We spent the evening before the hike (part 1 and part 2) and the day after the hike exploring Cusco. I would have loved more time to see some of the museums there and the surrounding ruins. It’s such a funky mountain city built on Spanish ruins that were built on Incan ruins. The whole valley is covered with red roof tiles, but it still manages to feel intimate, at least the main touristy part.
Our first night there we tried the famous cuy at Chicha. All the food was delicious; I had alpaca curry and we shared the guinea pig as an appetizer. The hostel turned out to be a bit too close to the square and some bumping bars. We tried to sleep, but the crowds, music and our…umm… roommates kept us up.
The day after returning from Machu Picchu we started at the ruins at Saksaywaman. A guy outside the gate talked us into taking a horseback ride with his friend where we could see some other ruins and then look into the Saksaywaman ones too. We couldn’t say no to horses. We rode around for about two hours to some ruins on a farm, met some grazing sheep and then on to the back side of the site. Josh and Will got their horses to trot, but Julie and I had gassy mounts who were on their own timetable. Poor George was sick most of the day in bed.
We found more cuy for lunch and spent the afternoon wondering around Cusco’s little markets and winding streets. We found some great sweaters and other trinkets. We did a free walking tour that was ok, but after Bruno other tour guides had big shoes to fill. We ducked into the Cathedral of Cusco City, but we meant to see the more famous Cusco Cathedral across the street. Next time, next time.
I think I could have used two more days in Cusco. There are other ruins and day trails nearby that we would have loved to check out.
At night we met up with our British friends for goodbye pizza and toasted to our trip. The next morning we left for Lima.