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Published: February 14th 2009
Waiting for traffic to stop, I took this photo. One woman wears clothes from the past, the other wears what most people here wear.
Happy Valentine´s Day! The pubs here are decorated with red balloons and roses. I have a date with a guy from London tonight and we are going to visit the Irish and British pubs. I know, I know, I´m suppose to immerse myself in the local culture. I did a bit of that this morning when getting lost on the way to the train station. Cusco is a tourist mecca and I will put energy into seeing local culture when I am in the rural regions.
Backing up....my day began with the challenge of figuring out the shower faucet. Strangely, the shampoo and conditioner bottles exploded outward when I opened the lids. It must be the change in air pressure. I had difficulties sleeping last night, probably still adjusting to thin air.
My goals for the day were to find Scotia bank, get to government tourist bureau to inquire about tourist ticket and find train station to pay for the train to MachuPicchu. The sun was blasting down and I had to go in circles when the first Scotia bank did not have cash machines that worked, and I got a bit lost finding PeruRail.
The best thing about being lost
Av de Sol
This park and art/statue are at the bottom of Avenue de Sol. Water shoots out from each side pillar.
is finding places were the locals shop. I found a market and took photos of the food and bought boiled corn for brunch. There were cheap socks that I needed.
At PeruRail there was long ques, and when my number came up I asked the clerk to cancel the expensive train on return trip and exchange it for the cheaper Backpackers train. I have window seats for both trains and I´m hoping to take photos of the terrain.
I saved about $30 u.s. and immediately went to craft market to buy a hat to rescue me from sun stroke and buy a few trinkets. The area at the bottom of Avenue de Sol, near the train station, is so much calmer than the main Plaza. The crafts are cheaper, too. People are doing regular things, and not asking tourists to buy their goods.
In the afternoon I went to a pub with a balcony overlooking the Plaza. I watched Wales beat England in a rugby match and ate a cheese and avacado sandwich. The pace of life is nice and slow.
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