Day 10 Peru
Day 1 in Cuzco
This morning we arrived in Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Alvero, from Qolqampata hostel where we are staying, picked us up at the bus station at 6:30am. It was actually too early to book in but Alvero allowed us into our room as soon as we arrived. We were about to go out to buy something for breakfast but Alvero told us we look exhausted and gave us breakfast at the hostel ‘on the house!’
There is an amazing view of Cuzco from the dining and lounge area. Our room has a private bathroom which is quite convenient.
According to Wikipedia, both spellings of the name, Cuzco and Cusco are accepted. Cuzco is 3399m above sea-level which is why some people get altitude sickness when they arrive. (Bloemfontein, South Africa is 1395m above sea-level). Cuzco is the tourism capital of Peru and the city has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. (All info from Wikipedia)
Unknowingly, we did exactly what’s recommended to do on your first day in Cuzco and that is to take it easy and rest. We took a downhill stroll to the city center, had a nice meal, got a tourist map and just browsed a few local markets. Coming back uphill to our hostel was a bit of a mini-trek but it’s good training for the Inca trail.
Alvero made us some coca tea from coca leaves which is native to South America and apparently helps for altitude sickness and tiredness. It tastes bitter and the smell reminds me of a silk-worm box when the leaves are a day old.(if you have any idea what that smells like.) The taste is similar to Chinese green tea which we have had a couple of times before.