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Published: January 9th 2012
It seemed like an age ago that we booked our Machu Piccu trip back in England, and I remember that once we had booked up, it just seemed so far away. But, all of a sudden, it was upon us, and we were now in Cusco, the awesome Peruvian city where we was to meet for our Inca trail trek.
We arrived in Cusco 4 days before the trip started. This was mainly to acclimatise to the area as Cusco is a whopping 3500 metres above sea level, and oxygen up here is somewhat elusive to say the least. We wanted to take every precaution necessary to avoid altitude sickness, as this trip was the one definite thing we had planned throughout South America, and wasn’t something we wanted to miss due to illness. So, for the first 2 days, we did exactly as the books and internet recommended, we ate light, didn’t drink a sip of alcohol, and generally took it as easy as possible.
Although we had been chilling out for a couple of days doing pretty much nothing, there was one thing that we did notice in Cusco, and it stood out a mile away. It
was everywhere we looked, you just couldn’t run from it, it was of course…..Alpaca-wear!
For those unfamiliar with Alpaca-wear, let me bring you up to speed. Basically, it’s Jumpers, gloves, hats, coats, scarfs, and just about every other form of clothing made from alpaca wool. It’s in every shop, on the corner of every street, and is donned by every tourist! They all also generally have an outline of several Alpacas stitched into the pattern as well for good measure, and they are essentially awful. Because of how tacky, common, and terrible these jumpers were, I had to have one! Donna didn’t bring any warm jumpers with her either, and therefore an Alpaca bad-boy was just the ticket. So Day 3, we went and done ourselves a bit of shopping, and I’m glad to say, we were very successful, and managed to find said jumpers for a very reasonable price, and were chuffed with our purchases! So pleased were we from the awesome shopping spree we had just partaken in, that we decided to head to Paddy’s Pub on the main square for a small taste of home, and a couple of well-earned post shopping drinks. This couple became
a couple more, and before we knew it, we were having a whale of a time, and were fairly drunk. We are of course going to blame this on the altitude, and the lack of food, and not that we have turned into drinking lightweights since being away! As the lack of food was the only variable that we could control, we decided to carry on with the British theme, and head to ‘The Real McCoy’, which was an English themed pub / restaurant that apparently did amazing Fish and Chips, just like home….. we were instantly sold.
Entering The Real McCoy half cut and very hungry, we were greeted with something we wasn’t expecting…. A Christmas Quiz! By pure coincidence, we had stumbled (quite literally) into the start of a weekly quiz, and were asked if we wanted to enter. In all honesty, neither of us were too bothered about the quiz, but were more concerned that we couldn’t get our Fish and Chips. However, once the bar staff told us that food was still available, we decided to get involved, and show these lot how it was done. We did have a slight disadvantage in that we
were a team of only 2, but, we were confident that we could go far in this quiz, and after ordering our food and yet more beer, we got into quiz mode, and got serious!
It turns out that apparently, neither of us know anything about popular Christmas culture! Coming from a place where Christmas is shoved in your face from October onward, and the same films, and songs are played year in, year out, it seems we haven’t picked up on any of it! We struggled in every round, and started to become frustrated with our lack of Christmas cheer knowledge. This was until the arts and crafts round….oh yes, this would be our banker! The premise was a simple one: ‘To make something that represented Christmas for you’. There were all sorts of stationary to choose from to make your craft. There were bits of card, glitter, ribbon, glue etc., all at our fingertips, however, we decided our creation would be simple, and that we would let the ‘art’ speak for itself. Besides, no one would want to make too much of an effort, right....?
Wrong! There were real works of art being knocked out here!
Our awesome entry in the 'crafts' round
What Xmas means to us.... An empty bottle of booze!. Simple but effective!
Things I could only ever dream of making even when sober, but in this state? We were fighting a losing battle! We were awarded the lowest amount of points from all of the teams, and looking back on it, it was probably deserved, however at the time, we felt we were robbed. On the night, we felt our creation was ‘art imitating art’… a thing of beauty, and something that everyone could relate to at Christmas. The picture attached will speak to you, and we shall leave it up to you to decide if this was a true work of class, or a drunken whim!
Anyway, I know you’re all wondering if we won the quiz or not, so I’ll put you out of your misery……..we didn’t win L In fact, you may not believe this, but we actually came stone last, by quite some margin I might add, and therefore put the Brits to shame….sorry!
All in all though, we had a good laugh, and we were actually really glad we stumbled across this fun event. The next morning, we managed to fight off hangovers and make our way to our new hotel for that evening, tomorrow
was the big one… the start of the Inca trail.
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