Inca Trail over, we decided to stay in the centre of town, which is a good thing as we can barely walk. Climbing and descending over 4000m has left me with painful concrete-like calves and we both hobble up and down steps for the next few days. The plan is to spend just three days here before heading off to Lima. The truth is we are almost done with Peru, we’ve already done most of the ‘must dos’ and the ‘have to sees’ have been seen. Although the capital is next, all reports paint a grey and miserable picture, with the nightlife being the main draw.
Dodging the kids peddling cocaine and weed in Cuzco is only slightly easier than avoiding the constant pestering from ladies offering massages – it’s annoying as hell. The local Irish pub sells t-shirt with the blissfully simple words ‘No Gracias’ on the front – perhaps I should have invested in one. Cuzco is one hell of a party town at night, scores of bars and clubs spill of the main square and run till sunrise. We don’t really manage a big night out, we’re still bit tired from the Trail, but we do manage to become locals at the ‘paddy bar’, as well as Indigo’s, an incredible Thai bar/restaurant that serves the best green curry I’ve had outside of Thailand. The spice scale is a bit weak though, you need to ask for the hottest available – I guess the ‘farang’ here are a little delicate.
To congratulate ourselves on completing the Inca Trail (ignoring that fact that only those who die en route don’t complete) we decide to treat ourselves to some traditional English dinner at the local Brit café – curry it is. The Real McCoy is a great little place serving PG tips, peanut butter on toast etc. We went to their inaugural ‘spice night’ and had a very decent curry and a bottle of wine, followed up with numerous pisco sours in town. Don’t know what a pisco sour is? A local tipple founded on grape brandy and raw egg white. Good stuff. Recipe here.
Cuzco, a place where you could easily lose weeks/months and septum if you’re like that. But what a waste, there are plenty of places nearby that you’d be mad not to visit (Bolivia is spitting distance). After almost two weeks in and around the city, we are ready to move onwards and upwards towards Ecuador.
I can’t leave an entry on Cuzco without a mention to a new friend made and now missed, Lorenzo. This chap was continuous company whilst staying at our hostel, he would always come and greet me at breakfast and sit for hours with me in the afternoons while reading. The staff mentioned he would complain and had to actually be removed from the public areas when I left as he would pine my leaving. I forgive the few times he crapped on me.