Cusco

19 10 2007

We made it! Up and down and back again. Cusco has been a target for some time, so now we are here and putting our feet up for a few days.

The road from Curahuasi began promisingly. Down hill on asphalt is always good fun. At altitude 1800m we found the bridge, and then climbed. Stopped for lunch in Limatambo (found a place that sold HUGE chicken schnitzels – with rice). Altitude and feasting are continuing to play havoc with my digestive system, so the remained of the climb to the pass at 3780m was accompanied (assisted?) by gas escaping from all orifices. Near 2000m climbing for the day, and 100km across. Possibly the last such climb for a while.

After a relatively big day up and across, we rolled into Izcuchaca (there was a town with the same name a few weeks ago). The day was capped off by being greeted by ‘¡gringos!’ screeched at us as we entered the (only) hospedaje in the pueblo. So we shared a room with the mice (it looked like there could be some around, but we didn’t actually spot any). I scored an upstairs room (difficult with the bike) because… I’m still not sure why I couldn’t have one of the other three empty ground floor rooms. Perhaps it was just an attempt by the owner to be unpleasant. The other hostel in the pueblo couldn’t give us a room because the woman who ran it wasn’t in town today, and the guy left in charge didn’t want to give us a room. At least we didn’t need food – the chicken was still reacting nicely.

A short climb into Cusco and we’ve definitely hit the gringo trail. Despite the huge number of tourists the town isn’t too bad – we’ve worked out how to keep away from the majority of them. Prices are certainly higher, and the amount of English spoken is greater, although it is vaguely insulting (especially to the Swiss) to always be labeled as American by the locals – even before opening your mouth.

This morning we had a long chat with two Austrian cyclists who are going north – comparing roads and routes. There is a lot of country coming up! Hopefully with less altitude gain per day though.

The Macchu Picchu problem is currently taking up a fair bit of thought. We’ve worked out how to get there without taking the outrageously expensive tourist train (taking the best part of two days), but we’ve still got a way to go to get student cards and reduce the similarly outrageous entrance fee. This could take some effort. But it’s a break from the bikes which is good for a few days.


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2 responses

21 10 2007
Richard

Well done faceing off the banditos. Good man, and good on your swiss amigo. A frightening story, I take it your mum doesn’t read this stuff. Now you are safe in tourist land. Don’t throw up it’s great, just dump the bikes and do the inca trail. get a machete and open a new route up Macchu Piccu.
Take precautions (keep the machete). Take care.
Have a great trip. try not to get killed.

28 10 2007
Steve

We’ve tried to get some replacement Pepper Spray, but it’s proving difficult. Perhaps the machete is a good idea…

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