Arriving in Cusco, Peru

17 Sep

arrived in cusco after a comical border crossing, complete with a marching band, kids, ice cream, and 3 wheeled moto taxis, and was never so glad to be off of a bus.

30 some hours were spent on an assortment of buses, the last of which included a family of evangelicals to my right.  it’s leader with fiercly firey eyes, who every briefly tried to convert me had a son whose favorite bands included marilyn manson and michael jackson, role models to be embraced.  an obnoxious woman behind me who wouldn’t stop puttinger her hand on my head, and a handful of corrupt drivers who kept stopping on the side of the road to pick up more passengers even though all of the seats were full completed the package.

Oh, there was also the worst music I have ever heard, music that was so bad I just had to buy it to show everyone just how bad it really was, and a sorry game of twenty questions with Steve, which showcased our differences and revealed we might have been spending too much time together.  For the record steve, thailand is not one of the Asian tigers – tawiain is.

at the end of the day, steve was a good guy and a good friend. and as an intellectual (and boy was he ever one) with his head in the sky, he said and did things to offend.  Looking back on it now, none of it was intentional and I hope I run into him again soon.

That night, despite my reluctance, we checked into a dingy motel offered up by an old lady in the bus terminal. i usually dont follow strangers to motels, but the price was right and nothing in the guide book sounded attractive otherwise. Plus it was me and Steve, and I’, sure we could have taken the old woman if she tried anything shifty.

~

I was wide eye on my first morning’s walk through Cusco. The streets and buildings were fozen in time, still made out of the same incan and colonial stonework of 500 years past.  The main plaza was a grandious illustration of towering old churches and spanish style buildings with tiny balconies and courtyards lined the streets.

I had heard cusco would be a flush with tourists. steve called it disney world peru, and there were even rumours of a mcdonalds on the central plaza. it was perhaps that my expectations were so low that i was so amazed by the city.

My first few moments oddly enough were spent in a library. i was up early, and most cafes still seemed to be closed. but i had promised alex some work and i was already a few days a slacker so i set up shop in the only placew i could find open, a quiet, cherry wood library full of peruvian university students.

That whole day would be all about business.  After the library and a pleasant meal to Peruvian music (think South Park), I roamed around, looking for cheap accomodation.  Afterward, it was time to handle the all important business of organizing a Machu Pichhu tour.

Cusco had so many tour agencies though that it was actually impossible (and quiet comical) to choose one out of the hundrerds.  Literally every single storefront was either an eater or a tour operator.  ocassionally there would be an internet cade or an artisan shop too.

i checked out the monely planet recommendations and there prices wereupsurd. the whoel process was boring, and rsoon ran out of the little patience that i have, ao i went with the recommendation of a family friend. the price was less than two hundrerd, there were bikes involved. i was sold.

the rest of the day was spent scrambling for odds n ends for the hike through the jungle as well as a few cocktails to see steve off.  cheers, man.

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