TBT: Cruisin’ Cusco
Originally posted: July 25, 2009
Location: Cusco, Peru

The rest of the week in Lima was pretty uneventful, I just got sick again per usual. I’m all better now, happily, just in time to have more adventures! I also did some laundry, a little shopping, and a bit too much paperwork. But it’s all over, and I’m so ready for vacation. I landed safely in Cusco on Thursday afternoon, after carefully navigating the Lima airport. I got a taxi to the Loki Hostal in Cusco (you can see the webpage if you like, it’s quite cheap and very nice for the price:, and settled in. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to stay there because they hadn’t confirmed my reservation, but they had a bed free in the all-girls room so I was all set. I hung out in the bar for a little while, chatting with a few people, and then hit the sack. Unfortunately, my roommates decided to go a bit crazy at happy hour in the bar so I was woken up multiple times during the night. But, I got first shower in the morning and enjoyed a lot of hot water. I hung around the hostel for a while, still sick and pretty tired, until mid afternoon. Oh and I happily switched rooms to a co-ed room, but they seemed nicer so I didn’t care. Another intern, Prabhas, found me in the lounge so we hung out the rest of the day. I hadn’t actually left the hostel since the night before, so we walked to the Plaza de Armas and looked around. Later, we had dinner at this really good dairy restaurant and he went on his way. He had only a few days to spend in Cusco, so he left for Machu Picchu that night. We also saw a pretty cool parade that afternoon, lots of dancers and music. I called it a night early, having made reservations for the next morning, hoping to feel even better. I woke up feeling rather decent, which was a lovely surprise. Another hot shower, a quick breakfast of fruit salad, and I was off to horseback ride! I was with a group of 3 other people, one other American and two Peruvians (well they spoke spanish like Peruvians, but they may have been from somewhere else). It was a lot of fun! I was quite nervous at first, as my horse liked to do his own thing and started leading the group uphill. His name was Apache. So we continued uphill for a little while and then it flattened out for a while. The scenery was lovely and it was very peaceful at 9:30am, few people were around. Happily, we stopped after a bit, I was getting sadle-sore. We climbed up some rock, and found a guide who was already there. He told us about the Temple of the Moon, which apparently we were standing over. He talked about a lot of different things around us, anything from the plants to the rocks (that were carved into snakes and pumbas). Underneath the large mound of rocks was a cave, which was the actual Temple of the Moon. It wasn’t very large, but hearing his explanations was very interesting and it was cool to see the rocks, smooth with age. After walking around for a while and seeing more ruins, we tipped him and went back to the horses. Alpache was waiting for me patiently but the other american’s horse, however, was misbehaving and had to be chased all around. While we were plodding back to the ranch, all of a sudden it started to hail. Yes, hail! I couldn’t believe it. It only lasted a minute or two, and then stopped. But a few minutes later, it started to hail again! This time for 5-7 minutes, and I got quite wet. I was in the middle of nowhere, on a horse, so I just waited it out. Luckily it stopped and the sun came back out, so I was dry by the time we got back to the ranch. I took a slow afternoon, just walking around the plaza and having lunch. Back at the hostal, I talked with the tour agent who is in the hostel and I made a reservation to do the Inca Jungle Trail on Monday. I’m super excited. It’s just going to be me, but it sounds like lots of fun. It’s pretty cheap for 4 days and it includes food, bed, guide and other useful things like bikes, helmets, gloves, and entrance to Machu Picchu. We’ll be biking the first day, then hiking the next 2, and then the 4th day is Machu Picchu. I’m going to store most of my things at the Loki Hostal and just bring my small daypack. So I’ll leave Monday morning, come back Thursday late, and possibly go visit Lake Titicaca Friday and all of next weekend. We’ll see how that works out, but Becky, one of the other interns, sounded interested in going with me. From what I read in a guide book, it sounds like a really nice place to visit with really cool islands. The rest of the group arrived to the hostel this evening and some of them already left for Machu Picchu, but some are hanging out with me for tomorrow until I leave, and then they’re leaving for Machu Picchu. All in all, things are going well and I’m super excited for the next two weeks. OH! And Tuesday, the 28th, is Peru’s Independence day, so there are going to be lots of celebrations. But I’m okay with missing some of them while on my trek. Once Peruvians start celebrating, they don’t stop for a few days so I think I’ll still get to experience some festivities. That’s all for now, stay tuned for Inca Jungle Trail adventures! -Kati

Categories: Peru, TBT

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