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Published: October 27th 2011
The hostel didn’t have a ‘matrimonial’ room so we had to take a twin room for the first night. It was a bit of a dive and I wasn’t very happy. Rob was quite content, I think he is cut out for this more than me. We headed out and found a set menu for £1.16 each. We then headed to the main square, the Plaza de Armas and it was stunning. It’s such a pretty city (in the centre). Surrounded by huge old churches and cathedrals, a beautiful fountain in the centre, all lit perfectly. It’s also very touristy. We were offered Alpaca hats and jumpers, paintings and massages as we walked down the street constantly. Most people come here to do the Inca trail or some sort of trek, so massages are big here and CHEAP! Now, I love a massage so it wasn’t long before I had my first one. We both got one at the same time, a one hour massage for £4 each. The girls are not qualified masseuse but who cares.
Next day we swapped rooms for a double and that’s where we stayed until we left for the Inca trail.
It was an ok room but we may as well have slept on the road outside as the noise was unbelievable and they love to use their horns in South America. It was only S50 per night (£11) so we put up with it. We had to ‘check-in’ with our trek company, Peru Treks to pay our balance and get briefed. Quite a few people so happened to turn up at the same time as us and most ended up in our group. We hadn’t paid for personal porters and as the guy described what we would be doing each day I started to really regret this. I had already been freaking out about the trek as I hadn’t realised just how unfit I am until a week or so before after walking up a couple of hills. It wasn’t good! We had agreed when we booked the trek months before, that we would take one of our big packs and a day pack. Rob would carry the big pack and me the day pack, but the sleeping bags and mattress’ provided by the company were really heavy and big so with a bit of luck I was able to
secure a porter who would carry my sleeping bag and mattress and robs sleeping bag.
With that sorted we had a few things to buy for the trek such as water, water bottles and walking sticks, so we spent most of the next few days looking for the stuff we wanted at the right price. While buying the stuff I came across a can of oxygen for sale, complete with face mask. I had wanted to buy one of these but didn’t think they would be available here. £8 well spent I think, but Rob found it very embarrassing and said he would not stand next to me while I used it and thought I was an idiot for paying £8 for a can of air.
We had seen a huge billboard on the way into Cusco for McDonalds, we hadn’t seen a McDonalds for weeks and the homesickness is curved a little with things like this so we were quite excited. I know it sounds pathetic but the food in Peru aint all that either, so why not. Only thing was we didn’t know where it was so I searched the net to discover it had been
right in front of our faces in the Plaza de Armas, but I guess they have to follow rules to be based there which means the shop front needs to blend with the other buildings, so no golden arches. We ate in there too many times ( I am writing this blog in there now). As per usual, McDonalds is almost exactly the same except for a few things. Here in Peru they have the Chicken Mac, just like a Big Mac but with chicken. They also sell buckets of chicken just like KFC, this is a genius idea and if they did it back home I reckon they would do KFC out of business. With Inca Kola on tap (which tastes exactly like Irn Bru) it was just like home for a while, ahhhhhh.
It was nearly time for the Inca trail and as we would be leaving one of the backpacks at the hostel with all the stuff in it that we didn’t need, we made sure to book a different room, away from the road for our return. We would be tired when we got back and not being able to sleep would not be good.
We went out for dinner and both my starter and min were totally wrong, when I explained this to the manager, she sent the waiter back over and he tried to convince me that I should just eat what he had brought me, it was a total farce. We headed to bed, excited (and worried) for the next morning were we would be picked up at 5.20am for the start of our 4 day trek to the wonder of Machu Picchu.
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