Tattoos, charrangos and more ruins
Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
52Trip End Oct 01, 2013
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I hate seeing someone doing that to him so we left and went off in search of a sunset beer spot on the square.
Tai met us back at the hostel later and we went to the bar for a much needed beer! The girls had their briefing for their inca trail and so me and tai spent the evening discussing his tattoo decision and the past amazing 4 days we'd just experienced!
The girls left in the early hours of the morning for their hike and me and tai were alone again. We decided we wanted to see a little more of cusco and so opted to go on the free walking tour. Tai was worried as the tour was around 3.5 hours long and he didn't know how he was going to cope without food for that long, he had no reason to worry though as the tour was split into 3 sections, food, history and fun. We spent well over an hour going to different restaurants trying local food including a chocolate museum, a Peruvian fast food restaurant and even a sushi bar. It was great, we went to the local arts school which is a really good thing for cusco as apparently parents will just push their children into becoming tour guides when they grow up so having an arts school still gives people other options, there was some great paintings and sculptures around the main courtyard that the students had taken
The tour ended in the pisco museum where we were given free pisco sours with some very gay dance music blasting from the stereo!
Despite all the free food and drink samples tai was still hungry so we headed to a little vegetarian restaurant and had a feast for less than 5 pounds between us!
We headed back to the hostel chilled out for a bit then decided to head out for a few drinks, after walking into a number of completely empty bars we headed to nortons and spent the evening at the bar deciding what to do over the next few days. We'd learnt on the free walking tour that there was a lake in the hills behind the town where you could fish and a lady would grill for you what you caught. We thought that would be a perfect way to spend a lazy day and at midnight headed back to our hostel.
Failfest 2012 started like any other day, we got up had breakfast and headed out for the day. Our plan was to head towards christo blanco - a big white Jesus that is up in the hills overlooking the city of cusco, from there- and according to the map it seemed easy enough to get to piscigranga- the lake which was full of trout...and water
Even with the best spanish would we have fully understood what we were in for. The arena we arrived at - where we accidentally pushed straight to the front of the queue- was more like a school hall, the cheapest tickets (which we had) were no different to the most expensive (which they tried to sell us). As there seems to be everywhere in Peru, a lady was selling fresh popcorn and we wolfed that down before the show even began
We can honestly say we have never seen anything like it and travelled back in the taxi speechless with wide grins on our faces!
We headed to the bar where JB met us, played the longest game of pool in history- about an hour and a half and headed to sample some more of the cusco nightlife. We headed into a club called methology where the music was considerably better than mama Africa's and danced the night away, us on the dance floor, JB on the bar!
The following day was unfortunately a bit of a write off and we spent the day watching films having discovered the awesome movie room at the hostel which had huge comfy sofas and a projector- it was almost like being back in the wool house
After a day of resting we decided it was time for another adventure and with JB coming along with us we thought we'd have another go at finding the trout lake and christo blanco. We headed in what we thought was the right direction only to be met by a dead end and a concrete football pitch where some locals were playing some football, we asked a guy in very broken Spanish if he could point us in the right direction, luckily he spoke more English than we did Spanish and pointed us towards a little alley way, and so we followed his advice and ventured down. As there seems to be everywhere in Peru there was some dogs chilling in the sun at the side of the alley, there's normally nothing to worry about with the dogs here and so we carried on walking towards them as normal, as we got close though one jumped up bared it's teeth and began barking and coming towards us, we jumped back and it came again, we decided that we should probably turn around- especially as JB hadn't had his rabies jab- and head towards the entrance where you have to pay, this was our last option or we were giving up on these ideas for good. Much to our surprise there wasn't any guards on the gates and do along with the locals we walked through, up an inca path until it opened out to green parks and streams, locals were picnicing, llamas were grazing and locals were asking tourists for money for photos or horse rides. We asked a guy offering horse rides to point us in the direction of the lake- piscigranga - no he said its not possible by foot only by horse back- what a surprise! He informed us it was past the tall trees in the distance and over the mountain, not really trusting him we decided to try and find it on foot
It turns out that locals can visit macchu pichu and other inca sites for free on the last Sunday of every month and so that's why we managed to sneak through without having to pay today as there's no guards!
We decided we should celebrate making it with some afternoon beers and spent the rest of the day in a bar overlooking the main plaza. The girls got back around 8ish and we caught up over some more beers and crap Chinese food. Our group was back together again!
The following two days didn't really go to well for either of us and we spent the majority of them in bed, tai with food poisoning from some dodgy chicken- for the time being he is now vegetarian again- and my stomach cramps had come back again
We made it there in one piece but it was still a short taxi ride to get to the ruins, so we jumped in and headed through a beautiful little mountain town until we got to the ruins. Without a guide we pretty much decided for ourselves what they were and from our previous inca experience we think they were terraces where farmers grew different vegetables and plants. It was still incredibly preserved and when we saw people in big tour groups we felt very smug that we'd managed to do it all ourselves. Once we'd climbed in and out of the ruins the taxi driver offered us a very good rate to take us all the way back to cusco so we decided to skip the bus and go for the comfort of a taxi.
We were all pretty hungry as we'd missed both breakfast and lunch today and so headed out for dinner straight away to our favourite vegetarian restaurant. As we were eating more and more children where coming in dressed in Halloween costumes with little pumpkin carriers, they would go up to the bar staff and say "halloween" and the restaurant would give them sweets- must be a much safer and more profitable way of trick or treating than going door to door as we do at home. We left the restaurant and as we rounded the corner onto the main square we couldn't believe what was happening- it seems that people love Halloween over here
Our last day in cusco was the 1st November- a month since we had begun our travels. Nicki and ingrid hadn't been to the music workshop on their walking tour so we thought it would be cool to all go again. The man played us some of the instruments he made again and yet again they sounded wonderful, so much so we decided we shouldn't miss out on an opportunity to buy one, after some deliberation we decided on an instrument called a charrango, a 10string guitar which looks a little like a ukelele. It apparently takes the man around a year to make each one. It's definitely something that feels really special and we were both excited to begin learning to play. The rest of the afternoon we wandered the markets and cusco town soaking up as much as we could of this beautiful town before our night bus to puno that night. We had a final farewell dinner with Kirsty where I unfortunately ordered a meal that tasted like feet- but hey I guess that's gonna happen at times! Cusco had been great but we were both definitely ready to leave and continue our adventure.