|Time to try and get to know Cusco better. After chilling out in the Plaza de Armas again we headed for the "Official" tourist office and bought our Cusco ticket which gets us into some of the museums and the Inca sites in and around Cusco.
Its that time again, museums. First up the Museo de Historia Regional housed in the colonial Casa Garcilaso de la Vega, a famous Inca historian. I don't like to say it but neither of us found this museum very interesting. The only highlights were the Nazca mummy and some of the ceramics on display. Otherwise there were a lot of paintings which failed to inspire us.
Time to cheer ourselves up and for me food usually does the trick. The market was our choice for lunch as we expected it to be cheap in here. After being fought over we took our seats at one of the hundred or so eateriers and got stuck into Churrasco (barbecued beef steak), and Milaneza (a meat filled omelette type thing) both supplied with a mountain of rice and chips. All that for 10 soles between us, about $3. We think we found our lunch for the forseeable future.
After lunch we visited our next museum, the Museo Inka which made up for the mornings effort because this museum was fantastic. Hundreds of Inca relics, history on the evolution of the peoples in the Cusco region and all explained to us by a rather handy guide. Plenty of pictures on the discoveries of Inca sites including Macchu Picchu and Vilcabamba gave us some brilliant views and whetted our appetite for Inca ruins.
We have made some headway in what we are planning to do over the next few days, mainly because protests are planned for the Macchu Picchu railway on thursday. This led us to the decision of going to the citadel of Macchu Picchu tomorrow. We are going up on the train, having a guide take us around the site and then roam free for the remaining afternoon hours before staying the night in the nearby settlement of Aguas Calientes. This way we get a full day looking around and hopefully have fewer tourists in the latter hours as groups leave for the return to Cusco earlier. It's unfortunate I don't get to walk the Inca Trail but I have something else in store which may prove to be even more rewarding and as long as we get to see MP I am more than pleased.
This has now opened up the opportunities for the next ten days. Apart from a city tour taking in the closest ruins to Cusco and the main sights of the city we have plenty of time to visit the Sacred Valley. Even more promising is that Anna can do a weeks homestay learning Spanish while I have found a less visited trek and ruin complex called Choquequirau which I fully intend to explore be it by myself or through a tour agency. Choquequirau is currently under excavation and it is expected to be 5-10 times bigger than MP when fully recovered from the jungle. It looks superb from the limited photos I have seen, is supposedly a more difficult trek than the Inca Trail and is seen by far less tourists something else which is rather appealing. This is my big adventure and I can't wait.
But of course tomorrow we go to Macchu Picchu somewhere I have wanted to visit for years and one of the major visits on our trip. I am tingling at the thought of seeing MP and simply cannot wait to head into the Sacred Valley and see the Inca site set amongst the mountains with my own eyes.
Day 298 complete