January 21, 2006


Had a pretty good last night in Arequipa.After discovering that the travel agents messed up my bus ticket, decided to blow $84 and fly to Cuzco. As it turns out, it was pretty lucky that I did because the tour companies up here are taking their final bookings for the Inca Trail. I just got in by the skin of my teeth - booked the trail with a company called United. Mice who are quite expensive, although I managed to charm the guy into throwing in my sleeping bag for free! So, I now have 7 days or so to while away in Cuzco before I can do the trek. That´s actually a good thing because I will have acclimatized well at that point.
Went out with my new Peruvian friend, Mayda, in Areuipa the night before I left. SHe had just split up with her boyfriend and was feeling really low, so we went out for some Pisco Sours to drown her sorrows. Spent a good bit of time with her while I was in Arequipa, she´s a lovely person and I will definitely keep in touch with her. While we were in the bar, I heard "Ebaleen, is that you?", and I turned around to find one of the women from my tour group to Chivay who was out with her husband. What a coincidence!
The flight up to Cusco was very comfortable and very quick- just a half an hour. It´s raining here and very cloudy, which is a pity, and I´m really hoping we get some suhnshine for the Inka Trail! Booked into my hostel which is on possibly the steepest street in the world! No fun climbing up there!!! The place itself isnt as nice as the other hostels Ive stayed in so far, although there are WAY more backpackers there and they organise things every night. last night was BBQ night, for example. I´m sharing a room with a girl from Dublin and a guy fromLondon. Rowana had her passport and all her money stolen in Northern Peru and she cant get out of the country now until she´s issued a new passport, which takes 7 weeks!
The two Irish girls I met in Nazca called up to the hostel last night to see me, which was a nice surprise! They stayed around for the BBQ and we had a few drinks. They are heading off on the Inka Trail this morning but I´m meeting up with them again on Wednesday before they head to ArequiPA. Now it seems that our plans are more or less coinciding, so we´re thinking of travelling through Bolivia together, which wwould be great. They are really sound girls.
Cuszo is VERY touristy and there are hundreds of people all calling you to buy something or come into their restaurant. It can start to wreck your head a bit after a while. Engaged in my first big of haggling this morning! Was buying an alpaca jumper because its pretty cold here at night, and I managed to get 8 soles off the price.
So, I´m not really sure of my plan for the next few days. I think Ill stay put in Loki Hostel anyway, because it´s so cheap. Need to start budgeting now because Ive been lettig ppl charge me waaay too much for things, plus Ive had to pay for a lot of tours, etc which hit the pocket quite hard, so after Cuzco I´m going to take it easy for a while. Thinking of taking a bus out to the Sacrd Valley for a couple of nights, maybe staying in Pisac. It´s meant to be quite nice out there. Have to be back in Cusco for next Friday as we leave to start the Inka Trail at 4a.m.!! UGH!!

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