Sometimes I’m glad it’s just Sheena and I together, because I think traveling with us would be maddening… We’re still in Cusco and really, we’re having an amazing time now! Cusco is still cold at night, and walking down Triunfo Street is still a nightmare, but almost inevitably we’ve learned this town and come to like it. Adding to the new-found enjoyment, we have had a lot of reunions with friends. Just when we were feeling down, we got a great note from Ahmed (who we met in Colca Canyon) saying he was staying around the corner. Agathe and Martin (from Frutillar) arrived in town last night, and Sheena’s old coworker Mackenzie and her husband Eric emerged from the jungle and arrived in Cusco two days ago. One of our (not so many) duties at the Explorer’s Club was to run the pub quiz last night. Unfortunately, the super team comprised of all of our friends didn’t fare too well… but we all had a really good time! I’m definitely looking forward to the next couple days, catching up with everyone and enjoying Cusco.
On a secondary note, our plans on how to do Machu Picchu have changed about 45 times (another reason traveling with us would be a pain)… when we first arrived in Cusco, we were told about the Salkantay trek. It’s an alternative Inca trail (as in, alternative to the Inca Trail), and at the moment does not require guides. To make the offer even sweeter, the Explorer’s Club has a deal with a local guy who owns cabins along the trek. For only $80 USD each we can have three nights in cabins and all food provided. We really agonized over whether to do this, but in the end decided that based on our Machu Picchu ticket reservation, our departure date for Salkantay was too soon. This all changed AGAIN yesterday when I was informed that our MP “reservation” had only been good for 6 hours and since it had been almost three weeks… we didn’t have tickets. So, the very sad news is that we will definitely not be able to see Huayna Picchu as those tickets are now booked through the end of May… but the upside to this is that we have decided to leave on the Salkantay trek this Saturday, moving our Machu Picchu visit to next Wednesday! Hooray flexibility!