A Travellerspoint blog

Cusco

and the Magic ´up their own ass´ Garden

Well, after climbing down the mountain and and getting the train and bus back to Cusco, we ended up at our new Hostel called ´Hostel Magico´ - there is nohing particularly magic about this place, unless you like cold showers, gas taken away halfway through cooking your dinner, and hanging around with a bunch of pre- school imbeciles! okay, thats cruel, not all of them are pre-school!! haha

To be fair, there are a few nice ppl here, and the majority are British! haha - not that i mean to just mingle with my own race, but serioulsy, they are the only decent ppl here.

Before I get to Hostel Magico though, lets just say that our trip back to Cusco was far better than the way to Ollantaytambo. the train was so but not as hot, and i was sat nect to an English medical student, who was really nice and we chatted the whole way back.

We also secured front seats for the bus back to Cusco and it seemed to be filled with Gringos this time and not locals, so the aroma in the air was somewhat comforting.

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Cusco

So once back we headed back to our Hostel for the night - Pirwa Hostel Familiar. And i have to say although the place is quiet, its a really nice place to stay. Hot showers, comfy bed, and generally nice considerate people. Still the Magic Hostel beckoned us so we upped and left.

We are staying here, as we are volunteering at a school around the corner, and it is all organised by the guy who owns the Hostel. The Guy us Yuri, and as much as I am sure his heart is in the right place, there is something very ...dubious about him. and he LOVES himself. we have called him McGreasy! very befiting has he is very slimy and greasy looking. Also he of you can remember, or have ever watched Footballers Wives - he looks very muh like the guy in that that was Brasilian or something with the ponytail... so yeah...GREASY!

Anyways, we arrived at the Hostel, to be confronted by a bunch of immature americans, who turned their noses up at us the first moment they saw us. (i now know that American teen movies which describe americans as bitchy nitwits are actually based on fact!). Even some of the guys are rude as hell towards us. I guess that 10 year age gap is starting to show.

Anyways, to try and break the ice, we all went out, although we were hardly invited, so to get some dutch courage we went to an Irish bar first. It was okay, but yet again, no irish - except Fiona. We soon headed to the restaurant where we were meeting them all, and the only ppl who bothered to talk to us for the whole night were a dutch guy called Jorret and McGreasy, who felt the need to keep stroking ,my back. what is it with these touchy feely ppl????

So the night was not going well - and the next day i reaslied it is not a good idea to drink when emotional, i get silly and mix my drinks a wee bit! Still the night perked up when we met 2 Irish guys who had actually been staying at our previous Hostel. They are called Niall and Connor. Fiona and Niall now have a thig going on, which i think may result in marriage - if he has his way. Connor and I meanwhile had a big argument about Wanna Picchu and Machu Picchiu - which is still ongoing! 10 soles are on this, and i am not giving in.

Anyways that was our night out in Cusco.. and it looked to be the last, as volunteering is actullly quite tiring, as Ana who I am teaching with likes to be fully prepared, so we meet at 12.30pm everyday. and do not finish till gone 7pm. ehis means that I have be up early to try and see as much of Cusco as possible and buy supplies and food etc. feels like being home working to me.

We were meant to be doing 2 weeks at the school, but have now decided that 1 will suffice - and as one of our Irish friends said, who we met on a drunken excursion out;

´its refreshing to hear that someones sense of charity towards some can be overwhelmed by their sense of revolsion towards another.´

Sorry kids!

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Sounds awful, as the kids are truly adorable, but i can only handle few hugs and what nots from dirty children for so long, and as i do not speak spanish, all they know to do with me is to grab and poke and hug me, so i really think i´m benefitting everyone by leaving. Also,, the Nazca lines call us to them, and then on and upwards to Ecuador.

So having decided what our future plans were, i was fully ready to do my last day on the friday and have a peaceful nights sleep wed and thursday to prepare for our journey to Nazca.

However.... I awoke to an awful thursday morning. Our very rude, very inconsiderate roomate for the duration of our stay a the Magico Hostal had decided to go out the previous night, as usual. which was fine. However, and let me just quickly tell you that he is a right state. greasy peruvian guy, very unattractive, speaks no english, but still truesto have hour long conversations with you etc etc. very irritationg. anyways, Fiona woke at about 4am when he decided to make a grand entrance into the room, only to catch him standing over us and staring at us while we supposedly slept. it lasted for about 10 minutes, before he then sat on his bed to carry on staring at us. was not pleasant. then the next mornin, we both sat and waited in our beds for him to leave the room, so we could get up, get dressed and enjoy our morning. However, the mornin came and went, as he decided for the whole morning that he would sit on his bed, packing, and unpacking his bag and staring at us. he was meant to be checking out that day, but the check out time for the hostel came and went, and he just carried on packing and unpacking. we were going stir crazy, as all we wanted was to get out of bed and get dressed in private. but to no avail. we figured either he wanted us to leave to stea something, or he wanted to perv. who knows, but it was driving us nuts. eventually at about 12pm he went downstairs, and we dressed hurriedly and tred to sort out things, not knowing what to do. he then reappeared and was asking us questions about if we were volunteering that day, how long e would be out for, and i flipped. i ran to the office and bumped into Hannah my volunteering buddy, who was able to tell the lady at the desk our predicament in spanish and ge us to change room. during this whole scenario though, it was quite clear the people at the Hostel did not believe us - how could a fellow peruvian do that!?!!

But it happened, and i hate that guy so much. I'm just greatful we hanged rooms, and Hannah believed me. Creepy Yuri was there also and decided it was best to ignore us for the whole day. what a bastard!!!

After this ordeal, I cn safely say i as fully ready to leave Cusco and the so called magico hostel.

Not only were we perved on, and felt very unsfe, but wewere also made to feel like liars.

Volunteering came andwent, and although the children - well the majority of them are very sweet, the polictics and the general set p of place was well below par.

I woke up the next day, Friday with flu, and decided tht as much as i was looking forwrd to th pospec f my last day of volunteering, i was in no fit state to do so, and te way Yuri ad behaveth dybefore, i was glad to make an early escape to the bus station.

Posted by Lisaann 18:14 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes

sunny

As i sit here typing out what recent events have happened, I can´t help but struggle to remember atm. Yesterday for example feels so long ago, and i cannot remember where i was or what i was doing....


Oh yeah...

We got the Train to Aguas Calientes! haha It was rumored to be as good if not better than doing the Inca Trail. One thing, i was rested in my chair, but the views were pretty average to be honest, I feel like i have been so spoilt recenlty, that any amazing view now is just another view. The train though was very sweaty, which made it rather uncomfortable. Before Fi and I boarded, we decided to get half a litre of beer each as we were early, and ppl were queing for a mile, and we just though arrhh we´ll just sit and chill and watch these saddos scramble to be first on the train to get their assigned seat. It was good!

Finally we got and on away we went.

One thing we are getting a little sick of on our trip is lovely up couples. Seriously, these couplings need to learn that not everyone likes to see the things they should be doing behind closed doors.

So it was quite refreshing to find an unloved up couple. This couple first got our attention, because the dudes eyebrows were out of this world big. They took over his whole skinny face. anyways, he was looking very forlorn the whole way, as his girlfriend was giving him the cold shoulder big time, and when she would occasionaly put her hand on his, he would get so excited, like a puppy, but then she would turn away and pull a face, and his excitement would fade somewhat. I know you would ahve had to be there, but it really was very entertaining for us.

Anyway, once of the train, we headed for the long walk to find our hostel. eurrgghh what a walk, we had no idea where we were going, and we were in the middle of restaurant area, so everyone was fighting for your business. we were like no, NO, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! do we look like we want to eat, we have heavy sodding bags you dufus´s!! Anyway, we evetually found it, and once rested we were happy to go out and explore.

Aguas Calientes is quite an attractive place, though very tourist ready - Obviously, as it is the stop for Machu Picchu.

We went to the INC to get our ticket - the only place you can get your Machu Picchu ticket, and off we went. Looking for the ´gateway´to Machu Picchu. But to no avail. and no one would help us or tell us where it was, until we finally grabbed the hostel girl and begged her to tell us what to do.

So..

You have to buy a ticket for a 20 min bus (she then told us the ticket booth shut at 7pm - it was 6:55pm, so we better hurry) then you have to be at the Bus stop for 4.30am to wait for the bus which will take you at 5:3am! Lovely Jubbly! oh and there will be queues! Lots of Queues! OH JOY!

After managing to obtain the golden Bus ticket, we settled off to buy some T-shirts and some food. During this time, i found a new friend. His Name is Mach - and he is soft and furry, and we are inseperable! Serioulsy, who needs a man!? haha

The next day we got up at 3:30am to grab some free brekkie, and head for the bus stop.

As we queued, we met a Costa Rican chap (no idea what his name was, even though we hung with him for most of the day - note to self, always ask for a name! stupid girl!)

He was a journalist and was telling us all about the government make the Indigenous people work on the trainline for 20 sole a day. and that it is complete slave labour, and they only get 2 hours rest for the whole day and night, and then start again. Oh and they have to pay 10 sole for their transport to work everyday also. It got us very annoyed, especailly when you see how much you pay for the train, and to get into these sites. The extortion of this place is unreal - and Fi and I started to wonder how much they paid the people to clean up mess after all the trails and stuff. Its quite disgusting really, and for this, we are very glad we did not pay something like 500 quid to do the trail, knowing that money does not go to the people who work excessively hard for it.

Anyways - Rant over.

We finally got on a bus and after much annoyance about queue jumping and the like we got in. and not only that, we were 2 of the lucky 400 ppl a day to get the opportunity to trek up WanaPicchu (Huayna Picchu). which is the great big mountain that sort of Frames the Machu Picchu site.

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After walking around a little bit, desperately trying to get some decent photos ( it was so foggy and misty, you could not see anything) we went on the hunt for the entrance to climb WanaPicchu.

Oh boy was it hard work. I felt my life flash before me on so many occasions, one wrong move and you would fall, and fall into who knows, it was so foggy at first, and jeez, so high up. it was head spinningly scary.

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But we climed to the top, and i am happy to report, I am not some Ghost writing this, I am alive and well, with just very sort legs, arms, feet head, the lot. Rge view was unreal. Pictures do not describe it.

And oh boy did the Machu Picchu site look so far away.

Of course, once making it to the top which i have to say is an achievement in otself, you also have to climb down. No lifts, not even a zip line, you have to walk down the impossibley small, steep, slippery steps. My hands, my feet, my face were covered in mud.

But still we made it down - still not quite sure how - but we did and the sun had properly come out and we got some amazing shots. I swear they must look like postcard shots - just AMAZING. I quote Lizzy Bennet - Never has a place looked so happily situated. and boy was this happily situated. it is stunning.

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we sat down adn had our second roll of the day and chilled. thinking, after all we have done, it must be at least 3pm. But no... it was only 11:30 in the morning. I had climed a mountain, waled all around Machu Picchu and it was only 11:30??? who was i? Wonder woman? Super Girl!? No LISA BACON!! Mountineering Extroadinaire!!

Posted by Lisaann 13:27 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

The most awful bus journey in the world!!!! - Ollantaytambo

To Ollantaytambo

sunny

I am still alive, I really am still alive? Aren´t I?

I have endured the most awful journey of my life. Never has a journey been so terrible..... I am now of the belief that if i can survive this, i can survive anything.

Yesterday we went in search of a bus to take us to Ollantaytambo, which is where we will be getting the Peru Rail train to Machu Picchu, so as you can guess, it was a journey, which we were very eager to take.

Well, having to get up at 5:30 am this morning, we finally headed to our bus..a mini van aka PEASANT WAGON OF THE SMELLIEST KIND.

Only one other person was sat on the bus, so Fi and I made for the back of the van, with our bags and snacks in tow.

Then some vile shrivelled stinky son of Jim came and made a point about sitting in the back with us. Stinky is not even close. The smell was a mixture of fags, piss, sweat, dirt, more dirt, more sweat, crap, more piss and fags and the absurdly sweet smell of Coca leaves. Like Fi mentioned, its kinda like someone stinking of BO and trying to cover it up with a sweet smell of vanilla musk deodrant. Even now, i still have the smell stuck to my nostrils.

Then on top of that more locals got on the bus. all greasy and stinky, and one in particular would make the Trunchball out of Matilda look like a wilting flower. I had no leg room, and my bags were piled on top of me. OMG! As you can imgaine, I started to have a panic attack! Couldn´t breathe, feeling claustrophobic, and all they did was stare and cage me in even more. The I was close to tears and Fiona was yelling at the Trunchball to let me off for some air, but to no avail. I had to sit. squeezed between Fiona and Stinky Jim and endure the 2 hours of the journey (oh how i will never get those 2 hours back - i think the journey may have shortened my life by about 5 years.) 2 hours has never seemed so long. And throughout i think i may have vomited in my mouth about 5 times, as the smell wafted up my nose, and not one pf these stinky sods had the decency to open a window, its as if they liked to sit in their own shit. So gross.

Even writing this now, afer it all is bringing back awful feelings. How can ppl not wash, I will never understand!!???!!!

But i digress... The show must go on, and tomorrow, We will be up Machu Picchu, all this forgotten.

For today though, we have to fill our time up wondering around the very small town of Ollantaytambo. I feel as tough my awful bus journey has put a bit of a dampener on this place, as I´m sure it has hidden gems and is really quite beautiful. Heres some pics...

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Posted by Lisaann 07:33 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Puno to Cusco

sunny 21 °C

We left Puno on very good terms. Not only was our hostel (Marlons House) very clean, very comforatable and very cheap, but it also had hot showers, and the staff were out of this world friendly. Always around to assist and to enquire to how we were and to how our day was. Lovely.

When we paid for our room. Came to about 6 squid for 2 nights, we asked for a taxi and the chap ran out, got us a taxi and even confirmed the rate we had to pay. Brill.

Now off for the bus. Only 7 hours to Cusco, so we felt all would be okay for this trip.

to begin with, the station absoluetly stinks of Pee. so gross. you walk outside to get some air, but no the stench is even worse.P1040295.jpgP1040293.jpgP1040284.jpgP1040273.jpgP1040271.jpgP1040275.jpgP1040270.jpg

Then Fiona noticed that some women´s bags were lieterally moving, and we realised they had live chickens in their bags. its was horrid. then a man came along, with more bags filled with chickens and Guinea pigs. and when they picked up and shoved the bags the chickens clucked and the guinea pigs screamed and squeaked. I had to walk away because it was really starting to upset me. Especially when the woman started treading on the bags to quieten them, and then when she saw us all staring at her in disbelief, she smiled and waved at us.

Anyways, moving on. We finally got on our bus, behind two Crusties. Fiona´s apt word for dreaded smellies, who are tattooed to the max, and in this case did not seem to like sunlight. The guy looked suspiciously like something out of Alien Vs Predator (still deciding which one he most resembled).

The worst things about them was that, throughout the journey they felt the need to kiss and smooch and mouth kisses and i love yous all the time, which was vomit inducing in itself, but also they kept stroking, and scratching their filthy hair all over our seats.

It was a refreshing break though for us not to be the freaks on the bus, as these two crusties, stole all the attention, and raised eyebrows from us. A little boy kept running up and down the bus, just to stare at them and giggle. It was quite funny. As was watching Braveheart in Spanish on the bus.

The bus ended up taking longer than the 7 hours. Instead we did not get to our Hostel in Cusco until 8.30, meaning the trip in total took 8 hrs 30 mins.

Still Cusco is a very attractive city, and it won´t be long till we are taking the big trip up to Machu Picchu! Yippeeeee!!!

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Posted by Lisaann 12:33 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Puno

sunny

The drive to Puno was much shorter than expected. Maybe only a few hours had passed before we were in Puno being pushed off the bus. And the smell of wee in the station was very unpleasant. euurgghhh it was yuck. (something i have not mentioned before - the men in Bolivia and Peru have no shame, they pee anywhere anytime, without a care in the world. on the way to Copacabana, Fiona even saw a guy having a dump on the street - so you can guess the air is not the most pleasant in some places.. oh well you live on.)

Anyways, we finally made it to our Hostel - Marlon's house - which is a bewildering place. purely because it is so dam nice. the lady at reception is a gem, so accomodating, everywhere feels like a nice hotel, yet we are only paying about 2 quid 50 night. and hot water, oh there is hot water. what joy. I will never moan about the shower at home after this trip, because throught Bolivia we had cold showers everyday!

Anyways..on to the Floating Islands. I want to write a little info here about the floating islands - but will have to out it in later, as i have left my book at the hostel. basically. these peopel live on these islands made of reeds from the river. they actually float. they made these islands to escape from the mainland which had been taken over.

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The people on the Island were very gracious and we sat down and they demonstrated to us how they made the islands.
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Then we were left to look around and take as many pics as we liked.

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After a while we were able to ride on their handmade made boats. Apparently they have around 2000 coke bottled stuck in the bottome to keep the boats afloat. these boats last up to a year before the reed/straw is no good. very comfy ride to our next island stop.

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On the way back Fi and I stoped at the bus station to get out 3.50 pound ticket to Cusco. 7 hours on a bus, but how can you complain with that amount. We strolled back to our hostel and took some pics of the tuk tuks. Sadly Puno is not the mst picturesque of places, so my pics are rather limited. Although, there is some of me drinking the infamous Inca Kola, which taste a little like Irn Bru but more limey. I'm very happy because i am having severe withdrawal symptons for Irn Bru. Oh how i miss you!!!!!

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Posted by Lisaann 14:03 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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