A Travellerspoint blog

Day 31: Wednesday 5th August, Cusco, Peru

Best city so far!!!!! We could definately stay here

sunny 22 °C
View South America Extravaganza on Maraka Saunders's travel map.

We arrived in Cusco early in the morning, too early in fact that our rooms weren't ready yet. I however still wasn't feeling right so Marco managed to get my room for me early. I ran upstairs to have a quick shower and make myself feel a little more alive, while everyone went to breakfast. I didn't take to long to get ready, then Callum Jack and I went and joined them at Jack's Cafe (the best food in South America!!). They had the biggest breakfast menu I couldn't decide. I ended up having a breakfast tortilla which consisted of 2 tortillas, with a huge pile of beans, two fried eggs on top and a whole sliced avocado. Callum had French Toast which came with bacon and maple syrup but oversized. Was exactly what everyone was wanting after a long night bus.
After breakfast we went for an orientation walk around the city (as we do in every new place), so we know where is safe to get money from, where is clean and good to get food from, which are the good drinking bars, and where the supermarkets are to get snacks etc. Also the most important part of being in Cusco, was it was our last chance to equipt ourselves fully for the Inca Trail. Cusco had heaps of our door shops, Northface etc.
Cusco also had some very big market complexs. Marco directed us to the biggest one San Francisco Market, so bunch of us went there to have a look around. Callum and I needed a Cusco keyring, a bag flag, and I needed another bracelet. I also ended up buying a little notebook to learn Spanish in.
After spending lots of money in the thousands of markets in Cusco, we went back to the hotel to relax for a bit and for Callum to shower. Around 1pm we meet up with Izzy, Jo, Tessa and Julia from our first tour, who had also just made it to Cusco, and were on their way to the Inca Trail.
So we went out for lunch, Harrolds suggestion, but it was disastrous. They forgot some meals and some drinks and then took an hour and a half to finally get them, then they tried charging us for everything they didn't give us. Spanglish got us through.
At 6pm we had to meet at the G Adventures office in Cusco for our Machu Picchu briefing. Basically they just went over what to bring, what not to bring etc. We were only allowed 6kg per person but that included your sleeping bag and sleeping mat. The sleeping bag weighed 2kg and the sleeping mat weighed 1.5kg, so you only had 2.5kg for all your warm clothes and essentials. Lucky we had our own sleeping bag which weighed around 1kg so gave us another 1.5kg extra. The reason behind the 6kg is because our porters are only allowed to carry 25kg each. So that 3 duffle bags and there own stuff.
They also went over the change in altitude each day, what the fitness expectations were. Was all very scary. Basically the 2 main things were - 'It's not a race , it's a hike' and PMA, PMA!! Positive Mental Attitude.
After I'd been freaked out we wet out for dinner, then half of us (including Callum) went to the Irish Paddys and the other half went to Mythology (including me), where they had Salsa lessons from 9-11pm. I had the best night ever!! After the lesson it was just like a normal social salsa night in Wellington. I had a Bachata dance with the teacher, then the other teacher saw and asked me for a dance, then I just didn't sit down after that. The main cool thing was that I was wearing my Zouk LA t-shirt and one of the teachers/DJ had done a year of soul so asked me to dance. I realised half through that no one else knew Zouk and I was doing a spotlight in front an entire room of strangers.
After being at Paddys , Callum and the others came and joined us, then we all went to Mama Africa
Mama Africa is a club that goes the latest and all of the tourists go to. It was such an awesome night, except my dancing partner Izzy wasn't there because she was sick. :-(
We had lost Pisco Sours, lots of Rum and Cokes and lots of dancing. It was cool to see Everyone let loose. Was of the Aussie guys (Cal) got sooooo drunk he poured water all over his head in the middle of the dance floor.
About half hour later Jack, Callum and I decided to go home to bed.
We got to the hotel when I realised there was someone lying down on the pavement about 100m from the front door. Then I realised it was Cal. So we went and picked him up off the ground. He said 'Oh wow are you taking me to bed, thanks sooo much I really need to go to bed.'. Jack and Callum carried him up the stairs, he was saying 'you guys are machines, thanks, thanks!'. When we got him into his room his mate Josh was there asleep but in the sitting position, as if he was trying to wait up for him, but feel asleep. We took his shoes and his shirt of for him. Then Jack said Maraka you take his pants off , Cal said 'NO! She's already got a lovely boyfriend!'. We tucked him in, then he insisted a hug from all of us. It was very funny.

Posted by Maraka Saunders 17:00 Archived in Peru

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