G ´day from Cusco in Peru,
I write these words breathless from the high altitude and the grandeur of the Inca empire. Contrary to what Ken said about taking time to blog while on holiday I will post regularly if for no other reason than it helps me to remember the finer points of of long sojourn away from home. Internet shops are common in both Lima and Cusco, the latter I suspect because of the huge tourist traffic and its (cant find the apostrophe on the Spanish keyboard) cheap, $1 an hour and fast (512 kbps broadband).
The trip over was long but uneventful, the contact made on the internet met us at Lima airport and we spent three pleasant days in the capital of Peru before flying up into the Andes to Cusco. The choice of backpackers was made on the basis that it had cable TV so I was able to watch the RWC live at 4am local time. Ill probably post a comment to wens blog later about the result. We took a bit of a risk booking accommodation with a tout in the airport, thinking if it didnt turn out all we lost was $20. As it happened everything worked out well, the little man (the locals are quite short in stature and very brown) holding up a board with my name on it at the airport.
We are staying in the Hotel Conquistadores next to the main plaza which is pretty during the day and spectacular at night. We breakfast at a chinese restaurant next to the hotel that looks out over the plaza, real 5 star stuff. We can stay at really good hotels because it is the beginning of the wet season and the touts out number the tourists. Some of the restaurants weve eaten in are outstanding; no fear of food poisoning…. yet!
Several of our fellow tourists are stricken with altiude sickness, one is in hospital with a drip in his arm, and he had booked an expensive Toucan tours trek along the Inka Trail to Macchu Piccu. Fortunately weve been off the booze and drinking copious amounts of agua, necessitating multiple trips to the toilet every night, but so far the only symptoms are tiredness and lack of appetite.
We really like the ambiance of Cusco and are having a couple of quiet days just mooching until we catch the train up to Macchu Piccu on Thursday. Have taken some good pictures with the new digital camera and bought some postcards to remind us of all the magic things weve seen. The tourist agencies are pretty much the same here as in other countries, one day they will wake up to the fact that the dumb tourists dont really want to be haulled from cathedral to ruins and cut out all the bullshit, just go straight to the warehouse selling alpaca jumpers at inflated prices.
Thats about it for now, expect to post some more when we get back from the land of the inka gods. If you have any questions Id love some comments.