Cusco and the preperations for the Inti Rayma

This blog post will be mostly without pictures as my memory card (which I suspect is fake) failed me for the fourth time. This time I didn’t manage to recover the pictures and I have to wait for a professional company back in Norway before I hopefully will be able to get them back.

Cusco became one of my favourite cities on this trip, as it was magically relaxing and contained a colonial beauty that I haven’t found in other cities so far in South or Central America. Among my favourite places to sit back and watch the life pass by was Cafe Cappucino, ideally situated on the second floor of a charming building overlooking the Plaza de Armas. The place is a bit more pricy than the regular peruvian jouints, but in light of the view and how chill it really is it’s definently worth it. There’s even an internet cafe inside for people like me to catch up on blogging, something which I am seriously behind right about now..

What really bothers me about my defect memory card is not the money I paid for it, but rather the pictures that I lost. Hopefully these will be returned and I can update this post with them. On the day that we chilled out on Plaza de Armas the children of Cusco were more than busy with an amazing parade they had put on in preparation for the Inti Rayma, one of the biggest festivals in Peru, We missed out on this festival by a few days which kinda sucked, but we got more than we expected as hundreds of adorable children dressed up as cowboys or Inca warriors danced the streets in a well coordinated show. I was amazed to see the vigour and energy people from the age of the children that we saw dancing to youngsters and even adults that were preparing for the festivities or simply dancing for the fun of it. Forget Brasil and Rio as the dance capitol of South America, the mountain city of Cusco have it beat!

The first day we spent in Cusco was mostly spent eating, getting information on the Inca Trail and going to be ridiculously early. We even managed to get our hot shower after the warm water container was turned on again a few hours after we had arrived. As we woke up to a fresh new day with the memories of the horrible busride already replaced by the adventerous urge to explore yet another new city the breakfast in the centre of our charming hostel was already served. Our hostel, the Qorichaska, was undergoing rehabilitation, but it was still a very nice place with a friendly staff that was helpful and spoke good english. The wireless internet did of course not hurt either 🙂

Cusco is a city that you can easily spend a lot of time in. It has a varied restaurant scene, an abundance of sightseeing activities available and the promise of acclimation for the Inca Trail if you stay there a few days.

Some good tips would be to simply walk around the Plaza de Armas before you head up to the artist haven of San Blas where there are plenty of nice handicrafts to be bought. Cusco is a very upscale city compare to the rest of the cities that I’ve seen in Peru and you have the chance of eating and staying at places with more stars under their names than we could afford. There are although still cheap places around and I found that Cusco had just the right mix of it for me. If you’re doing the Inca Trail I would definently recommend to stay in Cusco for a while as there are plenty of things to do and see with the added acclimitation bonus.

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