Cusco: walking tour and pisco sours

My next destination was Cusco, which I was excited about as so many travellers had told me that they had an amazing time there. It’s a smallish town, where it used to be the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th-century Spanish conquest. The place hosts plenty of colonial buildings and Inca architecture.

SIMG_1062o about 5 in the morning I arrived at the bus station in Cusco, where I took a taxi to my hostel. Unfortunately my hostel didn’t have road access so I walk uphill with my bag. I rang the bell for what seemed like hours when a young boy answered the door. He didn’t speak any English but he found me a bed in one of the dorms. I slept until a reasonable hour in the morning.

I had some bread, jam and tea for breakfast then spoke to my mum on skype in the common room.

My aim for the day was to sort out my Machu Picchu trip, where I wanted to do the Inca Jungle trek. I found on the internet the 4 day adventure for $180 not including the rafting or ziplining so I wanted to find an agency offering a similar price. The first one I went into couldn’t explain the itinerary and was going to charge the same price. The next one explained it all to me at a cheaper price $165. I couldn’t be hassled to find a different company so I booked with them. However, I should have looked more as other agencies were promoting the trip at a similar price including the rafting and zipling. Oh well. I could still do these activities but I would have to pay when I got there.

I walked around the main square a little before heading back to the hostel to have a shower and chilled. After, I went to the meeting point of the free Cusco walking tour. There were two competing tours here, one in Spanish and the other in English. Obviously, I took the English one.IMG_1073

There were five people on it initially but two of them changed to the Spanish speaking tour so there was an older couple from Greenland and myself. The guide was really lovely and talkative. Here, he told us a brief history of Cusco. First, we walked to an outside Sunday market serving food and he talked about traditional meals in Cusco, which is mainly guinea pig. Gross!

Next, we wandered around San Pedro market, which was huge full of mostly food: fruits, llama fetus, dehydrated meat, cheese and bread. We stopped and sampled different foods including fruits and bread. It was delicious. We walked to Plaza de Armes, where we found out about San Pedro Church and the arch then were given information about Inca walls and different palaces.

IMG_1077The tour ended at a restaurant overlooking the city. The other two decided not to go here so it was just myself and the guide. He asked me a couple of questions he had about English on the way. In the restaurant, I was taught how to make Pisco sours, a traditional Peruvian drink. Inside was Pisco (alcohol), lemon juice, syrup and egg whites, all shaken up together.  It tasted so good.

By the time the tour was finished, I was feeling hungry. I wanted to go to a recommended vegan restaurant but the lunch special had finished already. Instead, I found a little café offering a quinoa burger, chip and a drink. It was just what I needed. After, I wandered back to the hostel for a night of chilling before heading to bed. Everyone in the hostel was only speaking Spanish so it was difficult to chat to anyone but oh well!

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