We got an early start to the day, we still had a couple hour drive into to Cusco and needed to buy our tickets to Machu Picchu, and return the motorcycle today. We are going to visit an animal rehabilitation and refuge center. Ollantaytambo is a Incan town and agriculture site, it is the best representation of an Incan village left. Pisac is on our list too, not just the ruins but the whole town, it has one of the best craft markets.
Survey marker Mateo was really excited about this!!
We found a good place to eat just before leaving town to begin our race to Cusco. I am in love with Peru, the mountains and valleys, the people and rich culture. I am so glad we made this our last country on our trip. My home sickness had fled and I’m ready for our next two and half weeks. I think about arriving in LA and having to find a job when I get home, and even the sound of having a cell phone is strange, uggh. Well that’s all for when I get home for now we have beautiful Peru a head of us. the animal refuge was much larger than I expected, with birds, llamas, Peruvian hairless dogs, bobcats, and Condors.
Condors above us, lucky they are scavengers and only eat dead meat!
We arrived back in Cusco after catching some extra sights to see, unloaded our motorcycle went to et our tickets, finished the night with pizza and went back to our couch surfing spot. Luis had let us keep the majority of our belongings at his house while we go venture off to different places, he has been really great. We will catch a direct bus to the town of Hydro Electrica, about an 8 hours drive, then hike to Aguas Calienté. This town is so called very touristy but only reachable by train or foot, no roads should be fun. Then the following day we plan on hiking to Machu Picchu.
After we finish at the salt pools we head down to Urubamba. We booked a hostel for the night. This hostel had no reviews on Hostel World it could be awesome it could be horrible. We also thought we would stay in a tent at the hostel, it was cheaper and we like tents. To wake up in the Andes in a tent would be awesome. We arrived in the town of Urubamba, and found our hostel. It was tucked away off the main road, down a dirt road. This place was perfect for Mateo and me, all of the facilities were outside individual rooms, the kitchen, living area, bathroom and the recreation area. It was cold, colder than Cusco, this is the highest elevation we have been at, still no elevation sickness. Our host Juan Carlos served us cocoa tea right way, tastes similar to green tea. The he served us some traditional Peruvian corn beer, tastes similar to kombucha, it didn’t taste like it had a significant amount of alcohol in it. Juan Carlos also thought that it was too cold to sleep outside and put us into one of the hostels rooms they had for no extra cost. We would be the only guests for the night! It felt so much like being in a cabin in the woods high up in the mountains. Juan Carlos and his wife Judith opened their hostel only 8 months ago, he did work for a hostel in Cusco. His small hostel is in competition with the big hotels in Urbamaba, there is only one other hostel in town. I think they will do great. We took the motorcycle a short distance into town and explored until it was dark. We had a delightful dinner with Juan Carols and Judith. Motorcycle riding really took it out of both of us, my butt hurts and my back too.
Our layover was horrendously long, 14 hours in Panama City, then to Lima Peru, then to Cusco. We made the best of being in Panama City and went to see the old city built by the Spanish, it is their first settlement in Central America. Then it got wiped out by pirates, pretty awesome for us to walk around it.
We revisited our New York Bagel shop, where we eat and a watch a game. We turned down two taxis today, it should be easy. We wave you down, Taxi man you are sitting out in the middle of traffic, you stop we tell you where we are going, we ask a price up front you tell us we get in shut the door and go there. Seems reasonable but yet some time we push shut the door and walk away. We made it back to the airport and slept until our plane was ready to go.
Another overnight flight, they are rough on me sometimes. I sleep easy other times not so much. We were questioned about going into the high altitude right away, I hadn’t thought about it, one of the advantages of not planning you don’t always know there is risk involved. We arrived in a chill Cusco. I like the cold 61 degrees.
After meeting up with our couch-surfing host Luis, we opted not to sleep and catch up on rest, that can be saved for tonight we went down to the central area while Luis went to his travel school. He is a younger neat guy who is studying English and Japanese, very welcoming. We watch the USA Germany game at a Irish pub named Paddy’s, full of mostly USA fans and one German. We lose but still made it in to the next round I can’t believe it. I thought we would be out, nice to know there are more USA game to be had, this is the knock out round. Mateo and I spent the rest of the day researching what and where for our next couple days in Peru.
Machu Picchu is on the agenda. We woke up early to go pick up our motorcycle that we will be renting for two days, this way we are able to not be on a tour bus and see more of the Secret Valley. Our motorcycle is a 250. Bigger than most motor cycles in the area. After finding breakfast we head toward the gas station. The motorcycle will not idle then it shuts down completely it has ran out of gas. Mateo hops a taxi and goes to the gas station, he gives the guy ten sols. Taxis are cheap here, normally 4 sols. We refuel and hit the road, the cobble stone is hard to drive on, Cusco is the oldest city continuously inhabited city in South America. It feels good and freeing to be on a bike and not a tour bus. We have many sights to see!
Our last days in Brazil were spent with a new host right next-door to our Airbnb host. With so many people coming in our host set us up with a neighbor to stay with who had an extra room. They were great and provided us with far more than we expected! One day was spent down by the river on a four wheel drive adventure. Another one of the days we watched the games and BBQed! Now we will be thinking ahead to Peru on our last leg of our trip!
Today is our beach day , American Out Laws party is tonight and the big game is just around the corner. We are hanging with all the Americans today and tomorrow. It has been blast meeting so many people on our journey. This trip has really pushed me out of so many of my comfort zones. The out Laws Party was a blast, and they put us onto the Brazilian news.
After all the hype from seeing all the USA fans we are both really excited for the age. This is one of the biggest reasons Mateo decided to make this trip! We are hoping USA wins but mostly we want a good game. The game was amazing, we couldn’t of asked for better seats or a more awesome crow surrounding us.
we spent the day on a amazon river tour, it was great we had a lunch that even included salad. Our tour included a trible dance by some indidanous people. This was extremely actward for us it seemed more like a dress up party, it just seemed like we were exploring the people. Mateo was really uncomfortable me a little less so. We also swam with pink dolphins, it was no sea world but it was cool to be in the same water as these hungry little dolphins. The lady would chum the water with small fish and we sat on life jackets and floated around her, then the dolphins would come up and eat the fish out of her hand. Our next event was stopping at a house on the river a young girl came onto the boat with a small furry creator with little black eyes and three long claws on each limb. It was a sloth! We had seats in the front of the boat so I was the first to hold this little sloth, he was so slow moving and just wanted to wrap his arms all around everything. Mateo held him and he blended right in with his beard. Seeing and holding the sloth made my trip here, Sloths are real!!
When we arrived at our lastest location that we booked on AirBnB. Our hostess is Marliyna she is a sweet little lady. Curly hair, shorter than I am and so cute. She has been in the tourism industry for 12 years and has opened a lodge on the Amazon. It seems to be doing really well. The World Cup has brought significant tourism to every city where the games are. The stats are sad and happy. At our AirBnB little house there has been only Americans so far, no surprise there with the USA-Portagul game just around the corner.
We spent the evening watching a game Brazil style. At a bar close by to our AirBnB. When we returned, our host Marliyna was there as well as her husband, and Sam another person staying at the AirBnB. We all went out and enjoyed some drinks and local food.
The next morning Marliyna took us on a little tour of the market and around town. We are only about 15 mins from the Stadium so this was the first time for me to see it during the day. We have our fist game to watch live today Cameroon and Croatia. I’m excited to see inside the stadium!
The three of us eventually branched off on our own, Sam, Mateo and I. We wondered around until it was time to head to the stadium for the game.
We hopped on to a bus early hoping to get to the stadium with time to spare!
Our Bus ended up hitting major traffic and so after about 30 mins of a slow moving pace we all got off and started walking. It was no surprise that we beat the bus and eventually loss sight of it as we made our way to the stadium. It was a smooth moving process to get in and we were at our high altitude seats in no time. The stadium is small but there is no bad seat in the house. It was awesome to be at the world cup and seeing a live game we may not really know the teams that well but watching live soccer is fun and really exciting.