A Travellerspoint blog

On the road with Mick and Paddy

..and Mandy

Nearly everyone I spoke to had told me that Lima was a shithole, and most forum comments seem to back this up. The only people who seemed to have anything nice to say were people who actually lived there. But it seemed that overall for the passing tourist the place had little to offer. I did still intend to have a look around for myself though. However in the end it just didn´t happen. First issue was that I was staying a bit out of the city centre near Miraflores at 'The Point' Lima. This was a nicer place to be, but further away from the city centre making it easy to forget all about it.
When I arrived I met some guys who had been at 'The Point' in Cusco; Mick and Paddy. They had left Cusco ages ago, so were making pretty slow time!! I ended up hanging out with these guys for pretty much the whole time I was in Lima, drinking beer and eating Chifa (Chinese in case you are wondering). I also got to meet up one last time with Alun who I had also met in Cusco. He was the king of "I'm leaving tomorrow" speeches. And it had taken him so long he rocked up to Lima one day before his flight left back home. He was not pleased about going back!
As I didn't really do anything Lima I have little to report so can neither confirm or deny that it is crap. The only thing I know for sure is that the girls there are even scarier than the full-time gringo hunters in Cusco! We hadn't even got in the bar and they were already flirting with the boys and giving me stares that I think I actually felt burning my skin!! At one point I thought I was going to get my eyes ripped out by a particularly crazy looking girl who Paddy was trying to get rid of. He had met her before, but wasn't too pleased about seeing her again so told her I was his girlfriend! She let out a screech of "HER!!!!!", and looked round the side of him at me. I thought I was done for! Paddy was clearly also scared for my well-being as he changed his story slightly so I wouldn't get ripped to shreads. Shortly after all of this I looked round to see all 3 guys I was with chatting to various girls, and thought it was propably time to get my coat.
The following day I had arranged to go to Trujillo with Mick and Paddy. Neither of them were around when I went to get my ticket so I just got one for me. Mick turned up a bit after lunch, but still no Paddy. Mick was trying to decide if he should wait for Paddy or leave without him. Luckily he turned up before that decision needed to be made and we headed off. We took an over night bus where we were treated to very load and terrible south american pop music, accompanied but a fat man snoring. Said fat man was right next to Paddy's head (who had just discovered his iPod was out of battery!), so when it all got to much Paddy would smack the man on the head to try and make him stop. Would work for a few seconds at least.
In Trujillo we headed for a beach town that we had heard was quite nice. It wasn't! Very dull looking beach and the same hazy cloud that covered Lima and refused to let any sun through. It was supposed to be a good place for surfing, but I wasn't even going to go near the beach to find out. Paddy had a go, but hurt his arm so that was an end to it. We tried to leave asap!
After Trujillo we headed up to Mancora - Peru's finest beach. Our bus arrived about 5 in the morning so we had to go on Lonely Planet's for somewhere to stay. Once again they proved why I never take Lonely Planets advice for somewhere to stay! They had discribed the place as a lively, fun party place with decent rooms. We found there to be no one there wanting to have any fun. They even closed the bar round us one night at about 9! And the rooms were rubbish. We had to share with cockroaches, mozzies and clearly at some point mice as Mick found some of their poo in his bed! Not only that but the guy working there actually made us sit on some horribly uncomfortable chairs for half an hour as check in was not allowed before 6! What a bastard! I was keen to move that day without actually spend a night in the place but we stayed because we had already paid.
On the beach we bumped into Mandy who we met briefly in Lima, and so we all spent the next couple of days together eating, drinking and beach bumming. We even bumped into Jarrod from Cusco as well, still merrily twisting his dreads.
After a couple of days in Mancora I headed of with Mandy on a mamouth bus journey all the way to Quito where we planned to try and get to the Galapagos. We left Mick and Paddy to try their luck with some local chicas without us gobby old English birds cramping their style...

Posted by MilyP 09:49 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Muchos flying

Over lines and down sand dunes

sunny

So I finally managed to get a bus to Nazca. The plan was to arrive in the morning, head straight for the airport, see the lines then get out of there. By all accounts that I had heard Nazca was a bit of a dump and not worth hanging around in.
So I arrived about 6am. There was a guy there who did flights so I went with him to his shop to wait till I could get on one. First problem - it was a very misty morning so the guy reckoned it would be a few hours before there were any flights. Never mind. I had the internet to keep me entertained. Then at about 9ish the guy gave me a shout and we were off to the airport. Great! I would be out of here soon. At the airport I watched a National Geographic programme about the lines (it seems this how you explain something in Peru.) and then waited. And waited. And then waited some more. Some other people turned up. Then they got on a flight and left. I was still waiting. I made several enquiries as to why the hell I was still waiting. Answers ranged from 'in half an hour you go', to 'we are waiting for the fog to clear' (although lots of other flights had gone and I didn't see much sign of fog), to finally 'we are waiting for our slot at 12.30'. My complaints that no one had told me I would have to wait, that others had been and gone, and that more importantly I was hungry didn't get me very far. Well, I lie. I got a lift down on a motorbike down to the local shop for a free toastie and juice. Shut me up for a bit. And when we got back I finally got on my flight!
As for the lines themselves, well I thought they were pretty cool. There are various lines. Some are just triangles or trapezoids, but there are also lots of pictures of animals. The general consensus after much debate seems to be that they were made by the Nazca people as offerings to the gods to make them bring the rain. What with it being a desert an all rain is pretty scarce. And it is because of the lack of rainfall that the lines are still there undisturbed. It is also thought that the big giant pictures of animals are there so that the Nazca people could walk the lines of them and try and gain some of the animal's powers in special rituals. Of course there is another theory. There are many Americans (and probably one or two of other nationalities) just dying to be analy probed who think that these lines are evidence of alien visitations. Why else would they be only viewed properly from the sky? The Nazca people couldn't fly. There is also one drawing on the side of a hill that looks a bit like a little spaceman. He is quite cute really! I'm not really down with the alien theory, but who knows....
Back on land, I was intending to complain to the man who sold me the ticket, but low and behold he was nowhere to be seen! I thought he might be back at his shop where I was taken to get my bag. But no joy there either, just a young boy who didn't speak English and clearly wasn't going to be in a position to give me any kind of refund. I decided to let it go and get the hell out of Nazca asap! And so I got on my way to Huacachina on particularly over-priced bus full of the joys of chicken and chips (the toastie was breakfast, this was lunch).
Huacachina was much nicer. It is basically a desert oasis. A little villiage made up of a pond, a few hostels and restaurants and entirely surrounded by sand dunes. I spent my first few hours in a hammock, which is always a good start. That evening I enjoyed much banter with guy who was French/English but living in Spain. After getting over the fact that Anglo French relelations had managed to produce offspring, we had yet more chicken and chips at a cheapo restaurant followed by a few beers at the hostel bar.
The next day I had a strenous day again sunbathing in the hammock before heading off for a trip to the sand dunes. This involved getting in a open buggy type vehicle and being raced around for a few hours. This was made scarier as it was our drivers first time. He basically flew up very steep sand dunes and then lauched us off the other side with the passengers either laughing, crying or screaming. It was good fun. And we stopped occasionally for a bit of sandboarding. Standing up on the sandboard didn't seem to result in too much speed being built up, but due to past snowboarding experiences I opted for the lying down method. This was basically lying face first on the board, holding on, tucking your arms in and getting pushed down the dune. It was all good fun. However after going down a particularly steep slope, getting a few cuts and bruises on a bumpy bit and then ploughing into a couple of Israely girls due to an inabillity to steer, I thought it time to give the sandboarding a rest. The girls were not happy! But I had done my best to warn them to move by screaming at them as I approached. And they were standing where everyone who had gone down had ended up. So I feel they were at least partly responsible for their own fate.
That evening I had been intending on having a few drinks at the bar. But instead I passed out stupidly early in my room reading my book. Lame! But for the best maybe as I had to be up early the next day to head to Lima.

Posted by MilyP 14:54 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

There is life outside Cusco!

It was a shock for me too.

sunny

There was a mixture of excitement and aprehension at the thought of leaving Cusco. On the one hand I had been there long enough and was eager to get out of my routine and back on the road to see some new things. On the other, as I am sure you all know, I am a lazy cow and being in one place is easy! I didn't have to worry about organising myself to get buses, tours, visit places and all that stuff. And I always had friends around to do hang out with, and I found the idea of being on my own again a bit scary. But I finally managed to go. And as it turned out another guy from the hostel was leaving for Arequipa so we were together on the bus. And once in Arequipa there were people there I knew from Cusco. So no chance to be on my own.
Arequipa is is quite a nice city, with lots of beautiful white buildings made of rock from the surrounding volcanos. I was here mainly to see an Inkan mummy and go to Colca Canyon to see some Condors. Got the mummy out of the way on day one. I was staying at The Point hostel in Arequipa too, so after a bit of a sleep in the morning I went to the museum. It was tiny and you had to have a guide to take you round. First we watched a video about the guys who found the mummies (made by National Geographic, which I think is cheating). Seems there were a number of bodies found as the Inkan's had left them as sacrifices to the gods. Because of the altitude of the volcanos some of the offerings were mummified due to being frozen in ice. The one in the museum was the best of the bunch. She didn't look to hot any more it has to be said. But was very interesting to see her and a number of other arifacts that were found with the bodies.
After all that serious museum type stuff (I think my first of South America), it was time for some food followed by some ice cream sundaes! Then we headed back to the hostel to go go-carting before dinner. The track was only round the corner and cost aproximately $3 for 5 races. Bargain!! The carts varied slightly in their drivability. My first race I had a good car, but later I had one which refused to go round a corner without spinning, no matter how slowly I went. It was pretty frustrating, but still fun. In fact we went again the next day! All in all the next day was a pretty lazy one in fact, spent eating (nice sandwiches and more ice cream), shopping (one skirt) and kicking Dan's ass at pool. In the evening I went out for a bit but didn't make it to the 'rave' as I had to be up for my trip to the Colca Canyon. Although I don't think I missed much what with the rave being in some cheesy club!
Colca Canyon was interesting. I have to say I was a little disappointed. So soon after the Inka Trail I opted out of the trek option and just went on a 2 day tour. But I had been told there was some walking around the canyon. But this wasn't the case, and we just spent 2 days jumping on and off the bus.
My group consisted almost entirely of native Spanish speakers and I was the only person who's Spanish was so poor I had to have the guide talk to me in English. There were 2 families on board, and the rest were mostly older couples. We drove to a little town in the valley where we were stopping for the night and had lunch. In the afternoon there was a trip to some hot springs but it was pretty cold and windy so I passed. That evening we went for dinner at some place with some traditional dancing. Again more jumping round in circles and it included my old favourite 'the more I hit you the more I love you'!! However this time they were trying to get audience members to join in the dancing too. Luckily I was saved by my chocolate pudding, which arrived just as a guy was trying to get me to dance. No contest really. Chocolate pudding is always going to win! The guy tried again, but I was just leaving. Shame!
The following day we went to the Canyon again and to look for condors. This is basically the reason everyone comes to the canyon. And at one point it looked like we were going to be disappointed. But after standing around for over an hour a couple of condors suddenly came swooping by. It was almost like they planned it! Keep all the gringos waiting till the last minute then give them a show. After the condors it was back to Arequipa, with a few stops for picture here and there. We stopped in a number of little towns who all seemed to have the same church. At one point I thought we might just be going round in circles and back to the same town.
Back in Arequipa I was supposed to leave that evening, but turned out I didn't actually have a bus booked as I thought due to technical difficulties. So I stayed another night, kicked Dan's ass at pool some more and went to the local climbing wall. This was more effort than it was worth as it was very small and we had to go back to the place several times as the owner wasn't there, despite us calling to say we were coming. But at least we had time for yet more ice creams and sandwiches before I left for Nazca.

Posted by MilyP 12:11 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

On The Inka Trail

In sickness or in health

sunny

So to the Inka Trail. I had been booked on this since July, and waiting in Cusco for 6 weeks to do it. The plan to get fit beforehand hadn't gone too well. In fact with all the partying and late nights I am sure my level of fitness had probably got worse. And by way of proof I got tonsillitus 3 days before my Inka Trail!! I felt just awful. The first day I thought maybe it was just a sore throat and would go away. The second day I got on the internet, found the relevant antibiotics for tonsillitus, got them and just slept. But the day before the trail I still felt tired and generally terrible, so went to see my tour company to see what could be done. The answer was nothing, and to my shame I burst into tears, which unnerved the poor girl behind the desk who ran to get the owner. Basically because the trail has to be booked up ages in advance in your name, they can't move it. There are no spaces for months anyway. And because it was the day before I couldn't get any kind of refund as everything had been booked and bought for the trip. The only solution was to try and do the trail and if I really couldn't they would bring me back.
So after that I went to the doctors. He wanted to know why I hadn't been to him sooner as he said it was very bad - my tonsils were all white and green. Nice! He then told me he wanted to give me an injection every day for the next 3 days. As this wasn't possible I just had the one while I was there and was given a big stack of pills instead. Why I had to be injected in the bum for a sore throat I am still not sure. Maybe it is just how they amuse themselves with the gringos!?
So to the morning of my trip. I still wasn't feeling great, but it did seem that the drugs might have started having some effect. We stopped at a little town on the way to the start of the trail and I made myself have some breakfast as I hadn't eaten much for the last 3 days. My group was quite a small one which was nice. There were 2 guys from Taiwan, 2 American guys celebrating their 50th birthdays, another English girl and a guy origianlly from Malta who had lived in NYC for the last 20 years. Quite a mixed bunch.
The first day wasn't too strenuous and I made it in one piece. Although I did have to have a little siesta after lunch. And when we finally made it into camp in the evening I literally collapsed in my tent and went to sleep for a few hours. The next day I felt a bit better still. But not for long as day 2 of the Inka Trail is nearly 5 hours of walking uphill! This almost killed me I think. Although I would be interested to know how much better I would have done if I was not ill?! It was ok being slow though as one of the American guys was also really slow, so I just hung out with him. And it meant that we had the whole trail to ourselves which was nice. At one point I stopped for a rest on the path and a little deer came out of the forest and crossed the path. She had a little look at me and stood around for a while making me feel all Snow White-like!
After a long lunch we continued to the top of Dead Womans pass, where all the porters cheered us on as we reached the top. I have to admit that I did find this quite motivational. Although also quite tragic when you think about the fact that the porters had all had to pack up the stuff from lunch, then carry it all up the hill past us and still got to the top ages before us. In fact the porters did this all the time. Carrying things about twice the size of them that looked extremely heavy they would come trotting past going about 3 times the speed of everyone else. And literally ran downhill. They put us all to shame!
Camp on day 2 was overlooking a valley and was absolutely beautiful. That evening we ate the usual mountain of food (we were served 3 incredible 3 course meals a day), and after were made to sing songs!? We had to do our national anthem and then a traditional song. Myself and Megan struggled with the national anthem, although I am quite certain that most people don't know much past 'God save our gracious queen', apart from 'da da da da da da, God save our queen'. This was all we managed. As for a cultural song, I don't think we came up with one, what with words to 'Knees up Mother Brown' escaping us. So instead I seem to recall we murdered 'Bohemian Rhapsody' on the basis this was the only song we could remember the words to! (Thanks 'Waynes World'!). The American's faired much better with theirs, having been made to sing it at school. The guys from Taiwan weren't sure what to sing as there is a national anthem and an official anthem or something. From what I could gather over the few days with them, everything is very complicated in Taiwan, due to relations with China. Even national anthems.
Day 3 started with a bit of a shock - more uphill!! I had led myself to believe that there was no more uphill after day 2. But it wasn't too bad and we had some ruins to visit half way up. Once at the top we stopped for snacks and then headed down. Day 3 was really beautiful with views across various mountains and lots of lovely plants and flowers that I stopped and took pictures of. In fact at one point I managed to chuck my camera of the side of the mountain trying to photo a lovely flower. Luckily for me it landed in a big clump of grass with the strap pointing up so I could hook it with my stick. I resolved to be more careful after that.
We were visiting another set of ruins when it began to rain. Ponchos everywhere! We all began the mad dash to lunch with everyone else on the trail, which was tricky as there were a number of slippery rocks on the path and the rain had already managed to make a virual stream out of the path. Luckily it stopped raining as we were having lunch so the rest of the day was rather lovely. The last part of the day was down some very large steps. I decided that I would take this at a leisurely pace and listed to some music. It made me smile a lot to look up at the amazing views whilst listening to some of my favorite tunes.
Once we reached camp most people went off for a shower. I however didn't know there would be a shower so I hadn't brought my stuff. I didn't really mind though. One more day being stinky didn't really matter! After dinner there was yet more singing with all the porters involved too. This was the bit where they got there tips! We had to sing as a group this time so our 'cultural' song was 'Old McDonald' as everyone knew this. The porters were amused by our animal impressions and I must say that I did a particularly fine Llama! After this we had a few beers. Well I didn't because of the antibiotics I was on, but I entered into the spirit with a coke. The American guys bought all the porters a couple of beers each which I thought was really nice of them. In fact they were great the whole journey. Very funny!
The final morning got off to a bad start for me. We were supposed to get up at 4.30. I heard someone smack the tent, so half asleep I tried to open it. Then I heard Jo, the Maltese guy say it was actually 4 o'clock. So I swore and tried to go back to sleep. However instead I heard Jo go for a (very long!) piss as he couldn't be arsed to go to the toilets. Then he clearly decided that he might as well pack all his stuff as he was up. So then we were treated to half an hour of bag rustling. This was all finished off with an almighty fart (that actually rumbled the ground!) and some giggling. And half an hour less sleep for me! Mornings not being my favourite time, especially not 4am mornings, I wasn't too happy. I then proceeded to drop cake on myself at breakfast. While we were queing to be let onto the trail I decided to listen to some more music to put myself in a better mood. It worked a treat.
The morning was quite funny really. We all stood in line, waiting for the trail to open at 5.30. Then as soon as it did we were off! Racing up the last bit of the trail to the sun gate for our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. Everyone hurried along in single file (well apart from a few annoying people who pushed past which I thought was pretty rude as the line was travelling pretty fast and everyone was just moving as quick as the person in front). The whole thing took over an hour, but with everyone rushing along I didn't notice feeling knackered at all.
When I arrived at the sun gate there were already quite a lot of people there. We were really lucky to have a clear morning and we got a fantastic view of Machu Picchu. Apparently this is quite rare as most early mornings it is covered in mist. There were also some pretty amazing views of the mountains all around, and I took some pictures of the sun starting to come over the mountains. The setting for Machu Picchu is completely stunning, with mountains completely surrounding it. you can definately see why it took so long to be discovered.
Once our group was all back together we started heading down to the site, with the view just getting better and better. We had a group picture and then headed down to the site itself. Our guide gave us a tour of the site and then we were let of on our own. I decided as I looked so unwashed that the only pictures I would get of myself were poking my head out from behind rocks (hold on to your seats for the grand unveiling of these...at some point). After the tour Jo was trying to get someone to climb up Huana Picchu with him, but there were no takers. Although little did we know that the 2 Tiawanese guys were already heading up it. Huana Picchu is the big mountain next to the site (the one in the background of all the pictures you see). I had been considering climbing it as everyone says that it is good. However that is from all the lazy bastards that get the train and haven't been walking for 3 days already, and haven't had the views from the Sun Gate like us. And quite frankly my thighs were crying for mercy with every single step I took as it was! Jo, who had initially thought about climbing it, was to be found 5 minutes after suggesting it sleeping on a rock! Not so up for it after all. The rest of us were happy to wander around for a bit and then head to Aguas Calientes for lunch. It was such a beautiful day we were in danger of frying in the sun if we stayed out much longer anyway.
In Aguas Calientes I managed to find the best chips in Peru too, so I was very happy (for somewhere with so many varieties of potato they haven´t done too well on mastering papas fritas!). We all said goodbye to one another and the guide too and then we got on our way. There were some great views on the train through the mountains home, but unfortunetely I spept through a lot of them.
When I got back to Cusco I expected most of my mates there to be gone. They were going to leave the day I left for the trail, and I thought that even they could not be so bad as to stay for 4 days. But alas Cusco had sucked them all in a bit longer. Alun was adamant that he was going that evening and he had the bus ticket to prove it. But a few hours later he tore it up and got on with the partying. It was my last night out in Cusco, and it was a Tuesday so we made it a good one. So good in fact that I was in no fit state to leave the next day as I planned, so I stayed one more night. But then I was off to start travelling again, starting with Arequipa....

Posted by MilyP 13:07 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Party time in Peru!

And other stuff in Cusco

sunny

So if anyone is still reading this thing you might have noticed that I have got to an all time poor level of updating it. You might think that this is because I have been very busy and on the move so much that I just haven't had the time. In fact the opposite is true. I have actually been in one place for the longest time ever! Over 6 weeks in Cusco. And I have to say that I had a thoroughly marvellous time. So marvellous in fact that updating the blog fell at the wayside. In fact it is only now becoming possible as I have left Cusco finally.
You might be thinking that I can't possibly now catch up with my blog and update a whole 6 weeks. And you would be right in some ways. But although I have a had a fantastic time in Cusco I feel it is sufficient to summerise my activities there. Basically I was working at the hostel (bar and reception), going to Spanish school, and partying hard!! There were highs, there were lows, but all in all I had a fantastic time. Work wasn't exactly strenuous and I maily had to have fun with all the guests which was easy really because most of them were great fun. I had a good time and made a lot of friends that hopefully will remain friends for some time yet. And Tuesdays will never be the same in my eyes, which is a good thing as Tuesdays are generally regarded to suck! There are plenty of stories to tell but I am not sure they are all suitable for public viewing anyway, so best left for another time. Maybe they will be told, maybe not. But now is certainly not the time or the place. I will try and stick some photos of the people I met up on my blog when I get the chance.
As for other activities in Cusco, well I have to say they were few and far between as there wasn't much time left between working, studying and partying. But I did manage a few things.
First off was a trip to a football match. This was great fun. Not because of the football, which quite frankly sucked, but more because of the atmosphere. Each side had a crew with some drums, banners, streamers, fire crackers and smoke bombs that were let off at random points throughout the game. The setting was amazing too, with a backdrop of mountains surrounding the stadium. Unfortunately I have no pictures as I thought it might be unwise to take a camera. The riot police were interesting too. They formed a cover using their shields when the opposition had to come out on to the pitch or take a corner. There wasn't much being thrown at them to start, but later in the game there were a few more missiles. In fact everyone was gearing up for a fight on the pitch, but unfortunately it didn't happen. In fact the only fight I saw was between a group of kids over a ball that had come into the stadium. It went on for about 10 minutes and I think could have gone on indefinately if it had not been for someone grabbing the ball off them and chucking it back on the pitch. The look of disappointment was priceless!
The following weeks activity was downhill mountain biking. Now to be honest I am not too sure how I agreed to this. I think it was because of the 'downhill' description and the fact that I missed biking the worlds most dangerous road in Bolivia and assumed this would be similar. However it turned out this was off road (mountain in fact!). In about the first 3 minutes we went down a very steep and slippy bank where I discovered that A) I was quite scared of riding downhill, and B) My brakes were shit! Not a great combo. However only another 10 mins down the path I discovered I was even less of a fan of uphill. In fact throughout the day there was way too much uphill, to the extent that if it had been in the US I would have been sueing on the basis of the trades discription act - downhill my ass!!! As the day wore on I continued to be terrified by the steep downhills and pissed off at any uphills. By this point I had swapped bikes though with the guide as mine also had slippy gears along with the crap brakes. But all in all the bikes were a bit rubbish. At one point a bit of rubber wound round the frame of my bike (not sure why!) got caught in my chain and stopped me dead, just as I was trying to get some speed up to go up a hill. This resulted in much swearing and me getting off and pushing the bike up the hill. We then had around an hour delay due to some punctures, and got rained on. Now this is all sounding very negative I know, but up to this point that was how I was feeling. And my bum hurt! A lot!! But the last part of the afternoon was ace! Firstly it was downhill (no more up!!). It was a bit scary, but I had kind of got used to it by now. The last part was down a very bendy path with sheer drops down next to us, but I made it alive and actually had a lot of fun! Although not so much when my brakes stuffed up! And I nearly ran over Dom at one point who was poised waiting to take some action shots of us coming down the hill. By the end of the day we were all smelly, dirty, tired with very sore arses, but we had a great day. Not sure when I will next be trying out mountain biking though. Will definately test the brakes first when I do though!
The following week was an outing to Pisac to visit the ruins and the market. And more importantly to eat some cheesecake in a great little shop there! In fact that was what we did first! At the market I bought a nice silver ring, (which I promptly lot about a week later!) then we headed up to the ruins. On the way to find a collectivo to take us we enoyed the pleasant sight of a sheeps head and feet on a table outside a shop - nice! But after that it was up to the ruins. It was packed as we arrived about the same time as all the tourist buses. But they were good ruins and we had a nice wander about them. On the way back to Cusco we stopped in at a couple more ruins which weren't so impressive. One had a dude dressed in some Inka outfit playing pan pipes trying to liven it up a bit. One had nothing much to impress with.
Later in the week I used up some more bits on the touristico bolistico (as Kevin called it). It is basically a tourist ticket you have to buy that gets you into various ruins and museums. But by all accounts the museums were rubbish, so I didn't bother with those. But I did go up to the ruins near Cusco known as Sexy Woman (nothing to do with hot chics, just the name pretty much sounds like this and I don't know how to spell the real version). The ruins were pretty impressive although I spent a large proportion of my time there just chatting with Kevin. At one point a group of Peruvians came over and asked us something which we assumed was 'can you take our picture' as it involved much pointing at a camera. However it turned out that they wanted to have their picture taken with us?! We can only assume this was because blonde girls and guys with massive dreads are few and far between in Peru! After this I continued my fake guide to the ruins for Kevin (I am sure my version is more interesting anyway!), and then we climbed up to look at the Christ statue nearby. Jesus was interesting. I will put some pictures up soon!
I also went with Brock to see some traditional dances (also on the ticket). These were...um..interesting. From what I could tell all traditonal Andean dances seem to involve jumping round in circles in varying outfits. Dances of interest include one where the guys dress up as girls, and one where the guys smack the girls with some twirly thing. That was called 'The more I hit you, the more I love you'. Interesting concept, but not one I think would go down too well back in the UK!
And I think that was about it for my time in Cusco. Well apart from my Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, but that can have a whole blog to itself....

Posted by MilyP 14:10 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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