One day of planning, and another day travelling…
Honestly, you will absolutely never understand how much planning has to go into a trip like this until you try it for yourself.
Tuesday 2nd August 2016
Just before bed last night Sofia asked if we wanted to get up early and go to the gym with her today, which we did. I used to love going to the gym and worked out at least three times a week, but when saving for this trip got real serious and I quit to save a bit of extra money. I haven’t been in probably eight months now, so this morning probably wasn’t the best idea, but seemed more fun than just laying in again. We set off around 08:00 and took the bus from Barranco where we are staying to the gym in Miraflores, which took about twenty minutes. Being a Tuesday, the bus was really busy with people heading to work, and their public transport system was rather peculiar too. Everybody just squished on to the bus without being charged, and then a random guy squeezed through everyone to ask whether or not they had paid. It was an experience, but luckily my pockets were empty else I’d have been very cautious of how close everybody was getting to me.
We stayed at the gym for about fourty minutes before leaving to meet Andres again on the other side of town to watch him play in a tennis match. He played to the best of three sets and won 7-5, 7-5, and then asked me if I wanted to play against him. I’m pretty rubbish at tennis so we didn’t play seriously, but I did give it a go and something for everybody to have a laugh at! Andres was super appreciative that we watched him, which was nice because we both really enjoyed it too. From tennis we returned home to sort out a plan for when we leave tomorrow.
The main reason that were here in Peru is probably quite an obvious one, we want to visit Machu Picchu, but had no idea where to start. After some reading we found that our best option was probably to head towards Cusco and go from there, which is achievable by either plane or bus. The plane costs £65 each and takes just one hour, whereas the bus costs £30 each and takes twenty two hours. In no real hurry we opted for the bus, because it saves us a bit of cash and also means that we get to see more of Peru on the road. Besides, we took the bus so often in America that it can’t be that bad, can it? The bus that we’ve booked leaves tomorrow morning and arrives the morning after, meaning another night of no accommodation and even more savings! Not bad at all in my opinion.
After the long and stressful booking process we had to get out for a bit, so went to Starbucks, brought coffee, cookies and cakes, and called home to catch up with our families. From there it was back to get packing ahead of tomorrow, which probably wouldn’t have taken long had we just got on with it, but took ages in the end because we just couldn’t be bothered! We still managed to get quite an early night though, with the early start tomorrow in mind.
Wednesday 3rd August 2016
The early start seemed much earlier than it was as usual, but after getting out of bed, eating breakfast and ordering an Uber, we hugged Elizabeth goodbye and set off towards the bus station. The traffic was pretty bad and we arrived fifteen minutes later than we were supposed to, but studied our book of Spanish on the way and scrambled together a poor sentence asking which bus to take.
One of the main reasons that we went for this particular bus, travelling with Palomino Group, is because their website says that there’s on board Wi-Fi and English speaking staff. Of course that’s a load of rubbish, there was no Wi-Fi at all and nobody could speak a word of English. We also expected the bus to be full of other tourists heading to Cusco but that wasn’t the case either – instead the majority of the other passengers seemed to be travelling for work, with goods to sell in Cusco because it’s such a remote location miles away from anywhere else. Ah well, that’s all part of the experience isn’t it!
We slept for probably the first four hours of the journey, and then spent a long long time looking out of the window. We passed through busy cities, small shanty towns and loads of vast nothingness, without making any stops for much longer than maybe five minutes to stretch our legs. We watched an entire movie in Spanish which was complicated but quite fun, and were both very surprised at how early it started getting dark. By 18:30 it was pitch black and we still hadn’t stopped. Since waking up twelve hours earlier all we’d eaten was an egg and a slice of toast each, a banana to share and three oranges between us. Still, the night sky was magical and full of stars which kept us impressed until it was time for sleep. A rather dull day I guess, but a sacrifice for the days ahead of us!