Monday, April 18, 2011

Peru - Day 1: Cuzco

bench trio
Since venturing last year to South America, I've been searching for some epic place to visit. Thanks to divine intervention, a lucky week long holiday and some well saved moolah we packed our bags for destination: Machu Pichu, Peru. \:D/

First, let me start of with an informative blog post from a very well traveled man on the preparations needed to travel to Machu Pichu, Peru.

Now on to the adventure!

14:00 - Touchdown to Cuzco
After a travel time of six hour from Montevideo we finally arrived at the Cuzco airport. Being turistas and a bit afraid to get ripped off, we decided to avail of the airport taxi for 30 soles (Php450).Which essentially is the same as getting ripped off. :))

14:30 - Hotel Mister(s) Inka(s)
Arrived at the hotel were I think the owners couldn't make up their mind if it's Misters Inkas, Mister Inkas, Misters  Inka or Mister Inka.
While the attendant prepares the room and before we were able to check-in, we rested a bit in the lobby and had a treat with some free mate de coca.
coca leavesis this an inca chief?mate de coca
The place was pretty decent at first glance and the room is spacious with 3 queen size beds.
Since we have a very tight itinerary, we made sure to pack light and I was able to fit everything in a single backpack! So after unloading our packs for the day, we were off to tour the city!

15:00 - Amazing Race Cuzco
We arrived at the Cuzco Plaze where there are more people/tourists than usual because of the coming Prusisyon in the city center later. To tell you the truth, I'm not really a fan of having a lot of people messing up what should have been a very serene photographic opportunity. :))
Alas, before doing the touristy walk, we remembered that we had to find where to pay for our Machu Pichu and Bus ticket first... which wasn't as easy as we thought it would have been.
Cuzco CathedralLa Compañía de Jesús nina - topengLa Compañía de Jesús

17:00 - Amazing Race Cuzco.. still..
After several hours of walking and walking we still haven't located the place that we needed to find. But as they say, seek and ye shall find, and found we did in a very discrete side street of Cuzco.
manny mapperDireccion Regional De Culturaask again

Sad to say that the race was not over though, as it's still not the right place. Thankfully the lady inside do know were we should go and gladly helped us catched a cab to Banco de la Nacion and another bank, which both closes in less than an hour.

17:30 - Almost there
The only course of action is to separate in two teams for each bank, so Manny went to the other bank while Nina and I went to Banco de la Nacion. 
So we went in, fell in line, gave our reservation code and just when we thought everything was now going fine and dandy, the reservation code has expired! :))
Apparently the reservation that we did 2 weeks before and every other reservation is only valid for 6 hours. It doesn't make any sense but my theory is that it either forces the tourists to go the travel agencies or the internet shops in Cuzco which helps the local business in Cuzco.
This would have been a complete rant of a post if not for the kind lady behind the counter that made us wait a few seconds then took us in the bank's office and requested some colleague of hers to go to the internet and make a new reservation and print it for us! (HOW COOL IS THAT!) ^__^

18:15 - Tamales

After meeting up with Manny in front of the bank, we decided to try something right but not that much (tama-less lol) and then headed back to the city square

18:30 - First sight at night
The procession gathered a lot of people which is almost like Quiapo church on a holy week but with less dramatics. Our initial goal was to find a restaurant with a good vantage point of what is happening on the city square. But after checking out one with a second floor patio and the waiter saying to us that it is by reservation only, we just settled on the first restaurant that looks exciting.
Jesuit ChurchbisitasCuzco Cathedral at night

19:00 - Paititi Restaurant
Finally some decent dining over at Paititi which is also known as 'El Dorado' in the local dialect.
IMG_04383D
The order here usually takes 30minutes so good thing they treated us with some free glass of Pisco sour! Although the Pisco sour was good, the one drink that I got addicted to was the Inca Kola, not sure why do as it looks like toxic piss. :))
phuraInca KolaPisco Sour
When the food finally arrived I was a bit disappointed because the advertised chicharon is just a deep fried pork meat without any skin or fat. So I was not really a happy penguin at that time. :( Also, one thing that we've noticed is that the general taste of the food here is salty. Like the chef was spilling salt like there's no tomorrow.
breadsalpicao chicharon :|fish?
all in all the food was ok and the service was almost ok except for the fact that they almost charged us an extra 10 soles (roughly Php150.00). Good thing I remembered the prices on the menu! Too bad for them since now we left an almost non existent tip instead of the non-compulsary 10%.

20:00 - Photo finish
I was almost disheartened by the lack of post worthy photos I took during the day. Good thing (lol a lot of good things happened this day), when the procession was over almost all the people has dispersed, so we were finally able to do some leisurely walking, buying of gloves and the head gear thingy and shooting around the area.

 Esquinita
ninaIMG_0473 topengtopeng mannyIMG_0474

Plaza
IMG_0490gq manny blue moon8->

22:00 - Cold summer nights
We headed back to the hotel since we still have an early trip tomorrow to Aguas Calientes, the town proper of Machu Pichu. The night was so cold that even under 3 thick layers of bed warmers it was still f cold!! And this was the night I experienced first hand the necessity of room insulation... or lack thereof.
i swear.
"Promise, hindi malamig"

1 comment: