We were awoken by a group of drunks getting home at 5.30am. Whilst I have no problem with fellow hostelers staggering back at all hours, they could at least not sit down right outside our bedroom door and chatter at the top of their lungs. To make matters worse, they were American…typical. Thankfully the 24 hour receptionist moved them on before I started yelling abuse like an old man telling the neighbours’ kids to get off the lawn.
We rose for breaky at 9am and braved the ‘breakfast included’ option that our hostel provides. We went for yoghurt, fruit and cereal. 2 out of 3 wasn’t bad, except the cereal tasted a bit funny. It filled us up though and at least it was free (have to get something out of this crap hostel).
We ventured out for the day, firstly to Lorenzo, our tour operator for our upcoming Machu Picchu trek. We paid our remaining balance and found out that we were going to have Wilbur as our tour guide for the next 4 days. People have been raving about him on Trip Advisor so it should be pretty good fun. Our tour is called the Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu; a 4 day, 3 night adventure. Each day sees us take on a different adventure; from mountain biking down a summit of 4,300m to hiking and ziplining through the Andes. Day 4 sees us visit the famous Inca site of Machu Picchu. We have to limit our belongings to our small day packs as we’ll be lugging these all around with us. So we’ll be out of blog territory for a few days until we return to Cusco on Tuesday.
We walked back to the main square where their was this hype of activity; the Vive Las Fiestas Del Cusco was in full swing. There was a street parade going on and all these little school kids were dancing around in their cute native dresses and suits, all in time to the band playing local music walking behind them. And the square was packed with people. We sat and watched a few acts and clapped as the little kids danced and skipped past us.
It hit mid-morning and to ward off the hungry gremlins knocking on Rach’s door, we stopped by a small bakery that made all sorts of little treats. Rach was in a dilemma as she was hungry on one hand and couldn’t decide on which tart to have. She naturally settled on a strawberry one.
We roamed the markets for a bit, trying to find and haggle for a nice canvas painting of Machu Picchu. We found one however the lady wouldn’t budge any further on s.160 (about $60). This was a little out of our range of s.100 so we decided to keep looking.
For lunch, we stopped off at La Bodega 138, that did really nice pizzas. We sat by the window and laughed at all these Japanese tourists walking passed, stopping and taking a photo of this door across the laneway. We asked the waitor what the deal is and he explained that there’s a myth of some Inca carvings on the door frame but apparently it isn’t actually inca at all, so not to bother taking a pic of it!
We wondered onto this little neighbourhood called San Blas. It lies a short walk out of town, sloping up into the hills. On the walk there, we passed heaps of little markets selling basically the same things, albaca jumpers, beanies & scarves. We found a shop containing heaps and heaps of canvas paintings. Surely we can find one that jumps out at us. And we did, well Rach found it. It’s a nice big canvas looking down on Machu Picchu with a painting of an ancient Incan chief on the side. It looks really cool. Problem was, the best the shop lady would do was s.120, s.20 above our price limit. We told her we’d keep looking and maybe come back. And well, we did later on after not finding a better (or as good) canvas, flashed s.110 across her face and she accepted! She told us that her husband paints all the canvases so we said to say thank-you to him!
We walked up the steps further into the village and found the local church and fountain. It had a lovely view back across the old town of Cusco. We kept finding steps further-on and to put our legs through some training for the next few days, we ventured onwards and upwards, coming to a vantage point looking out across the city. It was a stunning sight and the sun was high in the sky (and it was quite warm) and we got some cracking photos, including a token jump and handstand (on a frog statue).
We wandered back down the steps and back through the village before coming back into the old town again. We made it back to our hostel around 4pm for a little rest and ‘blog administration’. We had also changed rooms from Room A to Room K, hoping that this will be a little quieter. The room seems to be a little quieter, up on the 1st floor however still looks down onto the centre communal area.
We went out for dinner around 7pm to Cicciolina, which was a solid choice (Rach had the caesar salad and I went some italian dish I’d never heard of but I likened it to Mum’s hash she makes). The food was really nice however the only downer was the rudeness of the waitresses which meant at the end of the meal we left a pretty lousy tip. They just weren’t interested in serving us, mixing up our meals, taking away plates before Rach had finished etc. We wandered back to our hostel for an early night (but not before I had to write this blog so we are completely up-to-date before our big trip).