Tuesday, 5 April 2011

On to Cusco

There is a reason it is a good idea to keep up with blog posting, mainly that I have a memory like a sieve and so too much is lost, much too quickly.

The balance of the time I spent in Arequipa is just such an example. I walked, strolled and toured. I went to the casino. I took many photos of the volcanoes surrounding town. I missed my flight to Cusco.

Yep, you heard right. I, Linda, intrepid and experienced world traveller, got the dates mixed up in my head. Should have listened to that little voice that said “are you sure the flight is on the 1st?”, but noooo I relied on my memory. See above note about my memory.

The result of this rookie mistake was a mad dash to the bus station and a 10 hour night time bus ride through pitch black, high Andean mountains over a dirt road. Nerves abounded because I had read warnings in numerous places about this route being subjected to hijackings and robberies. But after weighing the odds (many nightly busses by different companies and only a few incidents per year) I snuggled down in the sleeper seats, and pulled into Cusco at about 8am.

Went straight to the hostal, and after profuse apologies for missing their airport pickup and first nights’ accommodation all was well.

Well, except for the altitude thing. You wouldn’t think a few thousand feet would make a huge difference, what with most of my time in Peru sitting at more than 7000 of them, but alas my body thought differently. Add in this bug that has plagued me for the last couple of weeks (and kept me from my planned trekking in Arequipa) and my time in Cusco was kept to a minimum.

Saw some old sights, and a couple I missed last time… mainly small ruins. I found a place that makes excellent coffee, listened to some really obnoxious tourists and was reminded how friggin cold this high, damp city gets at night.

So I found myself once again apologising to the hostal as I packed up and vacated to spend a week in an alternate location in the Sacred Valley. Too bad really, because once again I had lucked out and found a hideaway gem hostal. Friendly, comfortable, and most importantly cheap. I made sure there was room booked for the night before my flight home… and yes, I checked the date carefully!

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