A Travellerspoint blog

Scary Sao Paulo

In Search of the New York like Club Scene

Thanks to some frequent flyer points we decided to fly directly to Sao Paulo from Lima instead of bussing it. We arrived here at Sao Paulo on the 7th April in the early evening. As we did not really pu much planning into this we had to organsise accomodation on the fly. So after a quick bite at the Sao paulo airport we took the executive bus into Praca de Republico which is in the City Centre. Luckily we had the lonely planet on hand to aid us in finding a hotel. Hotel joamar was the spot we decided on. So we started the walk from the bus stop to the Hotel armed with Backpacks and the increasing number of accessory bags Harsh has managed to accumulate ove time. The Hotel seemed clean and hospitable but the area around it was a little bit nervy. Well we had been i tourist friendly Cusco and Mirafores in the last few weeks and the initial view in sao paulo was that we seemed the only tourists in the city centre.

Later that night we took a walk around our surrounding streets to get a quick bite to eat. Despite being a weeknight the street we were on seemed to have a party vibe with little after work Sandwhich bars housing samba musicians and street vendors armed with big boom boxes. We decided to sit at one of the more crowed cafes at the end our street and were delighted when the musician started to play and acustic version of our favourite song of the trip "Minha mia" I think thats what its called. By the tm we had dinner it was a around 10.30ish and the busy street we had walked up to get the cafe had by now began to get a lot less crowded and far more dodgey. In fact it was a pedestrian only street so you could not even get a cab if you wanted. So we rushed back to the hotel hoping not to encounter any dramas. Luckily no issues.

The next few days in sao paulo we spent exploring this vast city with the help of the friendly tourist information guys and the massive city map we had in hand. By day Sao Paulo city was a lot less scary. The Metro train system was amazingly effecient. The longest we ever had to wait for connection was 3minutes and that was on a public holiday. The only real difficulty we had with the metro was buying tickets on the first day and that was mainly due to our poor portuguese.

The first area we visited was the extremely clean and wonderfully diverse Fruit Market and Veg Market. This place was reknowned for being the best in Brazil. I think you would be hard pressed to beat it. Every thing frm Rumbutangs and Mango Steens to Unheard of Amazonian fruits. The best thing about it was each vendor would insists on you trying the produce. I think I speak fo both Harsh and myself when Saying we tasted the best Mango we had ever had here and probably the biggest. The size of a grideon I reckon. Once again my lack of Portuguese got us into problems when eating lunch here. I saw this fantastic photo of a ricota filled pastry which I thought I ordered with the help of the waitress but much to my dismay I got this monsterouse ham sandwhich instead which the locals were starring at and even a begger refused to take off me when I could not finish it.

In the progressive days we explored Jardims Paulista an wealthy area, bellavista an italian area and liberdade the Asian area of Sao Paulo. It was amazing to see how diverse the respective neighbourhoods were. Jardims Paulista was extremely safe and well lit Infact walking around at night was not an Issue. We had Dinner one night here at a beautifuly atmospheric restauran filled with a glamurous young crowd, Innovative cocktails and the most decitent Chocolate mouse. Ohh i forgot to mention it came at an equall exorbertant price bu hey it was well worth it. We also visited a fantastic Art Museom here, where we viewed a few picasso´s, rembraints, van goff´s and Renoir´s to name a few along with a lovely exibit of Brazillian photography.

Bellavista, the italian eighborhood which was only a stones throw away from the city had a completely different air about it from the houses to the people. The Restaurents were Uniquel italian too from th Pasta´s and vines right down to the Old men seating out the front, Capiche, forget about it!

Liberdade, the asian area was also a five minut stroll from the city center. We had a very filling oreintle per kilo buffet there and ejoyed walkin through the tows main street which even had the oriental lantons for street lights and a string of chinese shops. I must say i was more orderly than most asian areas I have visited.

Our nights in Sao Paulo was mainly spent persuing the city´s club scene which we had read rivalved New yorks. We spent many minutes riding the subways and many dollars in cab fares venturing into many neighbourhoods such as vila olympia and vila madelana and Jardms Paulista. However struck out most times. I think i would have been better if we went with local knowledge. It was hard to find places we liked as the nightlife was wide spread. We eventually went to one club named vegas where we spent about $20 for entry but i was all trance music. The only thing excitng was a 70+ Man dancing around trying to be 25 I think he was Brazil´s equavilan to "the Legend". The other stand out of the night was a guy who I thought was chatting up Harsh but it turned out in their conversation he mentioned to her " Your boyfriend is beautiful twice". Hey What Can I say, maybe next time Harshu.

As mentioned before we were staying on a pedestrian only street, it seemed the street and Sao Paulo City in general had an abundance of sex shops and adult cinemas(good choice of hotel Harsh), each time we came back home we had a scary stretch of about 250 meters to our hostel. Many a night we found ourselves evading drunks and druggies to get back to the safety of our hotel. I think the city center of sao paulo has been the most nervous we have been on the trip to date. One night there was a dodgey Druggie who approached yelling what sounded like Heeyyy heey heeyy in a deep voice. It seemed like he was running to us from a distance but when he came close it was like he was running in super slow motion,never the less it was scary, I wish I had my heartrate monitor on as I think it would have been higher than when we did the Inca trail. Normally Harsh complains about my lack of speed when walking, but we both discovered I walk quite fast when shit scared. Luckily we simply walked away unscaved as we were only 50 meters away from the hotel thank god or else Harsh was ready to assault him with her heels(Definition of Assualt-throw them at him and run away). I think if we had our time in sao paulo again we would have stayed in the prettier suburb of Jardims Paulista.

Well we are off to Rio next by bus, a 6 hour ride. No plan on accomodation yet but we will work that out on arrival. We are looking forward to seeing Rio away from the crowd of Carnaval and spending Easter in the City of God.

Posted by HonestAnth 06:58 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Lima

Mira Flores, Centro and off course dramas

After Visiting amazing churches, inca museums and being spoilt with cheap massa-hes (that is how they say it here) and cocktails we decided to hit Lima. But we had to leave as all we
were doing is getting drunk on the cocktails and getting massa-hes. It was difficult to leave
our hotel Calicanto and the crew.

Our guy Miguel at calicanto arranged free airport transport in Lima for us from Cusco so when we get to Lima
we could be taken hostel hunting as we had not booked anything. The flight was pretty smooth
no dramas. When we got to the Lima airport instead of 1 there were 2 people waiting for us for this free pick up.
The free fried fish with Louey had taught us a lesson.So about 10 minutes in the taxi I
couldnt help it and I reconfirmed whether the transfer was free with Pablo our driver. Pablo who was quite churpy till then exclaimed "Nooooooo Lady!!!" that its not free and we had to pay 30 USD to him and then off course you can imagine Anthony, he was like STOP right now and then rudely negoiated the fare to be 10USD(is what we would have paid if we took a bus). But it wasnt either of their fault as the taxi driver wasnt told about the free trasnfer and we were under the impression that it was a free transfer.
Thanks Louey it was the free fried fish incident that urged me to confirm this free transfer or else we would have paid much more if we didnt check.

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The first impression of Lima was lots of chinese restraunts(chifa´s), pokies and a stone beach. There
was no sand on the beach but just pebble stones. I have never seen that in person so it was cool. We drove into this hotel called Excetivo in Mira Flores. which the taxi driver insisted. It was not the best option but we took it for 1 day as we were gonna walk around and move somewhere else the next day. The taxi driver swore that he didnt get any commission and we had to pay for the tranfer but I still dont beleive him because I think about 30mins after we checkedin he showed up in the recepetion and didnt expect to see us and was a baffled when he saw
me walking in.

Lima is offcourse a much bigger city than Cusco. We went wandering on the beach and make
reservations in this place called Rosa Nautica. Like Unc Ranchi says, it was an "upmarket"
place right on the beach, we drove past earlier. It was so upmarket that the bellboy declined Anthony to walk in with his sleeveless top to even to make a reservation. Eventually after persuasion we walked in and made one for 6.30pm. It was already 4pm and we had not had lunch yet. So I wasnt sure how we were going to make it back for dinner at 6.30pm. Anyway we decided to walk towards the main centre. As usual Anthony was being picky for place to eat and it was 4.15pm and I was shitty as I was hungry. I finally put my foot down and we walked in to a place called cafe Z. I ordered a simple tomato and oregano pizza as thats the only thing I understood from the menu. Anthony on the other hand picked something fancy, as he thinks he knows Spanish and orders this mix thing which
he thought was a better pizza. And later he was telling me ``Look it says misto, that means mixed pizza``.

My pizza comes first offcourse as it was simple and Anthony wouldnt stop teasing me and asking how did my cheese and bread tasted? 5 mins later his pizza arrives, and I asked him where the pizza base was ?as it had olives, cheese, porksaugages all alinged beautifully. And then we realise that he ordered a startes platter. I
have a pic of his reaction which i will upload u have to see it. Now my cheese and bread -
The simple pizza was offcourse better and he was eying that. As nice as I am (U know what I
mean Aunty ) hehehe, I did share my pizza with him and offcourse as usual after his stuff up I was
there to save the day. I spoke to the waitress, she didnt speak english but I think she
understood what Anthony had done as she walked away giggling.We werent sure where she went, and
then the manager walked upto us and told us that he will get pizza for him for free. Anthony
was like wwwwweeeeeeeee !! It was really nice of the guys at cafe Z to give the pizza to anthony for free
when it was Anthony who had made a mistake ordering. And now all of sudden as he got a free
pizza and a platter he went back to teasing my simple pizza. TYPICAL Lol !!

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After lunch at 4.45pm we went looking for a hostel in the centre and did check a couple out but they were all full. It was the last hostel we were gonna look at before we made our way back to the hostel, LOKI backpackers, spoke to this manager Sabastein, he said they had one room left but someone else was supposed to check in like 8 hours ago and if they didnt show up in the nexthour we will getthe room, Nice room amazing view of the main road and the
biggest Mackers I have ever seen.

So we were very happy about finding this place and were looking forward to the hear from Sabastein in an hour and hoping he says yep its ok u can check in tommorrow. It had got pretty late by now about 6,15pm and we had reservations for this Náutica place at 6,30 pm.

BOth of us were pretty full still so we decided to can that place and just roam around the centre where it looked pretty good. We walked into this street which looked like china town at first but then we realised it was a cluster of restaurants, kareoke places and some night clubs. Before we ate we called the hostel and confirmed that we can check in tommorrow in the room shown to us by the manager.So we were relieved and ready to enjoy our dinner.We ate at this really welcoming place, mainly an english speaking waiter who could help with the menu. He was really nice and got us into eating at this place. Offering 2 free pisco sours each instead of one; which is a norm. I think in lima people like to eat a lot of cold fish as most of the menu in this restaurant was just that. Anthony ordererd the local favourite some cold fish with tiger milk(nothing to do with a tiger) and I got something that looked like it was going to be hot as the fish was supposed to be served with some chilli sauce.It was my turn to make a mistake with the order. I thought I had ordered warm cooked fish and was telling Anthony how I cant eat cold fish as a main. The food arrived while we were sipping on the Piscos, Anthony looks at my food and before I tasted it, he took a bite and had a face. I still didnt get it and I took a massive bite and had a brain freeze as the fish I thought would be fire hot was Ice cold. OMG i was so pppiiiiisssssseeedddd !! And offcourse I had take Anthony´s smart stabs about my choice for the rest of the meal.

After dinner we walked into this free night club it wasnt the best but wasnt bad as the music was ok and the crowd was bearable. But we had heard about this one particular street where there was supposed to be a CLUSTER OF CLUBS (like Anthony likes it). I didnt really drink but Anthony finished a whole jug of beer. Had a decent night and came back pretty late.

Next day we got to Loki to check into our room that we booked.
You must be thinking how come there is no drama with these two yet. Finally ready for a smooth run as everything is confirmed and cross checked. But nnnnooooooooooo !!

We get to the reception and the guy tells us someone else hás been put into our room by mistake. We were pretty disappointed, the guy at the reception said that the poeple will be back in 2 hours and they will get them to move into a different room and until then we can stay in a different room. We thought 2hours is not bad as we were going for a walk anyway. We come back at 6pm in the evening which was 6 hours later and nothing yet. After being tossed around for the whole night we were told that we wont get our room and stay in a different one for the night. Anthony and I were pissed, we had not even unpacked thinking we are going to move soon. And also no one had the audacity to come up to us and tell us what was happening. And on top of that I had specifically asked to speak to the manager or someone with authority when possible, The manager sends this non english speaking girl to us, telling us about the room and how we cant move that night and bargaining to give a discounted price for the other room. I thought it was really poor on Loki´s behalf. We were really keen in just staying in our room and enjoying the view and relaxing that night. The hostel had a really cool common área. So we decided to enjoy the special rate dacquiris and enjoy the view from there. We played some wierd drinking games within a group of 15 people i think. Met this Lankan guy from England who was next to us. First I thought he was related to Anthony in some wierd way but he was Tamil so that was not going to happen. He mentioned how he hás visited his cousin in melbourne a lot times and he lived in Keysborough. I thought he had to know Bevan or some one Lankan and have a wierd connection. He started speaking about cricket and the attack on the Lankan team in Pakistan. We were really happy thinking we can have a cricket conversation as no one else we had met even knew cricket. But unfortunately he didnt know who Chaminda Vaas was; At first Anthony was real excited trying to find who this cousin in Keysborough was but after the Vass mishap Anthony stopped talking to him. Lol !!
I could not beleive that, I was just giving him so much shit the whole night . It was real fun. We went out get a bite and walk arouund a bit and called it a night.

Next day expected someone to come to us telling that ok your room is ready and we can check in. The guy at the reception didnt even have an idea of what was going on. I was about to crack it, (I gave him the benefit of the doubt thinking of the chicken burger incident) and explained what had happened. But he was arrogant and saying´he has worked there for 3 years, and this had never happened´ and was passing the buck; then I cracked it. I told him to send Sabastein to speak to us in the breakfast área where Anthony was waiting and he was the one who we were dealing with. I wouldnt have got angry on this guy but he was giving me attitude when it was their fault. We had nearly finished our breakfast when this Sabastein who is the manager shows up with even more attitude and arrogance. It was great the way Anthony and I gave it back to him as both of us had lost it by now. We were a great team.

Finally we got into a adjacent room which gave a similar view but we had so much to do as we were leaving for São Paulo next morning. We nearly got what we wanted and then headed to this big shopping centre which was constructed on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I think it is one of the best shopping centres I have seen locationwise. We had not had lunch and were looking for a place. We ended up feasting on an amazing buffet and enjoying the view of the ocean. What a spread !! Offcourse we had to move from our table at least once, but this time it was in middle of the meal thanks to Mr. De Silva.
I have to edit the details here but I am sure you know what must have happened, if not I will tell in person. I personally think that this place was a better place and value for money than the Lake Náutica place that we ditched the night before. We were so full couldnt walk properly for the first 10 mins after we left the place. We wandered around the mall for a while and then made our way back and got to our hostel at about 6.30pm.
Chilled out in the common área for a little while and went out to get some dinner. Anthony got some beef roll and I got a fried rice from one of the Chifa´s (chinese restaurants) there. Had a quite one as we had to catch flight for São Paulo at about 4,00am.
Looking forward to São Paulo as have heard heaps about it but if I feel scared will get to B.A. before schedule.

Goodnite

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Posted by Harshu 20:29 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

CUUUUZZZZCCCCCCCO

Massages,mushrooms and mythology

You would have probably noticed we had not added an entry for awhile. This was mainly due to doing the Inka trail, where we had no access to write for 4 days. The other reason is we simply got settled into a routine in Cusco which has become one of our favourite cities in the entire trip.

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To fast forward a bit and let you catchup we arrived back from aguas cliente and the trail on the 25th march. Initially we were supposed to check back into our previous hostel where our baggage had been stored-Hostel Rojes. It actually should be called Hostel Rogues. These guys were a disgrace to the rest of Cusco who were largely extremely hostpitable. To sum up we requested the same room on our return and were promised if this was not available we would be given a smaller room at a lower cost. However Nino the arrogant owner refused to honour his promise and abruptly told us that we could look eslewhere even though he had promised this. If this was a once off it would have not been so bad, however the same thing had happenned to us when we were here last time when his daughter promised us breaky included but he went back on that word. Anyway after a heated exchange we stormed off with all our luggage in pursuit of a new hostel. Luckily Ursula the sales rep from our trekking company(all trek)was nearby so we managed store the luggage there whilst we searched. Whilst I am on the subject of feedback, let me tell anyone reading this that ALLTREK CUSCO are an excellent company to go with for the inka trail, excellent customer service. Even when we had a miscommunication with what was included in our trek, they simply listened and resolved the inquiry immediately.

Well leaving Hostel Rojes turned out to be a blessing in disquise as we ended up stumbling on hotel Calicanto, which was in good central location and had the best staff imaginable. Miguelle and our friend Johnny were fantastic. And the room was spacious and homely. Infact we even celebrated Shetty´s birthday at Calicanto. Miguelle helped me purchase a cake and we surprised her early after breaky on the 31st March. Bubba was so happy, well until she gauged two massive pieces down in 5 minutes after our usual eggs for breaky and then vomited it all back out straight afterwards. (should I have mentioned this in the blog?)

Okay I will let you chuckle on that last sentence a few more minutes.

Okay Done

As i stated before we got into a bit of a routine in Cusco. The following paragraphes will expand on these essential parts of our time in Cusco. In a nutshell we would get up after breakfast and complete a siteseeing activity, walk around the majestic Plaza de Armes and simply soak in its beauty, be stalked by countless woman canvasing cheap Inka Massages, Contemplate whether we eat at a 15 soles set menu cafe or Mcdonalds, at night we would invariably have cocktails at our favourite pre-party venue Mushrooms and afterwards party at mythology then stumble home to Calicanto and knock on the door to be let in at 3 in the morning. You can see why it was tough to update the blog during these ten days we spent in Cusco.

Site Seeing in Cusco

The following our some of the sites we took in during the day

Religous sites

The Cathedaral

Before we went to the Inca trail we purchased a tourist ticket that allowed us to check out four religous sites in Cusco. We had already visited the Jesuit church La Compinia, when we returned we Visited the Magnificant Catholic Cathederal. This was the iconic building in Cusco´s Plaza De Armes. It stood out like no other building and consisted of three seperate buildings, two smaller chapels along side the main church. Apparently some of its stone work was brought from nearby Inca sites. What stood out was its solide silver alter, its amazing wooden crafted choir area and its abundance of cuscan artwork which included the last supper with a Guinea pig on the main plate, and its signature barroque front alter piece that blocks the view of the main alter on entrance. This allows late comers like myself to sneak in to mass without the priest knowing. Unfortunately like all the religouse site in cusco we were not able to take pictures. Apart from the wonderful architecture and artwork another highlight of the cathederal tour was bumping in randomly to Sarah our friend from the GAP tour who informed us that herself and the rest of the group had just arrived in cusco that day.

ARCHIEPISCOPAL PALACE MUSEUM OF RELIGIOUS ART

This place was a great exibition of all the Cuscan religious artwork. It displayed a combination of similar work we had seen in the catheredal and La Compinia along with many other classics. Around this building was many small art schools where you could purchase replica works. It building base also housed the famouse 12 angled INCA stone.

Church of Sanblas
This church was the first church built in Cusco and was much smaller than the other churches we had seen but was not outdone in character. The pulpit was excusuite in the church and worth a mention. It had a scull at its summit which was said to be that of its scuplturer. I was not able to take pics but here is a image I found in google.
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INKA SITES

Coricancha
The temple of the Sun as it is transleted is situated next to the Church of Santa Domingo. It is now a site where the dominican monks reside however it was once a great Inka temple. Like most other important INKA sites the spanish built over it with a religouse building of themselves to sho dominance. Our guide named "lady" told us that when cusco suffered a mighty earthquake the INKA walls survived yet the spnaish colonial structured crumbled. We enjoyed this tour as it was Lady's first english tour which was a bit of a laugh.

The INKA Musuem.
This was a great tour and very informative. Having done the INKA trail this really filled in a lot of gaps for us about the INKA teritory, progress in ceremics,gold,stone and silver work. This Musuem is a must see in Cusco.

Set Menu or Mcdonalds
After all the site seeing we used to get pretty hungry. The biggest problem was the number of choice we had to pick from. At every street corner around the plaza that would be touts pulling us in all directions. Invariable most of the set menu´s where similar. A Soup, a main(trout,steak,or Chicken) and a dessert/drink oh and offcourse a miniscule shot of Pisco sour to tempt us in. I think we at about 15 different restaurents whilst there some where a bit dodge but luckily most where really good despite the skeptically low prices. We even met up with Walter and Isa from the trail twice at one of the better cafes. Well actually all in all I did quite well in my food selection but shetty was not quite so lucky especially as she kept getting tricked into choosing this mustardy sauce each time thinking it was a chilli dish, you know these "curries" must have spice in every dish. This sparked her to go for the safe option, Macca´s a few times. This however was no ordrinary Macca´s, it was beautifully built to match the decor of the Plaza, no gordy golden arches just tasteful wooden ones. No colouful feature walls, Inca Like brickwork instead. It was by far the prettiest Macca´s we had eaten in and it had the finest selection of sauces which we savour.

Massages
Usually after a hard days site seeing and a full stomach we would eather take a nap or wonder down to the Plaza to where would be hounded by tribes of local girls waiting to massage our arching bodies for a small fee. I do mean small, Infact $10 Aussie for a fullbody 1hour massage. $7.50 if we bargained hard. It was like we were in bangkok unfortunately minus the happy ending, however I dont think you get hounded as much for a massage in bangkok as you did here. Eventually after trying out a few we settle on two girls named Sonia and Claire. I offcourse chose the prettier one(louey you would know that). I must say for the price they were the best value massages you could get. You would pay over $100 buck in melbourne for the same treatment. However, I am not sure back in Melbourne they would jump on the table and straddle your head to do your lower back as they did here.

Nightlife in Cusco

After our packed daily schedule we would embark on our nightly ritual. Which consists of pre drinks and partying.

Mushrooms
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As mentioned Mushrooms was our standard pre party venue. This place was a laid back loungebar that featured comfy sofas plus lazy beanbags, tasty bites, chilled out music with a DJ spinning from the bar and Vuluptious barmaids(at least I thought so harsh thinks it was all in the push up bra). Most of all though it was our favourite place because of it´s Zany bartenders and the crazy large monster cocktails. Mango and Strawberry Daquiris and piscuirri´s were amongst our favourite. The presentation was intriquette and the preparation of Cusco´s unique cocktail the machu picchu was done with a surgeon´s precision. We had many a good night here and even managed to drag in the GAP group and Walter and Isa here too.

Mythology
This place deserves a mention as it was the first dance club we visited in Cusco. Infact it was one of the first times we actually got down and danced properly on our trip. Mainly as in rio it was so packed it was hard to move during carnival and the rest of the time we have been on the move. Mythology was one of many clubs we would visit on a nightly basis whislt in cusco. We would do so just after Mushrooms. We would walk towards the cluster of clubs and be acosted by touts with free drink offers. I think the reason we went to Mythology was the music was the loudest from outside the club. Before 11pm the place was a salsa club and afterwards a full on dance club with hip-hop to techno and dancing tourist on the bar. It was also a special place as we met the "latin usher" the same guy we saw dancing up a storm in Bolivia. It turned out he was peruvian and he was a salsa teacher, he aslo had a new friend we refered to as "stiffler" due to his uptight upright technique. Usher still had the same stand out salsa moves and even asked shetty for a dance who politely refused as she did not want to be shown up on the floor. However the funny thing was when the tables turned and the music switched to panjabi, Shetty was quick to return the offer and asked him to dance, this time it was the "Latin usher" that got stage fright and went missing from the floor when he realised Shetty was well versed in this format of sub continent salsa.

Other notable nights out in cusco was when we saw the entired GAP group from the balcony of Mama africa´s (another night spot). This was the same day we saw sarah at the catheredaral so it was not as big a surprise to see them but it was exciting all the same to catch up with the guys. We actually ended up partying with them twice doing the rounds at mythology, Mama africa´s and roots another joint close by where the promoter guy kept on calling me OBAMA. It is worth a mention that Shetty was so hyper one night that she declined my request to leave at 4am and ended up stumbling home with the rest of the group at 5ish. Now I know how my mother felt waiting up for me back in the day.

Well That was our fantastic 10 days in Cusco after the INCA trail. We probably waisted a few days figuring out whether we were going to fly to Cuba or the amazon as it turned out we decided on neither due to cost. However that said we loved here in Cusco and are sad to leave. Hopefully Lima will be just as nice.
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Posted by HonestAnth 15:00 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Aguas Caliente-Relaxing after the Inca trail

Hot Springs, gross old ladies and CUY

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After our trek we made our way to the busstop outside macchu picchu down the mountain got to the foot of this town Aguas Caliente from where we were supposed to catch the train the next day for olaytantambo. We decided to stay in this town for one night just to relax after the crazy hectic 4 days and enjoy the hot springs. And if we left on the same day we would have to rush with the hot springs and would have got to Cusco pretty late in the night. So we wanted to just relax and the enjoy the hot springs. Our guide suggested a nice hostel and a place to eat aswell. It was an absolute shocker so we went and explored the room so we found a better place with a view of Urubumba river. Anthony and I then went for lunch,as usual De silva did not want to go with the guides choice which was fine and took ages in picking restaurant and I had my tanttrums as I was very hungry, after much walking we ended at the suggestion of the guide anyway, a restuarant called HOT SRINGS with a nice view. Anthony ordered a guinea pig, yes I said a guinea pig or CUY , it is a traditional dish in Cusco.I stuck with the local theme and ordered a grilled llama. De Silva devoured the CUY with his barehands like he had never eaten before. The waiter was estonished that there was no remains on the plate not even the head. After lunch Anthony decided to take a nap and I went on venturing the town and the market. Again didnt really buy much but nearly got picked up and asked for a coffee which I had to decline like 3 times and then I got lost in the market for about 20minutes until I saw Anthony who had awoken and come to find me and go to the hotsprings for a well deserved relaxing soak.

The hotsprings themselves was a bit disappointing as we expected actual natural surroundings, however they were more like a bath house. The water itself did not look that inviting and the place was a bit overcrowed despite being late in the evening. Having said that we had not really had excellent shower conditions in the last four days to add to our aching legs so we jumped in anyway. It was a good decision in the end as we were able to just stay still and recharge whilst downing the local brew. The highlight of the evening was when we witness a 50+ Brazillian lady sleezing on to this 20 year old peruvian boy. It reminded us of thailand in reverse.

Apart from the hotsprings, Aguas Caliente was fairly lowkey. Just a point for us to relax. It did have an abundance of restaurents for us to choose from though, all at rock bottom prices. We ended heading back to cusco by train and bus the next day where we hope to chill for a while.
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Posted by Harshu 22:55 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

The Inca Trail-Day 4

Reaching Machu Picchu (Read in Following sequence Day 1,2,3,4)

All the toil of Climbing steep and narrow mountain paths, roughing it in tents, negotiating shocking toilets was in efforts to reach our final destination, Machu Picchu. Today marked the final day. The earliest of wake up calls, 4am.

After the heaviest nights of rain we all awoke on time to the sound of our cook Chu Chu marshelling us for an early breaky. Once we ate and packed up for the final time, Carlos called for the final toilet break. Myself and walter opted for the natural setting, whilst the two ladies opted to walk to the main toilet blocks. Whilst this did not seem to worry anyone at the beggining it turned out to be a bone of contention later on. Mainly as there was a big queue for the ladies which set us back about 15minutes behind the masses who were already queued at the final check point to make there where towards Macchu piccu. After a heated public discussion or should I say verbal spatt between the ladies and gents we settled into a walking rythym. Walter up front, followed by Isa, myself, then Harsh. It was quite funny in retrospect. The two couples who set out united on day one where now tackling the final decent ferociously as angry individuals.
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The concerntration of trekkers was the most on this day as everyone wanted to reach the sungate before sunrise to get there first peak of Machu picchu from a arial standpoint. Walter and my self reached first. By now the toilet issue was a distant memory, it was impossible to simply take a gawk at the acient city with out waiting for Harshu. So I stayed back of the sungates edge waiting for Harsh who arrived about 10 minutes behind. However my chivalrous abstaining effort was lost on her as she rushed straight passed me with excitement to the edge and took a look at the pinnacle of acient archeolical inca sites before me. It was a special moment, fourdays of walking and the end was only within an hour away and visually attainable.

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After a few classic postcard shots we ventured down towards Machu picchu united. Unfortunately the wheather gods had not shined on us. It was still extremely gloomy with spurts of torrential rain. When we reached the acient city Carlos decided to wait about an 30 minutes before starting our tour to let the wheather pass and the people to subside. Once we began our two hour tour of the Macchu picchu it was quickly evident just how skilled and calculated the Inca´s were as people. The town its self was subdived into different areas eg The noble people, the religouse and the plebs offcourse. The buildings stone work differed depending on these areas as well. It was amazing to think that all those building materials was transported to erect this site on the mountain so long ago without the aid of modern machinery. The only drawback was the whether on the day as we only had glimpses of clear visibilty. However when the whether did clear up it was spectacular. In honesty you probably needed more than two hours there to really take it in and learn more about the civilisation. I think By the time we reached there we were more happy that we had completed the trek.

Both Harsh an my self aggreed that more than the actual site and destination of Machu picchu it was the emotional and physical ups and downs the journey that we will remember the most.

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Posted by HonestAnth 13:53 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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