recovery mode in Cusco

2 Sep

A few Jewish girls told me of a hostel that charges pennies for a decent bed. Leave it to the Jews to find a great deal. I checked in, was a bit regretful when I didn’t see any other travelers, but I dumped my bags and went out exploring the city I’d only seen for a few hours the week before.

My first impressions of Cusco were good.  Two thumbs up really.  Sure there were a million girls blocking your path and offering you a flyer in broken english, but it was a grand city – and a bit like an obstacle course.  Dodge a tempting masseuse and your faced with an aggressive restaurant host fielding people on the street.  If you can get by him, you’ve got to get past the indigeneious women selling hats and scarves, children begging for change, hippies selling crafts, tatooed drug dealers, and tourist agents with identical pamphlates.

Other than that, massive churches, sunny plazas, cobble stone streets, and really laid back cafes made it a city I wanted to be in.

But not drink in.

I was in recovery mode and when I wasn’t milling around the streets, I was milling around coffee houses with a book.  Twice I went to a bar, but it wasn’t even to drink.  With a coffee and soda water with lime, I hung out listening to the extraodinary live music the same guys jammed to every week.

How else did I spend my time?

One day I made it my mission to check out the area’s numerous art musuems.  the only one worth checking out was a private one showing old native art.  the musuems part of the city’s network of cultural cites felt a bit like a scam, with some musuems consiting only of a few rooms.

Another day I wandered a few hours outside of town to visit the surrounding ruins.  Most people take a bus but I wanted a bit of exercise.  The sceneray made it worthwhile, the walk real serene.  Frost’s guide to the ruins made the guideless trip easy and informative too.

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