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Monday 29th March 2010

Peru

Julie and Farina were headed in the same direction as us, so together the 4 of us hopped on a bus headed for the Peruvian border. The border crossing was fairly uneventful and we arrived in Piura at about 9pm. It was a seriously dodgy place and we all felt unsafe. We had dinner at a dodgy Chinese restaurant and then caught another bus to Trujillo which left at midnight. The bus ride was full of smelly, sweaty, overweight snoring men and was an absolute nightmare! We arrived in Trujillo at about 7am and I was so buggered that I didn't know what was going on and had memory loss from the day before. Trujillo is located on the coast and is quite a nice little town. Clarkey and I booked a bus to Lima then the four of us got a cab to some nearby inca ruins called the Temple of the Sun and Moon. Until recently, the ruins were completely covered in sand and it's incredible how intact the buildings and sculptures still are.

The four of us had dinner together and then it was time for Clarkey and I to continue on South. We were now on a tight schedule to make it to Cusco on time for our Inca trail trek. We had booked an overnight bus to Lima and then another overnight bus to Cusco which means that by the time we got to Cusco we would have spent over 40 hours on buses in just 3 days. Nightmare.

The trip to Lima wasn't too bad. We had about 8 hours to kill in Lima so we got a taxi to a nearby shopping centre and I bought a new camera to replace the one that got stolen.The bus to Cusco was a nightmare, it was so slow and windy and we got stuck near some loud annoying Americans.

We eventually arrived in Cusco and got a taxi to the Point hostel which had been recommended to us. It wasn't a bad hostel but it had a pretty young bogan crowd and large over-crowded dorms. I suppose that's what you should expect from a party hostel. Had a fairly quiet night and it was so good to sleep in a bed once again.

We spend the next day exploring the city. With its cobbled streets, stunning architecture and beautiful setting, Cusco is an absolutely amazingly picturesque place. The altitude of 3400m makes even a brisk walk quite hard work. We called in at the office of our Inca trail company and paid our remaining balance. At one stage it started absolutely pouring so we sought refuge in a barbers salon so decided to get haircuts while we were there. Our haircuts cost 3 soles each which is $1.20AUS. Crazy. That night our Inca trail guide came around and gave us a briefing on the upcoming hike. The excitement was beginning to build.

The next night was time to celebrate my 30th birthday. We started the night by enjoying a delicious llama steak and hot red wine before heading to a cool jazz bar where the band sung me Happy Birthday in Spanish. We moved on and danced the rest of the night away at some bars in the main square. Awesome place to have my birthday!




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