Peru Pt. 6: Finale

After a long day at Machu Picchu, we had lunch in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of the site. From there we took the nearly two hour train and then a two hour bus back to Cuzco. I was seriously worried our hotel would run out of water with us all hopping into much-needed showers at the same time, but no. I took the most amazing shower of my life.

Fresh and clean we all headed out to dinner with our guide, Javier, at this delicious place above a shady market and tattoo parlor. Then about half of us decided it was high time for a night out. We went with Javier, who I thought would know the hot spot in town, but instead we headed to “club corner” where we got mobbed by 10 or so club promoters until Javier worked out some deal and we ducked into this crazy-themed discoteca (I forgot you aren’t supposed to call them “clubs” because club can also mean brothel). Everything is so surprisingly eccentric is Cuzco!

Several boozy drinks later we made our way back to the hotel.

Day Eight:
I tried to iron out some issues with my hotel for that night. I had to change hotels but I wasn’t supposed to and blah blah blah confusion but basically they were supposed to come get me at 10, didn’t happen, so I headed out with the ladies after breakfast for shopping. We spent the morning gathering souvenirs and I finally found the perfect blankets I’d been searching for for my parents since I missed my chance at the Pisac market. Then we dropped into the Pre-Columbian Museum before buying chocolates and then having lunch at Jake’s Cafe, basically the English-mecca. After lunch we did a bit more shopping, stopped at Starbucks (don’t judge) and headed back to the hotel. I was bombarded with questions by a group of ill-prepared Australian girls who were heading out on the trek the next day. “Can I smoke on the trail?” “What kind of pants do I wear?” “Is the third day hard? The third day is my birthday.”

I said a quiet thanks to god for not putting me with those idiots.

That night we all met up for drinks and then dinner at Cicciolina. It was by far the best meal of the entire trip, and maybe one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I don’t remember what exactly we had for an appetizer, just that it was amazing. For my entree I had a squid-ink pasta with prawns and a creamy sauce and I about died. Dessert was caramelized bananas plus a sampling of the many chocolatey, fruity dishes that everyone else had ordered. It was perfect. I particularly loved someone’s balsamic strawberries with pisco ice cream.

And lots and lots of pisco sours.

Day Nine:
On my last day in Cuzco I met everyone for breakfast at Jake’s Cafe. We then said our goodbyes as most of them headed off to tour the Amazon or hopped a flight back home. I spent the morning hanging out around the city and reading in the square until it was time for my flight to Lima. My layover in Lima was eight hours so I thought I might as well go into the city for a bit. I had lunch/dinner at the LarcoMar, basically a huge, modern shopping center built into the cliff-side overlooking the ocean. It was perfect. Ceviche and more pisco sour. I hung out in the shops for a bit until I heard from one of the members of my group saying that he was in the shopping center as well. So we had some more pisco sours and hung out until I had to catch a cab back to the airport.

 

14 hours and a layover in Houston later and I was back in Seattle.

I miss it there already. Alex and I are having pisco sour night tonight.