We had a free day in Cusco today which was really nice. Since the tour started we have been pretty busy.
After a later than normal breakfast we headed off to do the Cusco city bus tour with a few members of the group. I kind of like doing these tours in new cities as it gives you an overview of a city and a bit of history. Well we got the overview and I'm quickly learning that this is a delightful city, lots of plazas and some nice boulevards. It's also a tourist city with many nice bars and restaurants catering for the tourists. It has a multicultural feeling because of that, but with a colorful South American backdrop.
After the bus tour we wandered around the shops, wow there are some really nice textiles and handicrafts in Peru, actually nicer than Bolivia. We had an amazing lunch at a place called Cicciolina, where for sure we will go back for dinner after our Manchu Picchu trek in a couple of days.
In the afternoon we went to a museum in a beautiful colonial building which had information on Manchu Picchu and were back at the hotel for 5:30pm as the trekking company (Andina trekking) were coming in to give us a talk on our upcoming Manchu Picchu trek.
We've lucked out on our trek since normally the group size is 12 people but for ours it's just Betsy, myself and a girl called Brianna who while young seems nice (and clearly looks very active). It's almost a private tour :). Jackson who will be our guide (along with 6 porters and a cook) explained in detail the day by day activities and what to expect . I have to admit to getting slightly nervous now this highlight of the whole South America trip is upon us. 1) While the distances we are walking are not that far, they can be steep and the altitude is a killer. 2) We are gonna be camping and while that does not bother me at all, it's going to be cold at night. 3) My right tibia has decided to make itself felt again after last years break. WTF I've had no issues with it for months. Anyway I'm excited and this is a once in a lifetime experience so I'm going to enjoy every minute of it, cold and all :)
After the talk Betsy and I went out for dinner (had just the one glass of wine!) returned to the hotel and packed our trekking stuff into the small duffle bag we were given, trying to keep the weight below 3 kilos.