|Had a full day in Cusco to wander around and check out the museums and churches so went shopping and eating seemed a better idea.
We'd heard of a couple of places where you can get real English and Aussie food - Jacks Cafe had brilliant vege and chicken soup and a real coffee and did look at the architecture on the way there but also checked out just a few of the many many tourist shops.
Was with little Di so the going was very slow and after lunch took her back to the hotel and went out on my own.
had intended to have a decent dinner before our hike the next day but ended up with Zoe out buying resents of local children on the route and gave into her need for McDonalds and felt very ashamed as I ate mine.
Piled into a bus in the morning with our gear for a three day hike only allowed enough to fit in a duffel bag as it all has to be carried by in our case a horse in the case of people doing the classic walk porters. Canning was horrified that he could only take about 8kgs of luggage unless he carried it himself so he hired his own porter!. Oh well he is 68 and can' survive without his home comforts.
So dropped into Sacsayhuoman (pronounced sexywoman) on the outskirts of town and had our first real introduction to the Inca civilization - it was originally a big complex but has been used as a 'quarry' by the Spanish and the local community to build Cusco so most of the upper stones are long gone but there are enough left so that you can see how it may have looked.
From there we went about 2 hours out to a town called Pisac and drove to what I thought was the top of the nearest mountain and started hiking but no we went up and up before finally heading down to the town. i took my sticks but even so at the end of two hours I was about a half hour behind the rest of the group and realised that I was not going to be able to do the full three days some of which was going to be even harder so... along with two others who had hoped to walk and two who had not even given it a thought I went back to town. Now that was a ride in itself the driver must have been in a hurry and we were all holding on for dear life as he whizzed around corners and overtook anything in his path.
So two days in Cusco unexpectedly and it was really good. I had to find another hotel as ours was full for the weekend so we all went separate ways me to a hotel just down the road one to a cheap backpackers and one to a suite at a classy hotel uptown.
Spent the time 'doing' the museums and churches it was lovely weather t-shirt and shorter pants so happy just to be wandering around. Went to another gringo place for dinner 'the Real McCoy' and had a genuine shepherd's pie for dinner with real tea the best I've drunk for months!
Also sent a package home - it weighs 6kgs and cost a fortune to post probably more that the value of the goods inside but hopefully the recipients mainly Cass will appreciate it.
Had to be back at my original hotel by 7.30 to get a ride with the others to Ollantaytambo where we would hook up with the walkers to go to Machu Picchu. Got to our hotel about 10am and it was really beautiful - not only nice rooms but an area outside with a couple of deckchairs so we sat out and read walked into town for coffee and cake and waited for our dirty companions.
After they arrived we did a hike - walk up to more Inca ruins. It was only about 2 hours up and back and we stopped often to have our guide Smithy explain it all to us, and my knees held up this time.
Had a group dinner in a classy place right next to the railway line the food was only average but it had lots of character.