Not so much to report this time as we've been wandering to our new destination of Chile over the past few days.
Well, we had a few days left in Cusco to kill before we left so I'll try to rack my brains and see if anything of interest comes out..........
Most of our Machu Picchu tour group went out for a meal to celebrate our survival and safe return from the sacred valley - our guide did tell us that someone once in his tour group had died, although that was at the very start and probably not caused by any walking - that's what he told us anyway! I tried the alpaca steak which was excellent and supposedly cholesterol free, which can't be bad. Half the group had alpaca, which is similar to a lama except it has more wool and a shorter neck - not on the plate obviously, but you get my drift!
We spent the next day wandering around the many markets, where all the locals swarm round you trying to sell you stuff - it does get pretty annoying when the same person spots you for a fifth time and seems certain that this time you really will want your shoes shined or that you really do feel like a massage just five minutes later. Smole actually had to pay one little girl so that she would leave us alone - we hid in a shop and everything! I know it seems quite lame that two grown men hid in a shop from a little girl trying to sell us a doll but she was the most perseverant person I've ever met and it was only a matter of time until one of us cracked!
The markets have all sorts of gifts, including a lot of alpaca clothing and pisco, a local spirit, which comprises the cocktail pisco sour, which goes down very well, although i was a bit unsure of the beaten egg white that lies on top of the drink at first but you get used to it.
The next day we knew exactly what was needed - a good tasty guinea pig! It's the local delicacy and a must try! We went for the baked option. It's a bit different as the waiter just literally brings out this over cooked rodent on a plate - claws, head and all! After some touristy photos of the dish and locals looking at the sky thinking not another bloody tourist, the waiter cut the dish into quarters for us. The guinea pig was stuffed with herbs and spices and tasted really good once you got used to this little head staring up at you with its front teeth out! It was very much finger food as there were so many bones, but it tasted very nice - in a way it was similar to lamb, but the herbs could have been deceiving us. Smole almost tried some of the head until he freaked out about the top of the spinal column sitting in the middle of it all!
We then realised that we were without a camera on this monumental occasion, so returned on our final day to consume yet another guinea pig. This time it was female - like I said they do literally bring everything out on the plate! We got some snaps this time and they should soon be up on the blog if all goes to plan.
Later that day we embarked on a 20 hour bus journey from Cuzco to Lima, where our flight awaited. The bus was very comfortable, with the seats reclining fully, allowing us to get some decent kip through the night. We passed our time watching onboard films, including Kung Fu Panda and Poseidon. I also listened to my iPod a fair bit just in an attempt to drown out Smole's singing of Taylor Swift and other classics from the likes of B*Witched!
We arrived in Lima and got a taxi straight to the airport and then embarked on a 3 hour flight to Santiago. We have now just about returned our body clocks to normal after sleeping through most of the day yesterday! We should be off to see some of the sights tomorrow, sleep permitting!