Ben and Kirsteen's World Trip 2005/6 travel blog

View of Cucso's main square from the pub balcony

A Quechan fountain

Cusco by night

Typical Peuvian headwear

The Sacred Valley

K at Ollantaytambo

Very precise Quecha stonework (no mortar required!)

K at Chincero

K: We had a 12-hour bus journey to Cusco and we did not have enough snacks, plus only one ipod was playing and no telly - it was not fun and I hoped it was going to be the last one, of that size anyway!

We got to Cusco and had a very nice hostel with a really helpful owner. You can spend ages in Cusco, there's lots to see, to buy and it even has a Peruvian Chinese restaurant if you fancy a change from the traditional guinea pig.

We did a Sacred Valley tour which was excellent and we learnt alot about the history and how important the area was to the Incas. The river that runs through the sacred valley directly mirrors the Milky Way and the area grows the largest corn kernels in the world, I am not joking when i say think 2cm-sided squared! Massive.

We visited a few sites but I really liked Ollantaytambo, it's where an Incan General rebelled because he wasn't allowed to marry a Princess plus the town represents the Llama in the Incan calender (Cusco is in the shape of a Jaguar and Machupicu is an condor). It was pretty steep and very interesting but a bit of a hike down to the nearest loo should you have tummy troubles!

B: Our hostel in Cusco was a little way out from the town but you can get a taxi anywhere in the centre of 30p. After 10pm it rises to 45p! As the weather was good, we normally walked in along the cobbled streets. The central square is very pretty, especially when lit up a night. Tourism is the main business and you are forever being offered things to buy in the street or menus for restaurants which gets a little tedious after a while. Cusco has every amenity you could want (even an English pub) so we stayed there very comfortably for a while.

We went to Peru Treks office and paid the balance for the Inca Trail. We had been planning to do this walk for a year and it was exciting to think that it was only a few days away.

Due to Varig (the Brazilian national airline) going bankrupt, we had no means of getting home so we spent many hours on the phone trying to get the booking changed to an airline which would still be around next week. After many phonecalls we managed to get a flight with Air Canada but a day later than before. This left us with several days after the Inca Trail so we decided to splash out on one last adventure to the Amazon.

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