Peru – Day 8

The entire events of Day 8 in Peru were all based on my friend’s gut. We ended up having another great day though very different than the past few days because Cusco has more of the city life feel and eventually her gut navigated us through the city. She seriously kept commenting, “My gut says…” for most of what we did today and since I agreed to just go along with whatever she wanted to do, I walked in circles all day with her gut leading the way.

This morning, when I woke up, I thought, you know…city life probably means more people, dirtier streets, and gross restrooms. I was totally correct. Good thing I had the wherewithal to pack toilet paper and hand sanitizer today, when I didn’t need to carry them in the other cities we visited.

  • Had a nice breakfast at Hotel Torre Dorada
  • Walked into town and found the big statue off Avenida Sucre
  • Trusted my friend’s gut a few times and kept getting lost looking for Avenida el Sol – her gut didn’t work and our map was missing the connecting street name
  • Found the fountain with the sun so we knew we were on Avenida el Sol and then continued walking to Plaza de Armas
  • Killed 30 minutes and used the nasty restroom at the Museo de Sitio Qorikancha to get the hole punched on our 10 Day Tourist Attraction Pass
  • Walked up the hill to the Temple el Sol and decided not to spend the 15 Soles
  • Ducked into the alleys and stores around the plaza
  • Talked my friend out of eating McDonald’s for lunch
  • Tried to avoid the rain by running across the plaza to a lunch spot that my friend picked out and was left standing inside by myself because she subsequently changed her mind…hahaha…
  • My friend’s gut allowed a guy to convince us to try Cava Mora Restobar (found out it has 4 stars on TripAdvisor afterwards) and sat outside upstairs
  • Had a great meal and made a new friend, Gina Henry, CEO and Tour Director of her tour company, Go Global Tours, who we think we’ll actually stay in touch with
  • Waited out the rain while Gina helped us book a tour with Carolina at Adventure Heart (you can reach her at 51-984-737-384) for Montaña de Siete Colores, Rainbow Mountain, for tomorrow – 140 Soles per person for a 6 person tour (normally 150 Soles)
  • Visited Museo Historico Regional to get another hole punch in our card
  • Froze our butts off and shopped for a very specific item at the market as well as at the stores around the plaza
  • Had no luck shopping so we had a coffee/tea break at Panam Cafe-Pasteieria
  • Called our hotel on the cell phone they gave us and they sent us a taxi – Extremely accommodating customer service from Hotel Torre Dorada!!!
  • Carolina from Adventure Heart called to brief us on our tour for tomorrow and she lowered the cost to 120 Soles per person because now it’s a 9 member tour – Great service so far from Carolina

Today, my friend kept using her gut to get us around and as you could imagine, we kept getting lost. We walked in circles on our way to the Plaza de Armas, trying to find Avenida el Sol coming from Avenida Sucre. It turns out the map the hotel provided missed labeling the busy road called San Martin at the roundabout that eventually turns into Avenida el Sol. They don’t have many street signs! At the roundabout there was a huge statue so we took a picture with it in the background in case we had to ask someone for help getting back. I was pretty sure we were going in the right direction after asking for help and I understood enough of the response in Spanish to continue straight from where we were. Then I saw the fountain with the sun!

The first museum we visited, Museo de Sitio Qorikancha, had nasty restrooms without any toilet paper or hand soap. The restrooms smelled horrible and eventually made the rest of the small museum smell so bad we had to leave. It’s a poorly maintained museum and we think you forgo this one unless you want to kill 30 minutes like we did. We wanted to get value out of our attraction pass and stopped in to learn some history which we always enjoy no matter what. However, had we known about the restrooms in advance, we would have stuck to the cool artifacts only. Around the corner and up the hill was the Qorikancha Temple of the Sun but we didn’t want to spend the 15 Soles to enter.

We walked around and sat at the plaza trying to figure out what to eat. My friend said, “You know, I really want a Big Mac,” and we walked to McDonald’s but I refused to eat that. I told her she could eat it and I’d find something else, maybe even KFC around the corner, but not Mickey D’s. Suddenly she agreed to eat at a cafe across the plaza as it started to rain so I booked it across the wet bricks and ran into the bottom floor of the hotel that housed the cafe. I turn around and she’s outside and won’t come in. I walked back out to her and we found our way to Cava Mora Restobar a few doors down because a man showed us the way to the stairs and her gut said to go up the staircase. I just followed her and after she walked around the dining room, we sat outside overlooking the plaza. The menu looked great and we ordered the mixed meat platter and chowed down on their free salad bar. I was so happy to finally get some real vegetables so then she turns to me and says, “Good thing my indecisiveness brought us here.” hahahaha…oh my friend..she is quite the funny one. Luckily, her gut was right on this restaurant choice. All the food was delicious and we made a new friend who helped us book our tour for tomorrow to Rainbow Mountain. Gina Henry of Go Global Tours teaches Continued Education classes around the U.S. on various topics such as how to travel for free and organizes tours to fund her travel bug. I am pretty certain we’re going to stay in contact with her, especially since she does offer classes in Northern California in the Spring/Summer.

After the rain stopped, we walked to the Museo Historico Regional which was actually a very cool museum. We highly recommend it for its historical artifacts, facts on the walls, paintings, and educational videos. This museum is well maintained and has many staff members around ensuring the preservation of the items as well as your safety.

It was mucho frio pero my amiga was on the search for a particular item to bring home. We have yet to find the table runner we saw on the train ride to Cusco and we’re determined to find it in the next two days. Since we were freezing our butts off, we ducked into many of the stores to stay warm but eventually settled down at Panam Cafe-Pasteieria. They had the tastiest mint tea I’ve ever had with real leaves and their chocolate croissant was fluffy and not too flaky. An hour passed and we called the hotel via the cell phone they provided and they sent a taxi to take us back to Hotel Torre Dorada.

Tomorrow will be a very long day starting at 5:15am so we’re going to log off now…until mañana.