Wednesday, 26 November 2014

0156 Cuzco - Again !

24th Nov

Early start and off to the Toyota dealer in downtown Cuzco, with fingers crossed that a) they would have the spare parts we needed, and b) they could do the job for us without delay, and without booking in for a service !  We found them no problem (getting to know our way around Cusco now), and they didn’t seem particularly perturbed that I had no booking.  They found someone who spoke English and he confirmed he could replace the bushings, and in addition do the oil change I requested. So after getting stuff out of the car, we were told to be back to pick the car up at 6 pm.   So we got in a taxi and set off to spend the day doing something (we didn’t yet know what) in Cuzco. 

It had all been a bit of a hurry getting packed up this morning, so first stop was to go and get a cup of coffee.  We had seen a little place on the Plaza de Almas in the centre which was up on a little balcony, overlooking the square itself. So after taking a couple of pics of the lovely golden statue of the Inca leader Pachacuteq on the fountain in the middle of the square, we found the little cafĂ© and sat having a slow coffee, watching the action in the square.  What were we going to do until 6 pm ??  We managed to stretch the coffee out till about 11.15, and then we went down to look for a free Walking Tour of Cuzco that we had seen advertised previously.  When we got into the square we found that the tour started at 12.15, and last approximately 2 ½ hours.   Perfect.   So after sitting in the sunshine for a while, we set off on our walking tour, led by a young local who is off to Australia to go to Uni shortly – On the Gold Coast !  Small world.

We wandered through various parts of town, with the guide pointing out various points of interest as we went.  Unfortunately he seemed a bit short on historical details, and seemed to spend much of his time explaining how expensive some of the hotels were, especially when Mick Jagger stayed in them, or else telling the younger people on the tour how to get into some of the local churches and tourist sights free instead of paying.  Nevertheless, we kept going until he started going up some of the steep hills – We were still very stiff from Machupicchu.  We asked if he was going up to the area near our camp site (which we had already visited and didn’t need to see again), and he said no.  So we kept going !

Luckily the tour went into a level area just in time, and we were taken into a local musicians shop where he makes a traditional type of Peruvian guitar or lute – All much smaller than normal guitars because in the Spanish era the locals were forbidden to play guitars so they made much smaller ones that they could hide under their ponchos !  They are beautifully made, usually from a single piece of wood, and one version even has 18 strings.  The owner played several of his instruments, and the music was exceptional.  He gives free lessons because he was taught for nothing, and feels he should pass the skill on down.  A fascinating half hour. 

From there we DID go further up hill to San Cristobal where we had been already, but since we had been able to have a rest at the musician’s house, we made it OK.  We then came down through some of the tiny streets and stairways of Cuzco, with some great views down into the main plaza.  We then ended up in a bar where they demonstrated how to make Pisco Sours, and we all had a couple on the house.  After which we tipped him for the tour, and set off back into the centre.

It was now 2.30 pm, and we still had 3 ½ more hours to kill !  So we found a little local restaurant where we could have a set lunch for less than $3 each – And it was so big we couldn’t finish it !  By now we just wanted to go to sleep – But where ?  Then we spotted Paddy’s Irish Pub and decided a drop of Guinness and a corner seat would just put us to sleep nicely – So we did just that – Except the draught Guinness is no longer supplied there due to the limited shelf life, so we had to do with a local dark beer.  But it did the trick and we slumped in front of some English soccer game on Satellite TV until almost 5.30 pm !

Taxi back to the Toyota dealer and we waited in their lounge.  While there another LandCruiser came in with US plates on, so we started chatting to the owner – He turned out to be Polish and called Tomas.  We had a good chat with him until Troopie was finished, and after paying a very small bill, set off home to the camp site – With all the squeaks now gone !!  Great !  Oh – And they washed Troopie – She hasn’t been so shiny in ages !

It was dark by now, and we were exhausted, so we literally drove in, set up the van, and went straight to bed.  A long hard day on our feet, but we seem to have fixed the suspension problem, and got an oil change done as well, so we now don’t have to worry about that side of things again until we get to Santiago.

Planning a lazy day around the camp site for tomorrow, catching up on the blog, doing laundry, getting routes and camp sites sorted for the run down through Chile to Santiago.  It will be good to not have to drive anywhere for the day.

Photos here

1 comment:

  1. Asleep in the pub? Excusable in the circumstances I think ! You are certainly getting exceptional service from the Toyota dealers on your might need to pass this customer service on to Grand Motors on the Gold Coast !!