How can you ever be down in a city where there is gorgeous scenery, friendly locals, constant blue skies and rainbow flags everywhere?
Yep, the flag of Cusco is a rainbow flag and they are EVERYWHERE! Maybe that’s why everyone is so happy here, rainbow colours are so uplifting. Good vibes indeed.
We had a stressful/hilarious morning of trying to access Vicki’s belongings (she locked the key to the case, inside of her case). After throwing stones at the lock and cutting it open with first aid scissors, we finally fixed the problem and made it to breakfast!
Today we decided to get to know the city a little better, so we spent our morning people watching in the Plaza de Armas. Our conclusions are as follows:
1) There are A LOT of small dancing children in uniforms, I’m talking hundreds, and they’re out on the streets all day doing a little jig with some ribbons and sheepskin shoes. Do they go to school? I’m gonna say no. But who needs an education when you can groove to pan flute music for the pleasure of the public.
2) ‘NO GRACIAS’ is a phrase too commonly used. No, I don’t need a green llama figurine, or a massage or my Converse polishing…
After Vicki’s bum went numb sitting down for so long, we continued our journey shocked to find that it was only 9am. We’re probably still a bit jet lagged but Cusco is such a lively city, even early in the mornings there’s so much going on.
After a recommendation from some girls in our hostel, we went to book our trip to Macchu Pichu. Greeted by the delightful Mistico (real name Roger), we then began to plan our adventure. He designed it around us because we insisted that we weren’t capable of a 5 day hike through the jungle but that we didn’t want to go entirely by bus. So (after a HUGE test of our spanish, barely anyone speaks english here) we settled on 3 days and 2 nights: a mix of hiking, buses, trains and strolling, which is PERFECT for us and our budget of $100. We get to see all of the sacred valley and Aguas Calientes before hiking up the inca steps to Machu Picchu. All I can say is, if you’re coming to Cusco and want to see Machu Picchu, DON’T book in advance. Pre-booked trips online start from around £200 and so it’s much cheaper to book last minute when you’re here. And I’m not joking when I say last minute, we’re leaving in less than 24 hours! Spontaneousin’ell.
I’m super excited though and we’ve realised that the day we’ll actually be in Machu Picchu will be… MY BIRTHDAY! I doubt many people will be able to say they’ve turned 20 on top of an ancient incan civilisation!
Anyway, back to today’s events. We ate a yummy 3 course lunch and then headed over to the chocolate museum. It was free entry plus some free ‘chocolate tea’. I hate tea (controversial statement, I know) but this chocolate tea was truly delightful. We were also pleased to discover that chocolate IS healthy:
So after that discovery we proceeded to order 2 huge brownies with ice cream and an iced chocolate milkshake. We ate it looking over at a gorgeous view of the city and the Andes mountains and it really showed that you can experience luxury on the cheap here! We spent our evening reading by the fountain as the sun went down. It was pure bliss: warmth on our skin, good company, so much going on around us (jugglers, children riding bikes, dogs playing) and we both agreed that it was the perfect way to end our relaxing day.
Now it’s time to go home, stow away our cases for the weekend and prepare our backpacks ready to explore Machu Picchu!
It’s interesting that neither of us can walk up Bathwick hill without passing out and here we are, voluntarily agreeing to climb a huge mountain….
Wish us luck!