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Published: February 12th 2012
Got up early as usual and had a leisurely breakfast (4 cups of coffee!) Went outside to look for the laundrette we had missed yesterday - it still wasn't there! During breakfast, we asked someone who had already taken their clothese there where it was exactly. They confirmed it was where we thought it was and there was a sign outside. No sign when we looked so was obviously still closed. Pottered around the hotel and updated our blog at an internet place down the road as the hotel internet was playing up and Jo was extremely frustrated with it.... and taught the Danish youngsters some new swear words!!
At 10.00 am, the majority of the group had a meeting to discuss the trek they were to do the following day and we were asked to go along at 10.30 to be advised of how we would join the rest of the group post-trek.
After the meeting, we discovered the sign for the laundrette had miraculously reappeared and were delighted to drop all our dirty clothes to be returned in the afternoon for the princely sum of roughly 3.50GBP for 6 kilos of washing.
Our hotel is situated
Cusco local market
Mmmmmmmm.... Cows´ mouths
about 10 minute walk from the centre - the Plaza des Armas. (Every main square in every town has the same name and all have similar layout!) At the meeting earlier, we were handed a tourist ticket valid for several sites in and around the city so decided to make use of it and went to the Museum of Popular Art (not very exciting) and a museum which showed the regional history (slightly more interesting). We then continued to wander and came across a huge market selling local produce with all manner of spices, herbs, hundreds of varieties of potatoes and other weird and wonderful fruits and vegetables never seen before....... There were many different food stalls where you could buy a freshly prepared 3-course meal for about 50p and row upon row of juice stalls where the ladies vied for your custom. They all had similar fruits which they blended from fresh so that it was pure juice, all at similar prices. We picked a stall randomly and Jo had a fresh orange and mango juice and Ed an orange and banana for 1GBP each. In addition, once the juice in our glass was gone, as she had made a load in the blender, she refilled our glasses twice at no additional cost. We certainly had two of our five a day!!
Further pottering and desperate for the loo, we found our way back to the main square and there was a Starbucks sign shining like a beacon in the dark, pulling us in!! A wonderful loo stop. Jo found someone´s wallet on the toilet paper holder in the Ladies and was at a total loss what to do with it as Peru is not known for its honesty!! She went through it and found dollars and soles (the local currency) and credit cards, obviously with the owner's name on them. She accosted the next person in the loo behind her and asked her name. The woman found this very strange and was loathe to answer until Jo explained why. It wasn't her!! Jo then went shouting the name around Starbucks hoping the owner was still there. A real strange coincidence, one of the Dragoman group members came over extremely puzzled and said that's me. If Jo had delved further, she would have found a passport and recognised the picture on it but of course,we all only know each other's first names and not the surnames. A very relieved Chris went on her way.................. She hadn't even realised that she had mislaid it!!
A frappucino and then on our way...................
Returmed to the hotel, collected our washing and sat about until later, by which time we were starving as we had had breakfast at 7.00 am and only the fruit juice and frappucino to keep us going. Decided to look on Trip Advisor for a half-way decent restaurant as the restaurants here in Peru are a little hit and miss. Went to a place near the main Plaza called Green's Organic and it was fabulous. Ed had his favourite - gnocchi - homemade beetroot and sweet potato gnocchi in a soylent green sauce. Jo had homemade wheat pasta with a divine mushroom and vegetable and creamy sauce and we each shared a salad with avocado and mandarin with a delicious mandarin dressing - YUM! We were then very naughty and shared a brazil nut, pecan and honey home made pie with home-made vanilla ice-cream.
There are two things one is not supposed to do at high altitude - one is to drink alcohol and the other is to eat too much. Needless to say, we did both as we think our stomachs had shrunk from not eating all day and one small beer and a fizzy water and a not particularly huge meal filled us up horribly! The only way in which the high altitude seems to currently affect us is that we have to move so much more slowly as we are out of breath so easily so a slight incline in the road becomes a hill so the walk back to the hotel took slightly longer than it should.
We happened to mention this restaurant to a couple of our group members who enjoy good food as much as we do and strangely enough, one of their friends from home had been there and had recommended it to them and they are going to treat themselves post-trek and were delighted to receive further good reviews!
And so to bed!
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