Cusco – Pre Trek
Even though we were exhausted from the Colca canyon excursion we hardly slept on the overnight bus to Cusco due to the bouncy bus and rocky roads. Luckily our hostel had our room ready when we arrived so straight to bed!
Today was a rest and admin day, wrote up some blogs and started planning the rest of our Peru and Bolivia trip. The main reason for our trip to Cusco was to book the 5 day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, a woman in our hostel recommended the tour company she went with, Machu Picchu Reservations, so we headed out to check them out. They seemed legit so we booked our 5 day tour! We celebrated by visiting a vegan restaurant...I had a vegan ‘Pizza’, which had lots of edible flowers on it (not sure you could really classify it as a pizza but it was tasty), washed down with a nice vegan ale and Jess had mash potato and quinoa soup! Then bed!
We made a trip to the sacred valley of the Incas to visit the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary where lots of animals have been rescued from being trafficked or abused. We got to see a lot of amazing animals up close, including spider monkeys, llamas, alpacas, condors, hawks, parrots and a toucan! We also tasted the Coti coffee, where the coffee beans are eaten by the Coti, fermented in the stomach, pooped out, washed and roasted! It was delicious!
We then jumped into a collectivo to checkout Pisac, a little town in the Sacred Valley. It was a lovely place, quaint pedestrianised alleyways which led to a main square which had a big market on and some sort of music and dancing parade, loads of colour and excitement!
We then had a walk around the valley to see the mountains and the river, before heading back to Cusco for dinner and bed.
Another chilled day, had a lazy morning and breakfast in our hostel. We had some food and watched the Argentina vs Chile game at Paddy’s pub (The highest fully owned Irish pub in the world!). We then had a little walk around Cusco and back to the hostel to watch a couple films and an early night (the beer had made us tired!)
After our early night we also woke very early. We used our time wisely, heading out to the shops and market for supplies and trekking gear. We both got fully kitted out for around £120, which isn’t bad when you consider we bought a new coat, trousers and socks for Chris, a new jumper and socks for Jess, a Peru football shirt each, loads of mixed dry fruit and nuts and walking poles! We then headed to the chocolate ‘museum’ where we had a free tour of their kitchen and saw the chocolate making process and proceeded to buy heaps of chocolate for the trek!
We dropped all our new gear back at the hostel, adorned our Peru shirts and headed for some lunch and a Pisco sour! The Copa America final was to kick off at 3pm so we headed to an off-licence to get a couple of beers and then to the main square in Cusco where there was a huge TV screen and hundreds of excited Peruvians! (and some sneaky Brazil shirts in the crowd too!). Unfortunately Peru lost but the atmosphere was amazing and everyone was still in good spirits! We then headed for a pizza and some pasta before we had to meet our Salkantay trek guide at 7pm for our briefing about the next days trek! We met the group we would be spending the next 5 days with and got all the necessary information about what to pack etc, then we headed back to the hostel to pack and to bed!