A new journey begins

Arriving in Cusco and there’s clear evidence of rain. Humidity and significant clouds clinging to the verdant mountain terraces. Draping delicate arms over the greens and browns…notable indeed after the dryness of Arequipa.

Cusco architecture

But let’s just rewind a few days. My last day with the youngsters of Flora Tristan English school was full of hugs and cards and followed by a creepy Halloween night out in Arequipa where I witnessed streets full of people clad in all manner of fancy dress. The prize for originality going to the guy dressed as a man having a shower.
Then 24 hours of gastric flu later and I’m back in shipshape form packing up all my worldly possessions ready for a ten hour overnight stint on the much-more-comfortable-than-an-aeroplane (yes, it’s true) Cruz del Sur double decker coach. I snuggle down into the soft leather folds of the almost vertical bed-like seat and attempt to sleep.

Saying Hi from Cusco!

As usual my inability to sleep on moving vehicles has me in a fitful slumber. The rising altitude affects my delicate recovering tum making for an unwanted distraction from snoozing. Well, at least it was warm and comfortable. Perhaps I was lucky enough to get three, maybe four, hours of kip.re’s clear evidence of rain. Humidity and significant clouds clinging to the verdant mountain terraces. Draping delicate arms over the greens and browns…notable indeed after the dryness of Arequipa. But let’s just rewind a few days. My last day with the youngsters of Flora Tristan English school was full of hugs and cards and followed by a creepy Halloween night out in Arequipa where I witnessed streets full of people clad in all manner of fancy dress. The prize for originality going to the guy dressed as a man having a shower.

My weary, dry eyes crack open to see dawn breaking into watery pastel shades in the clouds I can see through the little gap in the curtains. I close my eyes again for a some more tired moments and reopen them to see the hills and their cloud sombreros. Cracks of blue blaze through the grey covering the sky, a more intense blue than even in Arequipa – a clue to Cusco’s higher altitude.

Sheets of surface water coat the ground and the chilly temperature is borne out by the occasional person wandering the streets (which all seem to lead upwards) clad in numerous layers of warm practical clothing.

My comfortable bus seat

I’m writing this in the bus terminal. I feel like I have all the time in the world before my travel buddy Dorota arrives in 5 hours time. We’ve arranged to meet at our hostel so I need to gather my thoughts and figure out how to get there…

 …and an overpriced taxiride later I’m here. Very welcoming and helpful hostel staff and I’m now tucking into their complimentary breakfast of cereal, bread and jam, tea, fresh watermelon juice and papaya chunks. Couldn’t ask for more after a tiring bus ride to ease away the chills of the damp early morning. I’ve even seen an advert for an Indian restaurant, the first I’ve seen so far in Peru! Cusco thus far is ticking all the right boxes!

By the way, I’m traveling without my laptop for the next three weeks (to avoid carrying a whole extra backpack) which makes it more tricky to upload photos. I’ll do what I can but apologies in advance if the next set of blogs are a little light on pictures…I’ll try to keep the text-only entries short and sweet and will try to add photos when I get to a hostel computer.

Plaza De Armes in Cusco

Written by Julianne Ezra

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