Peru Adventuring – A Day In Cusco

Welcome to Day 13 on Peter’s Peru Adventure. Day 12 can be found here and all previous entries can be found here. To get updates sent to you via email, subscribe here
IMG_9083 After the funderful and winding day of rafting yesterday, today was to be a far more relaxing day.  Wow, I just used ‘day’ four times in that sentence.  For one thing, I didn’t wake up until 8 or so, my latest start in a while.  I bummed around doing some packing, taking a shower and then headed downstairs for some breakfast.  Breakfast is included in most of the rooms in town and is normally an egg or two and toast.  My room here at San Blas II is $25US for the night, $5 more than the night before but the setting is a little nicer.  Looking back on it now, I’d choose to have spent all my nights at San Blas II while in Cusco for a combination of price and amenities.  My next hotel is rather nice, but much more expensive.

IMG_9084 When I go in search of an internet connection I end up meeting Paul Opp, an expatriate who has started up a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Peru to help poor children.  His organization is called People for Peru and it was good to chat with him a for while. He was having trouble getting on the internet but lucky for him, I was “the IT Guy” in my former life and so was able to change his settings to get him working.  A business card goes a long way in this world it seems, as he left his with me and after investigating a bit, I ended up donating to his cause.  He also offered to show me around his small section of Peru when I return.  And it is when, not if.

IMG_9085 I then walk up the block again to Rumi Punku, my third hotel in Cusco, and drop off my luggage.  It’s not time for me to check in yet but they are gracious with accommodating my request to not lug my 60lb bag all over town.  I had a meeting at noon at main office for my trekking company in order to go over what’s what on the trek, receive our duffle bags and sleeping bags.  As is typical for me, I head out early to scope out where I’m going as it’s about 12 blocks away in another part of town.  I pickup some cheese pastries (luckily I know that much Spanish) and a water as the day is heating up, maybe about 70F or so.

IMG_9087 At the meeting I meet (and memorize these names as there’ll be mentioned often in the coming days): Tiffany a med student, Jeff from Chicago and proud of it, Heather from the colds of Fairbanks, Alaska, Anand who’s name I had wrong for a while, Michael who’s name I had wrong for even longer (Sorry Marko!), Ben, Michael’s son and party animal, Pat hanging with the previous two from Australia, Penny an ER doc from Texas, Penny’s Mom from Thailand, Darren currently a travel bum from around the world, Alice our only representative from mainland Europe (France) and our guides Rene and Jesus.  Tomorrow I meet our missing couple, Devin and Sarah, professional karaoke performers from Canada.

IMG_9088 Rene went over the itinerary and what needed to be packed.  We were limited to 10kg so the porters would not be overloaded as they often are in this area.  It was going to be close as the duffel and sleeping bag came to 4.5kg!  I found out I’d be sharing a tent with Jeff.  After the run down and exchange of monies, I headed back to the hotel to pack my 5.5kg of gear (yes, lots went in my day pack) and Jeff and I stopped at a store and loaded up on three bottles of wine.  I say Jeff and I cus telling the truth and saying *I* might not be appropriate.  Jeff really didn’t help with the wine, he’s a good kid and continues his claim of innocence to this day.  I’d end up purchasing just one more bottle the next day and Jeff wouldn’t attempt to stop me then, either.  I like Jeff.  The rest of the evening was pretty tame with more Internet time and then early sleep for a super early rise the next day!

IMG_9089 Oh, and the VWs?  You might be wondering why all the VW Beetles in this post.  My daughter and I are known to play Punch Buggie or Slug Bug where you punch each other each time you see one, but we don’t actually punch.  While on this trip, because of the massive amounts of old Beetles in Cusco, I kept taking pictures and then emailing them back as a means of a virtual Punch Buggie.  That’s all I took pictures of this day, plus it’s like a tour of Cusco!  Kinda.

Next up: Let’s get trekking!

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