Friday, February 8, 2008

Adios Arequipa

Today we are leaving for Cuzco - Urubamba - Machu Picchu. I´m not sure how long it´s going to take to get to those three places because it all depends on whether we can get tickets or not. I have heard that the best time to go to Machu Picchu is early in the morning so we may be getting a 5.30am train from Aguas Calientes to the site. It would be amazing to see the sun rise up there. I just hope that it is clear weather but at this time of year it is doubtful.

Cuzco is meant to be chaos. People swarming you (we are quite obvious gringos!) trying to sell postcards and other useless wares. Everyone I´ve spoken to who has been there has said it is just relentless harassment. So we are going to try and avoid it on the way there and go straight to Urubamba which is meant to be beautiful and much quieter. It is also closer to Machu Picchu. From there it is a short bus trip to Ullataytamba (no idea how to spell that), the last bus stop before the train ride to the ruins.

We have met a Greman couple (actually we met them in Arica and have travelled with them since) who I think will be doing the same journey but may stay in Cuzco for a night. It is one of the nice things about travelling - meeting people who are on the same mission and also just as lost. Katharina and Chris flew straight into Arica and are starting their trip in Peru. There was an English couple we met in Arica as well who we caught up with again in Arequipa but they have since headed to Nazca and Lima. I don´t think our paths will cross with them again but you never know on this continent.

We have met some very odd people as well. Some eccentric, Jos in Arica was a bit of a character. He had been living in and around Arica (although originally from Holland) for quite some time running a hostel and a restaurant. Arica wasn´t the most fascinating place so I can now understand why he is like he is. He had disturbingly long fingernails though and he was so weathered to the Chilean desert that the skin on his legs was like snake skin. Very strange. But he was nice and happy and a good laugh to have around.

Some of the people that Greg and I met in Mendoza got a bit much after even a couple of days. Harry from Australia who was living in Majorca running a strip club who seemed a tad full of himself and incredibly opinionated. Bras (Dutch again) was lovely but got angry with an American guy, Jeff(?), because he wouldn´t stop talking. One of those people who are overly enthusiastic about EVERYTHING and never stops talking. And a lovely English girl, Fi, who was really good value.

We´re heading out to get coffee from a place that the English couple recommended and then for a bit more of a tour around town. I want to buy a ring (have bought a lot of stuff since I´ve been in Arequipa) and have a look at a few other places. Mainly Volcan Misti and possibly the river. Our bus doesn´t leave until 8.30 so we have a little while to wait. The boys have gone to buy tickets.

I really like the hostel here. Bothy Hostel. It´s really relaxed and friendly and I found out that from everything we pay for they donate some of it to help Peruvian kids in need. I thnk that´s relaly cool.

They put on a BBQ for us all last night with sangria included and took us out to a bar, Deja Vu afterwards. I was exhausted so most of us went home at about midnight but Greg stayed out and when he got back to the hostel no one was there to open the door for him and it was padlocked from the inside so Chris couldn´t let him in. He ended up having to climb up over the wall and through a window in order to get in. Ha!

Ok, I better go. The boys will be back soon.

K x

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