The next morning, Julie got in the shower and immediately started screaming and laughing. The shower head, come to find out, literally shoots water in all directions. There are doors on the shower, but they didn’t work, and when she came out of the bathroom we could clearly see that the entire bathroom was covered in water. In fact, the staff had even put electrical covers over the outlets to avoid electrocution. I guess this is what you get for $13 a night…
We didn’t have much planned for the day other than exploring Cusco. We found breakfast a cute café and spent some time blogging and catching up on current events. In the early afternoon, we grabbed a cab to Saksaywaman, some more ancient ruins about 10 minutes outside of Cusco. These ruins were much flatter, and smaller. However, this tribe used much larger rocks. Rocks the size of cars, sitting perfectly on top of each other, creating walls. It really is incredible, no tools or wheels or source of power, and they created an entire city built of rock.
We had our driver drop us off at the Cusco city center where we would have lunch. We spotted a row of restaurants just across the park, and before we even made it halfway, two women had approached us with menus. They were each others competition, trying to get us to come to their restaurant.
“Do we get a free drink with lunch?” I asked. They both offered us free drinks.
“Do you have WiFi?” They both offered WiFi.
“Do you have bathrooms on the main floor?” Neither one did.
Julie and Tony left me standing in the middle of the town square, with two women shoving menus in my face, to decide where we would eat. It went on for over 10 minutes and I don’t actually know which woman won, but we did end up at one of their restaurants. We spent the rest of the day just walking around the streets and alleys of Cusco, taking in the culture and the people.
There are a few observations I haven’t mentioned about my experience in Peru. There are dogs everywhere. Literally everywhere. In the streets, on the sidewalks, in the markets, outside the hostels. They are called ‘perros callejeros’ in Spanish, which translates to street dogs. None of them look the same because, well, they are all mutts. Some are fuzzy, and some are bald. The bald dogs are called Peruvian dogs (and in my opinion, are not very pretty).
Also, the sewage system in Peru is not modern. There are toilets, and they appear very modern on the outside, but they are not capable of taking waste the same way the toilets in The States are. Thus, there are trashcans next to every toilet where any and all toilet paper should be placed, regardless of what it was used to clean. This has been a cultural change for me and I forget about a third of the time to dispose of my waste accordingly.
Finally, the food in Peru is outstanding. We’ve had everything from tequenos (cheese wrapped in wontons) to ajji de gallina (a spicy chicken dish) to pisco sours (the most common cocktail) to relleno rocoto (peppers stuffed with ground beef and cheese). All of the countries I’ve visited, this might be some of my favorite food.