Taking time to acclimatise
14.02.2013 17 °C
We've not done a great deal over the past couple of days except to try and acclimatise. I forgot to mention in the last blog that Andrew went on the hunt for somewhere that does cheap laundry and ended up smacking the top of his head on a metal pole that went between a doorway - ouch! His words were "this place is built for f***ing midgets"! Naturally, I fit well everywhere here and feel quite at home. Unfortunately Andrew now has a really sore neck and can barely look left. He is no longer an ambi-looker*!
Yesterday, we bought our entrance and train tickets to Macchu Picchu - it really isn't a cheap day out! The train tickets alone were $200 US. The cold still hadn't gone away and so it was time to get our 'traveller' on and buy an "alpaca" jumper. Of course, for £7 these jumpers weren't alpaca but it had a jazzy print and it was definitely warm!
We've walked through the town, which is beautiful with its cobbled streets, two storey white wash buildings, flowering square and grand churches.
Cusco also has a large market filled with jumper stalls, flower stalls, food stalls and so on. There is a big fresh meat section too, which included a massive skinned cows head just casually placed on the counter. I have to admit, it freaked me out!
The altitude really takes it out of you and although we werent sick, we felt lethargic, which isn't great when you're trying to enjoy yourself. But we cheered ourselves up with 25p churros!
Today, Valentine's Day, the old romantic that he is, Andrew took me on an hour long walk out of the pretty part of town to find the bus station so we could buy tickets to Puno, for after Macchu Picchu. The walk was dusty and dirty, we got lost and just as we found the bus station, it started to rain. Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Haha.
There were a couple of nice things to see along the way back though...
On the walk back, we grabbed an empanada for lunch then braved a walk on part of the tourist trail that brings you to a look out point of Cusco. We were quite out of breath once we made it up there.
Check out my snazzy jumper! (Just the top...too much fashion isn't good for anybody!)
We even saw someone walking a Llama - bit like being back in North London for those who know the Enfield guy who walks his Llama down the main road!
The square, which we'd walked through and sat on every day now was lovely, green grass, pretty flowers and large ornate buildings, but it also had street sellers - every second step someone was trying to sell you a poncho, a picture or a woollen knitted pen! I understand people need to make money but it was quite annoying after three days and when you're not feeling your best. The children sellers were so persistent too, when you said "no gracias" they said "why not?", "erm, because i don't need a woollen finger puppet right now", "why not" and then they'd just stand there until you moved. Andrew tried to sell one of them his empty 2litre water bottle on the last day and when they looked confused and said no he said, "why not"!
Some more snaps of the square:
And back at the hostel, the cleaners had laid out red flowers on the bed for us, which was really sweet.
Romance came alive for the second time in one day, when Andrew and I went for £3 all you can eat Indian buffet at Maikhani. The owners were Indian, which was a good start, the lady's husband worked in Peru for years before and she had recently come over to join him and start her own business. The food was good, for £3, although the 'off buffet' chapati we requested was a bit dry...I guess chapati flour is hard to come by in Peru though! And no Kingfisher beer either
And the night didn't end there - I was whisked away to the highest Irish owned (note owned, not run!) for a pint.
There was only Guinness in a can so I thought better of it and we just had a Peruvian beer. Drinking at altitude means your much less of lightweight, so after the drinks at the buffet and two in the pub, we were ready for home.
We walked back through the pretty, lit up, square...
Who needs red roses, champagne and chocolates when you're together and somewhere as beautiful this!
- Zoolander reference for those not in the know