Cusco and Machu Picchu

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MICHAEL? NOT AGAIN!

Staying with Rodrigo was kind of relaxing. He was just living his normal life as I was strolling around Cusco on my own.

One day after breakfast he said “Well, let me know when you are ready to go home and we can meet.” Then he took off and I went on a quest around the vicinities of Cusco. I tried to walk as far as possible from the touristiest places and as far as possible from the Plaza de Armas. I climbed up a hill, pulled my camera to take a picture of the city and as soon as lift my head, I heard:

“I think I know this girl.” A tall blond guy was staring at me and laughing as he approached me.

That was Michael….. yes, that Swiss Michael whom I met in Colombia, with whom I travelled to Ecuador and whose passport, credit cards and camera were stolen on the bus to Latacunga.

“Wow” I said. “If would understand if we met in the center, but here, in the middle of nowhere… I can’t believe it.” We had a nice warm hug and then he asked:

“Would you like to join me to the ruins of Saqsaywaman? (Try to say it a few times).

“Yeah, why not?” (I really had no idea what it was and that it existed).

As we started walking to the top, two Peruvians came up to us and offered a horse-back-riding tour for 45 soles for two hours that included three places to visit. We bargained down to 35 soles but at the end ended up visiting only two places and from the Spanish family who was in our group, realized that we overpaid about 20 soles ($10) each. Ladrones!!!!

It was fun thought and after a ride and a hike we headed to the market to have a huge meal for $1.50. After that, I had to by a few things for the Machu Picchu trip and asked Michael if he would accompany me.

As we were walking on the street and were about to cross a busy road, someone splashed a scoop of vomit on Michael’s neck. I pulled a wet towel out to help him clean up, as a lady with a kid on her back run by and touched Michael’s pocket where he had the camera.

“Hey” he yelled. He reached into his pocket but luckily the camera was still there.

We walked to the center while Michael was complaining about people and showing me how a lady was trying to rob him. As he touched his pocket one more time, the camera was gone.

That’s the second time he was pickpocket while with me…. Not sure, a coincidence or he should be more careful?

TREKKING MACHU PICCHU

I don’t think I have ever climbed that many stairs in my whole life. Rodrigo booked a tour through a friend of a friend and in the morning of September 7th we were waiting at the Plaza de Armas with our day packs. There were four of us in the group: Rodrigo, two girls who seemed to be a couple and me.

The first day was biking down the hill. I think after an unfortunate biking fall in Ecuador while crossing a waterfall, I get more and more scared of biking. At month seven I finally got a travel insurance as I had been traveling without one, just being faithful, hopeful and caution. Thanks God it ended up well.

Day two and three we walked, swam in hot springs, had lots of beer and watched a Peru-Venezuela game. At night we were staying at hostels and even went salsa dancing (I was the only one dancing I think).

The forth day was the hardest. We woke up at 4:30 am, left the hostel at 5am and from there, it was hiking up and down the Inca stairs till 4:30pm. I was existed. On the way back we took a train back and were home by 11pm.

I had a great experience but am sure you can crash the Alternative Inca trail without booking a tour and taking buses and walking by yourself. It’s doable. In addition, I haven’t had any good guides in Peru so far and Machu Picchu wasn’t an exception. Our 23-year old boy was more like a kid who knew the road and led us along.

When we got to Machu Picchu, I guess I was expecting some sort of a show of energy and feelings but really didn’t sense anything. I was definitely amazed by the architecture, calendar and clock system but didn’t have any mind-opening occurrence.

I am not saying it was a disappointment; you should definitely do it if you get a chance. Just don’t expect the awakening. It was like seeing Mona Lisa in Louvre if you know what I mean…

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