We arrived in Cusco on a rainy cold Thursday evening. Peru Hop organised taxi’s to take us to our hostels. We had a private ensuite room booked in Millhouse Hostel and they booked us in quickly, setting up a tab for the room. The room was damp but we hadn’t expected luxury. After sorting through our bags we headed upstairs to the bar for food and drinks. It was freezing up there! Food was good though and drinks were two for one.
After a while we grabbed a cab to Wildrover Hostel as we were told the hill was quite steep and didn’t fancy the walk. The bar in there was warm and welcoming, though we were stuck for a bit as they don’t accept dollars in there which is unusual for Cusco. We got our money exchanged in Loki down the road and headed back to Wildrover. We made friends with two guys from Liverpool, spent the night laughing and dancing on the bar.
I got back to my room about 2am and that’s when things went wrong for me in Cusco. I became very sick and it wasn’t from alcohol. I didn’t get a bit of sleep and spent the next day in bed. I couldn’t face leaving it. I couldn’t really eat but forced myself to eat bananas and water. I got chills and hot flushes. Wasn’t the way I expected my first day in Cusco to be.
The next morning after very little sleep again I decided to call a Doctor. My chest was tight and with the trek to Machu Picchu the next day I didn’t want to take a chance. The doctor arrived within 30 minutes and told me that I had caught a parasite. My heart was beating fast to make up for being sick but everything else was ok. She said I was good for my trek and gave me a prescription for antibiotics.
With no sleep and no fuel in my system I struggled to the pharmacy for my prescription. That was about all I did that day! My time in Cusco was spent in Millhouse courtyard or my room. Not the way I wanted it to go.
After the trek (that will be another blog) we returned to Millhouse in the early hours of the morning. We were given a different room which was actually a 4 bed dorm so it was nicer than our last. We heard that Jacks Place was a good cafe for breakfast so we headed there. The portion was huge. At this stage my appetite was returning however I couldn’t finish it. Great food though and orange juice was amazing. We returned the next two days for breakfast in fact.
Four of us headed to get a massage which are offered everywhere, prices vary. We ended up picking one of the more expensive so bartered them down to 50 sol which is still very little! Later on we headed to Papacho’s just at the square. It reminded me of TGI’s. I got a burger with onion rings on the side. My god I hadn’t had a burger that nice in soooo long!! Still unable to finish it but I really wanted to.
The next day, we headed off to a horseriding trip that we had booked. My energy levels were still low and I could have skipped it. We were collected at the hostel and took a 15 min drive to the ranch. At the start I was frightened about the horses as I saw some horses with their ribs showing. Luckily they weren’t part of the ranch we booked. A beautiful puppy greeted us and after a short play with him we got introduced to our horses. We were taken through the countryside and got to take in some beautiful views of the Andes. Our tour guide had great English and was extremely patient with us as we had little experience. We spent a little bit of time looking at Devils Balcony which was beautiful with the different colours running through it. Our guide ran through the history of Peru in great detail with us. We really enjoyed every minute of our tour. You would know by the horses how well they are treated. He explained how they take longer to train them as they don’t use violence. They follow instructions very well as a result.
The cold had set into us on our trek so when we got dropped back we asked about a nice cafe. He recommended La Bondiet and dropped us off there. This cafe was a great recommendation. The cakes on display looked amazing and all very tempting. I don’t drink coffee so I chose a hot chocolate as unfortunately they do not offer Lyons tea outside of Ireland! I also picked a luscious chocolate cake which I couldn’t finish. It was a cosey atmosphere and made me excited to get back home to winter!
My stay in Cusco wasn’t what I imagined at all due to the parasite that I caught. It zapped all my energy levels, took any enthusiasm I had to tour the city and I became emotional as a result. The sickness ended up returning the morning I was to travel nearly 30 hours to get home. So for the first time ever I was looking forward to going home.
I apologise for the content in this blog as it doesn’t give a proper insight into what I am sure is a marvellous city. I wish I could have explored it more!