08.10.2005 14 °C
A young couple who are returning to Australia from London have moved into the unit next door to us and we have got on well with them. Our two rooms share a common loungeroom and we had a good yack the first night we met them and have been with them doing the tourist thing since then. The first day we got a taxi out to an inca ruin about 10 k from the city centre and got dropped off by the taxi - we then walked around a couple of ruins there and when exploring a track trying to walk from the first ruin to the second we walked through a local village that is off the normal track that the tourist go as most travel around by bus or taxi so would not have walked along the track we did. The people were really friendly in the village - lots of smiles and laughing with us when we tried to talk to them. The first two ruins were at 3,800m and then we walked back to the third ruin down the windy road about 6k through roadside villages and rural areas. All the houses are mud brick construction with thatched roofs, and mud brick perimeter walls with all the normal farmyard animals running around the place. After the third ruin, and they are all different, we ended up walkiing into town and having tea at a 'chifa' chinese restaurant - bowl of soup with rice and vegetables seperate for S/- 8.50 each (around A$3.00) When we got back to the hostal the girl of the couple said she had a great day it was like walking around with her parents. I think they have adopted us a quassi parents. They are amazed that at our age we are doing what we are doing by staying in backpackers and walking around everywhere. The next day (yesterday) we did a full day tour out to more inca tours and had a good look at the Sacred Valley where the Inca's lived and the people still do lots of farming. It is a very pretty place with a stream running down the valley with lots of villages scattered along it. The houses in this ara are a bit better construction. Lots of farming with corn and potatoes being grown. The inca ruin we went to was pretty amazing, they had sort of built this buttresses up the end of a valley and you climbed up steps to the top where they had built a place to worship the sun god. It is amazing to see the size of stones and accuracy of the many sides fitting in to each other. Although in ruins it is still of pretty amazing construction. It rained whilst we were up there but just a steady drizzle so didn´t get too weet. Had a buffet lunch with everything you could imagine to eat. We got back to the city square around 6.30pm, and had tea in town - again around the $3.00 price range. Cusco is a really neat place with lots of the traditional clothing being worn and you can walk around with no problems whatsoever - could stay here longer. We haven't found the altitude too bad as we did take it easy when we first got here and Arequipa is pretty high anyway. Today is a rest day, to the markets, try and find a freight company to see the cost of freight, and catch up with Carolyn Whiting ( a friend from Perth) this afternnon. There are heaps of things to buy and at a good price, but the problem is carrying it around for another two months as we didn't have much space in our backpacks when we started.
Had a fun dinner with Cas Whiting and Dowd's who we haven¡t seen since Kununurra days. We have agreed to meet in Rome next time Ha!
Today (Saturday) was trek briefing and preparation and it is raining hopefully it will stop tomorrow for our 5 day trek. Catch you in 5 days.