A comparatively late start saw us enjoy our breakfast before a mad fuss to sort payment over PayPal thanks to the town’s ATM’s still all being out. We made our train check-in and met Ayse, a lass from Turkey who was in Peru on business but had squeezed in a trip to Machu Picchu while here. As confused as us about the route back to Cusco she asked to tag along which we were only too happy to agree to. The train took a couple of hours to reach Ollantaytambo where we were expecting to have to locate a bus but instead found a driver – also named Jose – waiting and holding a card up with our names upon it.
We’d picked up Brian from California on the way too but Jose was fine with our new found amigos hitching a ride with us. After roughly an hour and half we were back in Cusco having exchanged details with Brian & Ayse in the hope of meeting for coffee and a bite to eat later in the evening.
Jose dropped us at Alpacas office where we met once again with Ronaldo who helped us drag our luggage over to Hotel Amaru before saying goodbye and thanking us for our custom. Our room was once again great – we’d become accustomed to indifference when it came to digs as we always took the most cost-effective option but given the need to make sure I had somewhere comfortable to come to terms with my old age we’d pushed the boat out a bit and were enjoying the results.
We took our rented walking boots back and scored a traditional British Sunday lunch from a spot called the Real McCoy. That evening we made our way to Starbucks and met Ayse & Brian again. We had a coffee on the balcony overlooking Plaza De Armas before finding a nice restaurant for dinner. I ordered the Guinea Pig as such things should be tried and we all had a great evening over good red wine and some local music punctuated with traditionally dressed dancers and a giant gorilla.
Yes, you read that right, a giant gorilla.
I have no idea.
A total lazy day followed the only highlights of which included snapping some night shots around Cusco and getting a long overdue KFC! We also scored tickets to Lima after some deliberation on a 2pm VIP bus the following day.
After checking out we had one last Starbucks while tapping up notes for the blog and grabbed a takeaway sandwich from Jacks as a final treat before getting a taxi over to the Cruz Del Sur terminal and boarding our VIP bus. The journey could have been better – we booked the back two downstairs seats which meant less room to drop the seats back and I made the mistake of bringing my guitar onboard instead of booking it into luggage which meant I got to sleep with it!
They threw a lot films on for the ride, the last of which was Colombiana which was awesome. The onboard Wi-Fi was more gimmick than anything else but I managed to get a lot of work done before the laptop died. While the food, service and experience was good it wasn’t up to Argentine bus excellence though I doubt anyone will ever get to that level.