30.08.2008 - 05.09.2008 27 °C
After our 5 hr delay and landing that left a lot to be desired we arrived in Cusco. The taxi that we had arranged through the hostal did not arrive, so we picked one that looked somewhat safe and headed to the hostal Recoletta, a nice place, very clean. You could feel the altitude a bit as we were at 3,500 meters.
Cusco is a great place, very relaxed. The main square is a hub of activity with lots going on: we saw parades, protests and just about everything else. We were going to be here for a few days so we took our time in investigating the place and arranging our trip to the Sacred Valley and Macchu Picchu.
We also spent a lot of time just hanging out around the square in cafes drinking coca tea - very good :-). It became a staple part of our diet for Peru and Bolivia. We eventually decided to just get train tickets to Macchu Picchu with seperate accomodation and make our own arrangements to get to and from the site - it worked out a lot cheaper that way.
The train ride to Macchu Picchu was 4 hrs and it did a lot of zig zagging on the one way tracks system but the views were great. We got picked up from the station by our hostel, quite a nice place - it was on the main street or the only street which was full of restaurants and bars all offering all day happy hour at 4 for 1. (We got very happy )
We decided that we would get up really early the next morning so that we could have a full day at the site as well as be one of the 400 allowed up to Wanna Picchu. We got up at 4.15am, had breakfast and headed for the bus line. To our surprise there were already a lot of peaple waiting and by 5am the line was huge!!!!!.
We got up to the top and had to line up again and once we got in , we had to run to the far side of the site to line up again for Wanna Picchu. We were numbers 54 and 55, but it was well worth all the effort and the steep walk up as the views were great.
We stopped to rest. All other people were eating cookies and drinking coca tea. We couldn't believe it as we locked all our food in the lockers at the bottom following the signs.
After resting for a while at the top, we headed down to the start of the site to see it all properly. It was amazing how they managed to do this on top of a mountain - probably the 2nd best historical site I have seen (Petra is still top).
After spending the rest of the day going round the site we headed back into town to catch the train back to Cusco - this time it seemed like 12 hrs instead of 4.
Unfortunately we had planned another tour for the next day so it was another early start (7am - mental!) to see the Sacred Valley. It was great, but didnt really get us excited after Macchu Picchu the day before, we should have done it in reverse order - oh and they tried to stiff us for a really expensive lunch by dumping us in the middle of nowhere and only 1 place to go. We refused to eat it
After getting back we decided to do nothing all day and go to one of the most expensive restaurants in town - Fallen Angel for a special meal. The design was brilliant - flying pigs, goldfish in the bathtubs which serve as a table and so on. The food .... Well lets just say I got very friendly with the porcelen thrown for the next 2 days.