Wednesday, December 1, 2010


on the road for the last couple days... Here's what I was up to:

Day 3 - Cuzco all day

Having been the responsible one the night before, I woke up feeling much better than the day before. Having gotten about 9h of sleep my body had more or less gotten used to the altitude. 

Erin and I set out for breakfast at the hotel, which was a pretty good spread. There was a huge variety of juice, one of which was a yogurt drink (yop, basically). The coffee is interesting, not terribly strong but really quite thick. There was fresh fruit, bread, cheese, ham, eggs, and a variety of cereals, none of which I could identify. I filled up a plate, and made a sandwich. 

Over breakfast we discussed what we all wanted to do, and the general idea was to go to the market and shop for gifts. We all went to our respective rooms and gathered our things and met in the lobby.

The market was huge, and people were selling everything from sweaters and hats and mittens to fruit and meats and various types of potatoes.... And mummified llamas. I wish I was kidding about that. I didn't spend too much, just got some small gifts for people and took a zillion photos.

We met outside the market and headed to find some lunch. We aimed ourselves in the direction of the main square. Thankfully we had Carolina, our rep from LAN with us, so when we were swarmed by people from the various restaurants she was able to negoiate a great price for lunch for us. We ended up at a place called Sumaq, and lunch consisted of a soup, a main dish, dessert and a drink... And not one but 2 pisco sours.... All for 15 soles!! Amazing. That's about $6.50.

I had some quinoa soup, which had alpaca cheese in it, and a stuffed hot pepper. The pepper was so good!! Inside it was ground beef, peas, and something else, and then it wad battered and deep fried. On the side was what I can only describe as peruvian Greek salad. For dessert I had ice cream. Mmmmm. Overall it was a fantastic meal, as every meal so far has been. 

The best part about lunch though had to be the band that came in and played while we ate. They played some traditional music and were thoroughly enjoyable. We also got a wonderful view over the square from where we sat. 

The plan after lunch was to drop off our stuff and go to see the Christ at the top of the hill. We went to the hotel to drop our stuff off and catch up online. While waiting for the group to gather a massive hail storm started. The rain came down in buckets, so much that it was coming through the sunroof. Due to these unforseen events my afternoon turned into drinking wine in the common area with Justin and whomever else happened by. It was pretty fantastic, actually. However it's rare that I don't think an afternoon spent drinking wine is fantastic. 

Carolina had prepared for us a presentation on LAN so at 6pm we all gathered in the breakfast room. She told us all about the company, and about it's various classes of service (which we'd experienced most of!) and about the network all around south America. Believe me, after our fantastic journey to Peru I'll definitely be recommending LAN! When she was finished, Justin played us a video from GAP put together with all the offices worldwide.

It had been decided that GAP was taking us out for dinner and so we all headed to the Fallen Angel, which is strongly recommended in all the guide books on Cuzco. We walked in and immediately knew why- the atmosphere was just incredible!! Very art deco style, the tables were sheets of glass on top of clawfoot bathtubs... Filled with goldfish. The chairs were covered in animal print and some of us sat on a love seat covered in heart shaped pleather covered pillows. On the walls hung original art from (I'm assuming) local artists. When I went to the bathroom I was given the choice of heaven or hell- one was a red theme and the other blue/white. I chose heaven, which on the inside was completely covered in cracked mirrors. A little bit weird but definitely cool. 

Dinner, like everything we've eaten on this trip, was to die for. Still full from lunch, I opted for the swordfish, with a tower of grilled veggies and mashed potatoes on the side. Most everyone else got steak of some form or another, with various sides. The presentation of the food was also awesome, brought to us on strange shaped plates. 

Once dinner was over,all of us so full we could barely move, the group split up- half planning to go out for a drink and the other half heading back to the hotel. 

During our aftenoon wine session, I'd promised Justin I would go out with him drinking so I was in the group that went out. As we walked across the square we were approached by a guy that looked like a Peru version of TJ, one of my brothers best friends. He told us if we went to mamma africa's we'd get a free drink, so the decision was made to go there. We follows peruvian tj up some stairs and into a club, which was aptly Africa themed. There was also a girl getting body painted. The walls were covered in African wildlife, and the ceiling covered in flags. 

Slowly the club started to fill up, and at one point a guy dressed as a pirate. Stayed until about 2am, maybe 3...

Next morning was up at around 8, had to eat breakfast and check out. Put our bag in storage and decided to go for a walk. Originally Rose and i were just going to sit in the square and people watch but ended up walking all around the central part of the city. We found all kinds of areas- the home improvement district, the photocopy district, the photography district. 

On our way back to the square we must have looked lost because 2 guys stopped and pointed the way. They introduced thenselves and to this moment we can only remember them as Ricardo and not Ricardo. They seemed to know  a great deal about Canadian geography. 

Because they were local we asked them about the blended frog drink we'd heard about. They said they knew where we could try it and lead the way to the market. We followed behind not sure what to expect. The drink itself is called jugo de rana, and when we got to the woman selling it we were a bit afraid- basically you have to pick your own frog and the woman then blends it for you. Neither of us were brave enough to try it out. We left the market and realized we had to go back to the hotel. We said our goodbyes to our new friends and headed back to the hotel. 

Stopped to get some food at a little place serving burgers (not the best meal thus far) and enjoyed some lemonade. 

Back to the hotel to meet the group and get on the bus for the homestay.

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