Cusco, Cuzco, Peru Monday, June 29, 2015
Woke this morning a little before 7am not really sure why, it's either the fact that I've been getting up so early so often that my body clock is beginning to adjust to the earlier wake up time, or it's the noise from all the people outside heading to the breakfast room.
Bruno and I got up this morning to say farewell to Sammi and Constance who were flying back today, we then headed off to the gym for an early morning session before going to the Chocolate making course. After walking down to the gym, we turned up to find it was closed, what we hadn't realised that today is a public holiday in Peru. My gosh, how many holidays do they have here. Seems like every third of fourth day it's another holiday. A lady at the entrance had told us it would be open from 11am, so we decided we would head to the Chocolate making course and then head to the gym afterwards.
The chocolate making course started at 11am, so we had some time to kill beforehand. So I decided I'd try to pack my bags with all the goodies I've purchased over the past few weeks. It's not actually a huge mount of stuff, but trying to pack my stuff with what I already had just wasn't going to work. My boots at this time were beginning to fall apart, so I figured I'd just toss them as I won't be able to wear them anymore anyway, this freed up some room. Eventually I got my check in luggage at a stage where I think I'll be able to work with that for the next week before we head back to NZ.
Time to head to the Chocolate making course. We arrived and met Ida and Fredrik at the entrance to the Chocolate Museum (Choco Museo) before heading in, there were certainly a lot of people in such a small area, but eventually most of them left as they were just shopping for the delicious stuff called Chocolate and weren't actually getting involved in the course. The course started off with a little introduction of how they dried the beans and then how they roasted them to remove the fermentation from them. After that we cracked the shells on the Coco beans and separated them from the shells. The shells although to us were useless, they actually collected them as they then use the shells to make a chocolate tea from. The beans were put into little bowls so we could grind them up into a paste, they teacher made it a little competition out of it to see who could grind there beans so well that they could make a paste from it. Bruno got first equal with some other guy doing the course, they both won some free stuff.
The course continued on with how the chocolate was made, basically ground up finely by a machine and mixed with sugar over 24 hour period, thank god they prepared some earlier, otherwise we would still be there now. We then proceeded onto the fun part... making our own chocolate. We were giving some chocolate mix and then added our own little flavors, such as Oreos, 100's and 1000's, marshmallows, etc etc. After our creations were made, we stuck them in a fridge to cool, this would take about an hour, so we had to head off and do our own thing from then and come back later on to collect them.
We decided we would attempt the gym again and met Ida and Fredrik for lunch at Pappacho's, a restaurant which we had been told had the best burgers in town. Bruno and I walked down to the gym, only to find... it was closed, so instead Bruno said we were going back to the hotel to do an "Insanity" training session. While I've seen them, I've never done them, and really didn't want to give it a go, however Bruno talked me into giving it a go. We got to our room and pushed all the beds against the wall to give us enough room to do the workout. Well, just a few minutes into it, I was stuffed... after about 10 minutes of working out, I thought great, that's done... Bruno said "That's just the warm-up". Bugger, Bruno pushed though it all, while I took rests here and there.
We headed out for lunch and meet Ida and Fredrik and headed to Pappacho's, we took a walk up some stairs and were seated in a nice spot near a window. The restaurant had a kind of
American feel too it which was kind of nice, no people pestering us continuously. I hadn't noticed when we first sat down, but the table cloths were actually large pieces of paper, and they provided us with Crayons so we could draw pictures with them while we waited. The choices of burgers were pretty good, not too many options, but enough so you didn't feel like you were just settling for whatever had the meet you wanted. Ida got a salad, while the rest of us got burgers... Hey we are guys, we are usually always going to choose a burger over a salad. We waited in anticipation of our burgers to come out I had heard good things from Sammi the evening before. Out came the food, and not a moment too soon, we had been starving before we got to the restaurant, so having to wait even just a matter of 5 to 10 minutes seemed like ages. Well, the rumors of the food being great here were spot on. The burgers were amazing, the sauces were brilliant and the fries baked which made them taste all the better. While we managed to polish off our meals, they were all rather filling, I think we all made the right choices for our meals.
After lunch, we all went and picked up our homemade chocolate from the shop and ended up actually purchasing even more chocolate. how that happens, I don't know... probably had to do the 10% discount offered to us. Bruno and I had to head off for our massage, so we organised to meet Fredrik and Ida for one last meal later that evening. We quickly dropped off our chocolate and made our way to our massage.
We had a relaxing massage, so relaxing that I actually dozed off for about 5 minutes, apparently I snored for a little and the lady wasn't sure if she should continue, Bruno told her to carry on as I would most likely wake soon. After our massage, we headed off back towards to the hotel, only to find the gym was finally open. Bruno decided he would get another workout it. I figured stuff it, I'm heading back to the hotel, I've just relaxed from a massage, I'm not going to ruin it by doing a workout.
Bruno got back and we got ready for dinner, unfortunately the place we had planned to go for dinner was closed due to the public holiday, we found some random street and walked down it and found a tiny little restaurant. While it wasn't the greatest of restaurants, the little old lady working there was very helpful and the speed the food came out was pretty quick. Ida and Fredrik had decided to give the Guinea Pig a go for the first time. While they can say to their friends they have now tried it, I'm not really sure if they actually enjoyed it too much, there wasn't that much meat on it. It became that time of the trip to bid these two goodbye, while there is a chance we will see them in the Amazon, there is also a chance we won't. So we bid them farewell and wished them all the best before we made our separate ways.
On the way back to our Hotel, Bruno wanted to do some more shopping at the markets. It was good as I was able to get a couple of little items, Bruno the master barter showed his skills again, I've now kind of grown accustomed to his technique, so now I just play along with everything. Even the lady said as we walked off... "How did he do that?" but obviously in Spanish.
Tonight it's time to pack completely as we are off to the Amazon, will we have WiFi there so I can continue on with this blog? I don't know, but if not, I should have something else up in the next 4 or 5 days.