South America Day 54 - Cusco

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March 3rd 2019
Published: March 4th 2019
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Today we are going on a tour of Cusco and surroundings; Circuit No 1. Tickets to attractions are sold in packages so you can’t pay to visit just one site. So our circuit consists of Sacsayhuamán (the bottom of an Incan fort – the Spanish removed the top to build their cathedral), Qenqo (an ancient temple), Puca Pucara (ruins of an Incan military site) and Tambomachay (an Incan baths with aqueducts and waterfalls) and, of course, the obligatory stop at a gift shop where they sell llama wool products.

At the end of the tour, we are dropped off at the edge of town and have to walk back through the main square. It’s carnage. It’s carnival – this basically means that everyone has either a can of foam or a water pistol and we have run this gauntlet to get back to our hotel; pedestrians, people hanging out of car windows, people on balconies all attack as we walk by.

In the evening we brave the carnage once more in search of food. We avoid the main square and go to the chicken shop at the end of the road. In addition to chicken and chips, there is a salad bar. I’m excited. When travelling, it can be difficult to eat healthily. I take plenty of salad. It is laced with more chilli than anything I have ever tried to eat. I’m almost floored by a salad.

We eat or dinner whilst watching gangs of youths hunt each other down in foam warfare. Eventually, we have to leave the restaurant and brave a return up the hill to the hotel (it takes a while - the old man has ordered a half chicken, which is a meal for 2 and comes with a mountain of chips).

Then it’s another early night as we have to be at the station by 6 am for our train to Machu Picchu.

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