walked on the 1km Inka Trail, soak in the hot spring, visit Machupicchu ( 1 of the 7 World Wonders), Waynapicchu and trekking along the Urubamba River. With no hesitation, we booked our trip leaving the next day.
We had one day to walked around Cusco and buy some food for our trip. We first visited the famous Plaza de Almas, surrounded by the huge Cathedral and Iglesia Compania de Jesus. Cusco’s architecture is amazing, the city is covered with red roof and layered of culture, when Spanish came they destroyed most of the building built by Inka and they used the remaining walls as bases for the construction of a new city. Amazingly the city is very clean and vibrant not like Lima or any other city in Peru. On the bad side, every single street here is filled with tour agency and souvenir shops, we visited a couple of market and they sell the same stuff all over. I really don’t know how they survive. There are more shops then tourist and the price weren’t cheap at all. At the market, we found lunch set for S3.50. A lunch set consist of a soup, main course which normally with the options of rice with fish or meat and a glass of drink. Well, it’s a perfect meal for us and cheap.
At night, we went for a briefing at our agency for our 4D3N Jungle Inka Trail. We will be picked up between 7:30 to 8am in the morning. We had our return train ticket but they could only get us on the 9:30pm train. They will fax our Machupicchu and Waynapicchu ticket to the hotel we stayed in Aguas Caliente. We were told to bring a few t-shirts, swim wear, a sweater and a poncho or raincoat, a pair of trekking boots and sandal, sun block, mosquitoes repellent, hat and water. Try to pack as light as possible because we will need to carry all that in our daily trek.
We left on the 23rd Nov 2011 to Machupicchu, I will write a separate blog on this exciting trip. :-)
Cusco, Peru 27-30 Nov 2011
Back to Cusco at 11pm, exhausted from the climb this morning, chat a bit with Francois and went to bed. The next day, I woke up with mussle ache from all the steps climbing, had a home cook breakfast, sent 2.5kg of smelly cloths to the laundry and went back to bed. :-) It is a day of relaxing.
In the afternoon, the sun was shining and calling from the windows. I have to go out, the weather is so good! Anyway I have to sort out some stuff for my Bolivia visa, post my postcards and go for lunch. At 2pm I finally dragged myself out of the bed. I went back to the market for cheap lunch, got to the post office, went internet café to print out some papers required for Bolivia Visa and photocopy some stuff. I accidently walked pass a Salsa School, there were a class going on, I can’t resist to make an enquiry. The lady told me there are group classes starting from 5pm for an hour continuing till 9pm. I was really interested so the Instructor danced with me for a while and decided I could go to the advanced class. I was so happy. The class is S20 per hour, if I could join their 1 month class will be cheaper…but unfortunately I am planning to leave the next day. So I returned for 2 hours salsa that night, and it was great. The instructor was good and dancing with a group of people who are good really makes a difference. I was hooked to return for 2 more hours tomorrow before I leave to Puno. Francois left that night to Copacabana, we managed to travel for 2 and half weeks together, not bad! :-) I am happy to be on my own again.
When I woke up in the morning, I knew I wanted to stay one more day to squeeze in more salsa class, :-) because it was the first time I had so much fun in class. I wish I could stay for a month but I have a dateline! I need to make it to San Juan, Argentina for Christmas, so I have 3 weeks left for Bolivia. One more day here should be fine! :-) Today was spent editing, updating my photos and blog. The Internet in the hostel really sucks, I could hardly upload a blog. In the afternoon, I finally got my ass moving to go to the terminal to get my bus ticket for Puno. The salsa class lesson on the second night was with another instructor, he talked a lot and full of himself. We missed the first 10 minutes of each hour because he is doing something or showing off something. I didn’t enjoy as much. After talking to the lady in charge, she told me the instructor for the 3rd day will be the same with the first day. I was happy to hear that. He is really good, he taught and practiced more than he talked for straight 1 hour which was great.
On the last day in Cusco, I went walking around some other place which I’ve not been. I did some shopping and packed my stuff to be ready to move on again. My last 2 hours of Salsa at the school was fantastic. We danced straight 2 hours with break of few seconds in between songs. It was tiring but fun. I was sad to leave….My bus was at 10pm to Puno. Getting to Puno with one aim to make my Bolivia Visa and then move on to Bolivia.
AccommodationsYuri’s Hostel - S24 for private double room with shared bathroom and WIFI available.
Taxi from Terminal to Hostel – S7
Bus from Cusco to Puno - S35 (Executive)
Taxi from town to Terminal - S3
Terminal fees - S1.2
Recreations4D3N Jungle Inka trek with Puma’s Trek Peru (http://pumastrekperu.net/eng/index.html)– US$180
· Including 3 night accommodation, 3B/3L/3D, entrance fees to Machupicchu and Waynapicchu, train ride back to Ollantaytambo, bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco and Guide.
· Change my train ticket to earlier timing top up $7.50
Salsa lessons (Group) with Escuela de Salsa, Collacalle N 468 – S20 / hour