|We were lucky to be alive after our overnight bus spent a lot of time on 2 wheels, tearing around bends like something out of wacky races. But when we arrived at 5 in the morning we weren't in the mood to complain and straight away found a lovely hostel, not far from the main plaza.
Cusco is an old Inca city, unique in that all the streets are cobbled and many are car free - a real novelty from the usual traffic congested cities of Peru. After Greg was ill for a week in Arequipa (struck down by e-coli), it was a perfect place to chill out. We took a break from every day sightseeing and spent more time eating, drinking and reading than anything else, just soaking up the mellow atmosphere.
An average day would consist of getting up at 10am, having breakfast in the hostel and going back to bed to read for a bit until we were hungry enough for lunch. Maybe a quick email session, then a drink or two in one of the many bars. Most nights we went to the "cinema" which plays pirate DVDs (a common feature on our travels), followed by a quick meal. And no, it didn't get boring!
One day we ventured out to the Mercado Central (market), which was a real change from the over-touristy centre of town. This is where the locals shop and we ambled among pigs' heads, cows' tongues and fish eggs! Slightly more pleasant were the traditional clothing, flowers and juice stalls, where we had to indulge.
Another reason for our relaxation was to acclimatise to the altitude - getting higher still. We're also going to be walking an Inca trail in a few days and want to be ready for that. One thing we weren't ready for in Cusco was the endless sound of panpipes which seems to drift mysteriously from invisible speakers wherever you go - it's impossible to get away from them. Maybe we won't buy that "Andean Moods" CD after all!