15.01.2009 16 °C
On arival in Cuzco we had read in Lonely Planet that Loki Hostel was the place to stay for backpackers, therefore we decided to use this hostel as our base while in Cuzco. However after only one night we decided to find another place to stay. The problem with the hostel is that each day you need to find out if you are keeping the same room you had the night before. This wasn´t exactly what we needed or wanted. As well as this the hostel was full of young groups of men and women and as we were travelling as a couple, the atmosphere towards us was not great. This uncomfortable feeling coupled with the prospect of changing rooms every day forced us to leave the hillside location of Loki, to look for a place closer to the town centre. After a morning of looking around we found a very nice little hotel just off the main square which was actually around the same price as Loki, but without the hastle!!
Cuzco turned out to be one of our favorite cities so far. It was located in the mountains, with a beautiful main square, shops and narrow streets lined with places to eat. It turned out to be an ideal choice to see in the new year!! An ideal choice for the passage of years!
New years itself was spectacular .... the people of Cuzco begin to sell all kinds of fireworks and new years junk . The kids sold rockets, sunglasses in the shape of 2009, yellow panties (and it seems that for good luck) and also yellow Hawaiian flowers everywhere. Then as midnight approached everyone congregated leave the Plaza de Armas (the main square) to set of rocket after rocket. Neither of us actually heard when it was midnight ... as there were always rockets and firecrackers going off in all directions. Suddenly everyone began running around the square ( it seemed like a tradition), and so we fallowed! It was very fun, even with the rain, running around the square with the rockets and fire crackers going off around us was an amazing way to see in the new year.
The day after we went to Machu Pichu ... and I will make a statement here: Machu Pichu in Peru is South Americas answer to Disneyland .. This is because ... Cuzco operates as a tourist (and money) collection point before you have to head off on a packed 4 hour train ride to Aguas Calientes, the last town before Machu Pichu.
- The train round trip (economy class) are $ 96 (around 60pounds)
- The train only goes up to the town of Aguas Calientes. You then have to get a coach up to the site which was about $ 14 (around 8pounds)
- To enter Machu Pichu itself you will then have to pay $ 40 (around 25pounds)
As you can see, you have to pay a ridiculous amount for a visit a day (around 100 pounds, per person) .. We were both angry with this price level, and along the journey we met travelers who felt the same.
But finally, after all the hastle of getting there we were finally at the "must see" sight to visit in South America...Machu Pichu!!!
When We came to the top (take the steep path to the left when you first enter the site), we finally got the sight we had been waiting for....and what a sight it was, u suddenly forget for a second all the money that we spent and sat down to take in and enjoy the view.......something special!
The next day .. the 2nd of Jan we started off again to the town of Tacna on the boarder of Peru with Chile, as there were no buses that travelled across the boarder!! It was time to say goodbye to Peru and try to find a way south to Santiago (chile).