Cusco, Cuzco, Peru
Saturday, June 27, 2015
This morning 6 of us got up to go Whitewater Rafting. Laura, Hannah, Sammii, Constance, Bruno and myself were all picked up and taken about 2 hours down the road after a quick detour to pickup a couple of other people to join us.
Upon arriving at the start point, we got kitted up with our gear and the instructors gave us a good safety briefing before we got ready to take on the rapids.
The rafting took us down the Urubamba river between two different mountain ranges, it was a beautiful day with great scenery. The water was rather cold, however despite that we still chose to do a little cliff jump, and posed for some photos where we got bounded by water consistently for about 30 seconds while the pictures were taken. Sammii got to take on a rapid called 'The Cowgirl', this involved her sitting on the front of the raft as it went down through the rapid... She didn't last long before falling back into raft.
The guides made the entire experience really enjoyable and took photos along the way. Hopefully I'll be able to put some of the photos up when I get back. After taking on a few small class 2 and class 3 Rapids and travelling about 11km down river our rafting trip was over. However they didn't finish there, they provided us a fantastic lunch afterwards, chicken rice and a cinnamon bread which was pretty good.
We made our way back to the hotel by van and arrived a little before 4pm, this gave Bruno and I a bit of time to get showered and then head off to the markets to look at stuff before dinner. We came across this place in one of the hundreds of markets around the place which had some nice things. Bruno got his bartering skills on and worked the prices down on a few items. Bruno had been looking specifically for a certain blanket which we had seen in Ollantaytambo, while this lady didn't have it, she had something similar and asked us to come back in a few minutes and she would have it available for us to look at. We headed down the street to kill some time, we came across a store that had the Cup America game on (Brazil vs Paraguay) and was doing a shoot out to see who would win. We decided we would watch that. As we watched from our spot a queue of people started gathering behind us to watch as well. The group seemed to get bigger every time we looked behind us. In the end Brazil lost the shoot out so we headed back to the lady to see this item she had. We found that while she had the same pattern it wasn't big enough, but she said she could get is a bigger one for us tomorrow.
We finished off the days purchases and then headed out to dinner at a restaurant called "Fallen Angel", the first thing we noticed was the table... The table was made from an old bathtub, filled with water and goldfish, covered in a sheet of glass for the table top. After ordering dinner we all got up to take a look around the restaurant, it was quiet cool, lots of things that represented Angels and the fallen.
Dinner tonight was our final chance to all to be together to say a final farewell to everyone including Lucho our guide for the past couple of weeks. It was a wonderful evening with lots of laughs, funny stories from the past 2 weeks and and the food tonight was once again... amazing.
Lucho gave a bit of a speech, it was great to hear that he enjoyed us as a group. We all went around the table passing on our best wishes to everyone and each thanked Lucho individually. Lucho really appreciated it, apparently in all his time as a guide he has never had the entire table say individual thanks to him.
Not only was dinner a chance to say farewell to everyone and exchange stories, but it was also a chance to have celebratory drinks for Fredrik and Ida who just got engaged the day before at Machu Picchu. After dinner we headed out to an Irish pub called "Paddy's" which is apparently the highest Irish pub that's 100% Irish owned. After a couple of drinks it was time to leave and head home, as we left some random person started shouting at Trent giving him crap about being American, it looked like a fight would have almost broken out, but Laura grabbed Trent and then Collin took Trent away. Lucho took the guy aside and dealt with it respectfully.
Where I stayed
Cusco Plaza Nazarenas - Calle Saphi 486, Cusco, Peru
I rated this place 4/5 - Internet works but noisy in the morning
Internet at this place seems to work well, each room has its own shower and toilet and breakfast is available in the mornings as well. Only problem is if your planning on getting a sleep in from a night out on the town, chances are slim. The tiled floors and the big enclosed areas that your room surrounds makes it an echo chamber. As lots of tour groups come through here it can get a little noisy.