Incas, Inconsiderateness, and other Incidents
Trip Start Nov 29, 2009
78Trip End Jun 27, 2010
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Where I stayed
We (me, rhys and rory), arrived in Cusco bright and early in the morning, after our night bus. Immediately confronted with the greed of the native Cuscans as they tried to sell us tours, taxis, and tat at inflated prices, we headed to a hostel doing our best to ignore everyone on the way. Stayed in a room in hostal felix, whch was rather charming despite its resemblance to a dungeon. Had an excitingly hot shower as well as a log fire which made up for the lack of natural light. Spent the day exploring a bit and examining the deals in tour agencies which evntually made our heads hurt. One man seemed to want $100 for a tour in which nothing was included. Failing to book anything, we lit the fire and toasted marshmallows instead. Met up with Georgie in the evening and went out to a couple of clubs. Everyone was having a lovely time, until my glasses were dislodged from my face and after futilely scrabbling on the floor for them I discovered that my phone and money had been dislodged from my pockets, presumably by a now delighted Peruvian scamp. Expensive night, and one which I shan't dwell on!
Once we got used to ignoring most of the Cuscans, Cusco was actually quite a pretty city. The 4 of us had a wander round it and found some nice plazas. Some of us were better than others at taking less time to buy a jumper than the majority of people would spend buying a house. Played an exciting, possibly easter-based game in which you thrrew coins onto a grid of numbers and won money if your coin landed on a number rather than the lines of the grid. It became a spectator sport when it was realised gringos were playing.
Me and Rhys missed out on Machu Picchu but we did get to see some of the other, more easily accessible and less expensive ruins left by the Incas, and possibly embellished by Peruvians to make them look more impressive. All of us went to the sacred valley near Cusco, rejecting the reasonably priced tours and deciding to do it ourselves by buses. This proved much more difficult than expected, and only a lift from 2 Peruvians wise and wealthy enough to have hired a private taxi saved us from becoming permanent fixtures at the ruins, though it did mean 3 of us had to sit in the boot. Saw some religious and political complexes which were pretty impressive, though more because of the landscapes trhey were set in than any great architectural skill other than using big blocks of stone. Also saw a series of amphitheatre structures, which in some delightfully far reaching inferences by archaeologists were described as experimental farms with microclimates. Obviously.
On the final day in Cusco we were abandoned by our 2 compadres and set off to mop up the culture of the city. Saw a regional history museum, which considering the region’s history we hoped might have housed some slightly more impressive Inca artefacts. Saw an art galery containing what were apparently knock off of GCSE art projects in the UK. And saw another Inca ruin near the city, similar kinds of big impresive stone walls and hilly landscape.
Any gaps in the narrative were invariably filled with sitting by the fire and watching MTV, Jersey Shore being a particular favourite. Any show in which an individual who refers to himself by the nickname he has given his abdominal muscles is invited to express his views is a winner in my book.
Ciao for now, D, R, R & G