After arriving in Cusco that night, we made it over to our hosts' home, an American family with 3-4 kids. They've been living there for several years and decided to settle in and make their family home there. They were still awake when we got there, so we got to chat for a bit. A couple other travelers were also there, so we said hellos. They live in a large place that can hold up to a dozen or so guests, so that's kinda fun. We took a good shower that night and decided to sleep in a bit the next day.
We had a late breakfast with the lady of the house before setting off on Cusco adventures. We ate the best honey I've ever had, then she gave us a recommendation and made us a reservation for lunch.
First we walked over to Qorikancha, a major Incan temple back in the day. The Spanish colonials kinda ruined it when they came into town, but it's still there and definitely worth seeing.
The murals around the plaza were really wonderful.
Next stop - the artisan neighborhood of San Blas for some shopping! The shop ladies were so funny - buy more, great price, buy more!
Those skirts were so beautiful, and if I had a place I could wear one regularly, I would've gotten one. We even looked later in the day to try and get one, but only ended up at a rental place. None for purchase - too bad.
We also hit up the cathedrals in Plaza de Armas. There are two or three that are connected and magnificent. I wasn't supposed to take photos in here either, but I tried to sneak a few. Meghan said the guard guy was totally following me, but he never said anything.
This white ceiling was something to behold. I loved it.
Next stop - lunch at Pachapapa for cuy!
Good thing we had a reservation - this was a hot spot, especially on a nice day. Their back patio was lovely and got packed.
The cuy takes awhile to cook, so when Nic had called for us earlier, she had them start cooking so it'd be ready by the time we got there. It looks pretty crazy, but when in Peru, right?
We named him Enrique.
They bring you the whole one for photos, then take it back and cut it up for you to eat.
Verdict - a bit fatty and greasy, and tastes like chicken. Their seasoning was great. At lunch we saw an American guy that we'd seen earlier in the day at the cathedral. He kept coming over to our table to chat with us. He's a businessman from Chicago and looked like he was at a business lunch with some local contacts. As we were leaving, he invited us to meet him at his hotel later for a drink. Meghan was quick to decline, but I protested that he could've been our sugar daddy! Alas. It was a smart decision, and he kinda didn't know what to do when we said we don't drink.
Adventures continue. More shopping at a local chocolate shop and llama photos and buying golden mirrors.
Then we decided to get on a double decker tour bus to see some sights outside the city. Smart move, right? Not if you're the first ones on and circle the plaza 30 times waiting for it to fill up. We ended up chatting with a Canadian couple most of the time - they'd come to run some marathon along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. They hadn't exactly trained, and I think they must be kinda crazy. Hope they survived it!
Drove out to Sacsayhuaman (sexy woman) to see those ruins on a driveby, and that was fine. I was kinda Inca'd out by this point.
Mandatory twenty minute stop at a shop so we could buy more stuff. Glad we bought stuff in town - way cheaper!
I actually liked a couple of these, but my feet were too big!
After we got back into town, it was pretty cold, so we ran back to the house to change into something warmer. We headed out to find that skirt shop we'd passed on the bus, but rentals only. Then we hit Starbucks for some internet time, as the room we stayed in at the big house didn't quite get good enough reception.
A couple other French travelers had come into the house, so we headed out with them for some drinks and food. Yos and Flo were awesome and so much fun - they were in the process of moving to Australia from Paris, and they'd been traveling for a few months. They'd even gone to Utah and Arizona recently, so we chatted about the sights they saw. They ended up giving us their National Park Pass to use. We were also the first Mormons they'd ever met, so we had a really fun time talking about that. Note to self - email them and see how they're doing down under.
We hung out for a couple hours then caught the town festival as we walked home.
Meghan and I had an early wake up at 530 to catch our flight back to Quito. Our cab to the airport cost about 2 bucks. Long layover in Lima - we had Cinnabon to tide us over and fill our bellies.
Hello again, green Ecuador.