I wish I had more cool facts or fun adventures to include in my Cusco post, because the city really was amazing. Truth is, we spent four days total in Cusco (both before and after the Inca trail hike) simply eating good food, reading, and catching up on my blogs.
Cusco is beautiful. It’s got gorgeous plazas with beautiful red brick churches, fun neighborhoods full of pubs and great food, and the comforts of western civilization like Starbucks (which we spent more time in than I’d like to admit). After walking around and getting the feel of the city, we never really left the confines of the main square. Internet cafe’s, great coffee, cozy pubs, lounge restaurants and our absolute favourite: Jacks!
Jacks was an all day breakfast joint that was to die for. By early afternoon there was a lineup out the door and onto the street. Banana milkshakes that literally made me cry one morning they were so delicious, and the infamous Gordo breakfast that is almost too big to finish: bacon, eggs, sausage, tomato, beans, hash browns and 4 large pieces of sourdough bread (the sourdough was probably the most exciting thing about Jacks, considering its tough to find anything other than white bread in all of South America). Needless to say, we went to Jacks 6 times during our stay in Cusco… The staff pretty much knew us by name.
We planned on doing a lot of tours while in the city, and the area really did have a lot to offer. Unfortunately, neither of us could imagine anything topping Machu Picchu, and so we just recovered from our hike. It didn’t make it any easier that we both had colds after our bodies gave up on us the last day of the hike. So it wasn’t tough to make the choice to lounge around.
The day after our hike was over, our group of 16 all got together for Rachel’s birthday at Paddy’s pub: the worlds highest Irish Pub. The place was packed for a Tuesday, and the food and drinks were delicious. With comfort food that only an Irish bar can provide, and two for one happy hour specials, it was great fun catching up with everyone in normal, non-sweaty attire for a change! The pub also fit our description for being part of the main square: heaven forbid we stray too far from our comfort zone.!
Other than that, I think we were both glad our race from Bogota to Machu Picchu was finally over. It’s exhausting sleeping on a bus every second night and waking up never knowing what country you’re in. Luckily, we’ve got some time to finally take it slow through Bolivia… Next stop: Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca.