We travel through Peru and in this episode, we’re exploring the cultural city of Cusco. There are so many things to do in Cusco Peru that we did everything on our list and more! It’s small enough to be walkable, but big enough that you can walk and walk and walk and climb stairs and keep on exploring this magical Andean town.
This high altitude city has preserved its cultural roots, alpaca-loving community, and Andes mountain vibes. This gateway to Machu Picchu is the perfect place to acclimate to the altitude before taking off on the Inca Trail trek. You can hear all about that portion of the trip in episode 10.
In episode 16 we talk about
- Things to know about traveling to Cusco
- How to handle high altitude and avoid sickness
- Walking city tour with Free Walking Peru Tours
- Where to stay in Cusco and Our first hostel experience at Pariwana Hostel
- Mule-back riding to rainbow mountain the beautiful Vinicunca Mountains in the Andes
- Drinking pisco sours
- The chocolate museum in Cusco
- Cristo Blanco and an “easy day” to get there
- $6 Peruvian massages
Things to Do in Cusco Peru – Episode Transcript
Hello travelers. Or as they say in Peru, welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re taking you to Cusco. Peru.
5 (1m 6s):
Cusco has so much to offer. It’s filled with so much culture history and so much fun. In this episode, we’re going to tell you about acclimating to the altitude must do’s of the city and all of the mishaps that happened along the way.
3 (1m 20s):
This was actually our very first Travel Squad trip. And we did this trip in conjunction with the Trek on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. And we use Cusco as kind of like a base camp for a few days before. So we can get acclimated to the altitude, but you can listen to all of our stories about the Inca trail Trek on episode 10, if you want to hear all about that, but this is going to be about Cusco itself.
4 (1m 45s):
Yeah, and we took this trip in June of 2016 and it was the perfect time to go. The weather in June in Cusco can be varying. It can be warm and then it can be rainy just as well. But overall June is seen as one of the best times of the year to go to Cusco. And there’s plenty to keep you occupied in the city, just as well
2 (2m 6s):
Things and people.
5 (2m 9s):
3 (2m 9s):
What are some things that everyone has to know about travel tips, what to pack for Cusco?
5 (2m 15s):
I think the number one thing to know is that Cusco is at an altitude higher than Machu Picchu. So it’s a good place to get acclimated if that’s the way that you’re going to go in. And what you should know is to bring altitude sickness, medication with you. So you don’t suffer from altitude sickness.
2 (2m 32s):
Yes. And one thing that you should know for side effects of altitude sickness pills is it makes you pee like a mother, but
5 (2m 39s):
2 (2m 39s):
5 (2m 40s):
I was taking the pill at night and I remember waking up every few hours to take a fucking piss
3 (2m 47s):
Already in the bathroom talk today.
4 (2m 49s):
Can our listeners to expect anything less from us other than talking about the bathroom? I don’t think so. So we got to keep true to that and that’s actually important to the story. It’s very important for the story. And obviously as a side effect of the altitude sickness pills, but like Brittany was saying really high altitude, cuscos at an altitude of a little over 11,000 feet. So they say you can start getting altitude sickness at around, you know, 7,000, 8,000. So you’re already 3000 feet above that. So don’t take that lightly. You’re definitely at least experience it in some sort of way, especially if you’re going to be doing physical activity.
2 (3m 24s):
One of the things that they told us, I don’t know. I can’t really verify it because I ate a lot and I drink a lot, but they say that you burn up to 25% more calories in that altitude.
5 (3m 34s):
So I said, you can eat 25% more than
2 (3m 38s):
What I did after that. I went to the store and I bought cookies.
3 (3m 41s):
It also suppresses some of your appetite as well, being at that altitude.
5 (3m 46s):
So just a little background of what altitude sickness is. It’s when you feel sick because of being in high altitude and your body can’t acclimate to it. So you might feel sleepy, nauseous, you might vomit. You may have a really rapid heart rate.
3 (4m 1s):
Our fingers were going numb, our fingers and our toes. Yeah. And shortness of breath time.
4 (4m 7s):
Well, I know we’re getting a little bit ahead or I’m getting a little bit ahead by saying this, but we’ll definitely tell you about our altitude sickness situation that we experienced when we hiked rainbow mountain here in Cusco. So we’re going to talk about that a little bit later. I think fair enough to say all of us experienced it, even though we were taking altitude sickness pills.
3 (4m 26s):
Another thing that you should know is that Cusco is a big meat eating destination, but it is perfectly easy to experience the city as a vegetarian. I know firsthand when I was vegetarian for six months, I worked out, I didn’t eat any Guinea pigs
4 (4m 48s):
2 (4m 48s):
3 (4m 50s):
It’s just like that shrimp. They fed me and China
2 (4m 53s):
5 (4m 55s):
And as Jamal said earlier, the weather does vary. So you should pack for both warm and cold. There are some days that are very warm and there are going to be some days that might be a little,
4 (5m 4s):
You know, who didn’t pack for the cold weather, even though we’re in the Andes mountains, Zaina, Zaina, didn’t pack for
2 (5m 14s):
Him putting me on blast.
4 (5m 15s):
I am putting you on, I am putting you on blast because I love you Xena, but you never learned from experience. It’s just like, you always think, no, we fine. And then you don’t pack the appropriate clothing, even though you know, better.
2 (5m 27s):
I know I did roll the dice. I didn’t bring gloves. And I did end up having to buy gloves.
5 (5m 31s):
You also didn’t bring a warm jacket.
4 (5m 33s):
I had to buy a poncho.
2 (5m 36s):
That is so right. Oh my God. I wish jackets. I don’t know what I was thinking,
4 (5m 41s):
But you know, who did come prepare you guys,
2 (5m 44s):
The mom and dad of the group And Kim
4 (5m 48s):
5 (5m 48s):
She’s our first born child,
3 (5m 51s):
The native language in Peru is Spanish. And a lot of people do speak English. So it was easy to get around. We had even tour guides that spoke English, the hostile people, most restaurant owners we could get by. Yeah.
2 (6m 4s):
I taught Kim a Spanish sentence.
3 (6m 8s):
2 (6m 8s):
Is negotiating for things. What did I teach you? Kim?
3 (6m 12s):
One of it was DeMoss, Seattle Catho,
2 (6m 15s):
The Massey or cuddle.
3 (6m 19s):
something like that. I need something more cheaper.
2 (6m 23s):
Yeah. I need a lower price. And then that’s too expensive. The, my Seattle coddle,
3 (6m 29s):
The mass Seattle Kado
2 (6m 30s):
3 (6m 31s):
I sent it to a shop owner and she laughed. So she got it.
2 (6m 35s):
Did you get a lower price?
3 (6m 36s):
No, she was hard.
2 (6m 40s):
5 (6m 42s):
The big square in the city is called Plaza de Armas. And one thing to know is just like times square in New York city. Everything around that area is going to be much more expensive to eat at. So if you want to eat a block or two away, you’re going to find cheaper prices
3 (6m 55s):
And the currency is approving soul. But even though you may get more expensive prices closer to those tourist areas, you actually get a pretty good exchange rate for the us dollar at least. And it was a very affordable place to be.
2 (7m 8s):
And what is the drinking policy like?
4 (7m 13s):
It’s pretty to drink in the park, open alcohol containers Just don’t get too wild. I guess Zane is saying this because if any of our listeners remember from episode 10, the Inca trail, we did talk about how the night before the trail in Cusco, we picked up some beer and sat on a public park bench and just enjoyed a final drink. So that’s what Zane is referencing. Yeah.
3 (7m 34s):
One thing I noticed about most other places that we visit outside of the U S they have public spaces where people actually do hang out, parks, benches, squares, plazas. Like we don’t have that as much around here. And I think that’s one of the coolest things about other places.
2 (7m 51s):
Really? You don’t go to the park and chill here.
3 (7m 54s):
Not usually, but even in New York city, it’s more common. It’s just not common here.
5 (7m 59s):
Yeah. I think when we were in Albania, Jamal and I walked by a park and it was filled and it was like seven, 8:00 PM at night. And we’re like, wow, everyone was being social. Everyone has
4 (8m 9s):
Everyone’s nightlife gets started at eight, 9:00 PM. And by LA nightlife, I’m not even talking about drinking. I’m just talking about socializing outside.
3 (8m 16s):
2 (8m 17s):
That’s what happens when you don’t have a good wifi connection.
5 (8m 21s):
One last thing I want to talk about before we really get into the episode is because of the altitude they give you upon rival Coca leaves and Coca leaves are derived from the cocaine plant. And so you chew on the Leafs and it helps prevent the side effects of the altitude sickness.
2 (8m 40s):
And in fact, as soon as you land there waiting for you there at the airport with baskets full of Coca leaves.
4 (8m 45s):
Yeah. You can just choose some raw leaves, identify on arrival. But obviously, even though it’s the leaf and the end product, once it’s refined as cocaine, obviously it’s not at those types of levels or anything like that. It’s not going to get you high,
3 (8m 58s):
Make you a little numb
4 (8m 59s):
And maybe a little bit, but
3 (9m 2s):
Suppress your appetite a little,
4 (9m 4s):
That it will just as well. But again, none of the crazy side effects is if it was refined down to cocaine, it does help the process of alleviating the altitude sickness. And on top of that, beyond just chewing straight leaves, which you will see a lot of people doing. They also have Coca tea
3 (9m 19s):
4 (9m 19s):
2 (9m 20s):
I love Koka tea. It was so good. It
4 (9m 23s):
Was enjoyable. I had it every day,
3 (9m 25s):
Multiple times a day.
2 (9m 27s):
So as soon as you land, they’re going to give you the Coca leaves. When you get off the airplane, and then you’re going to need to get to your hostel. You’re going to need to get to your hotel. So you will need to book a taxi, hail a taxi, but you can’t do it. You’re going to have to order it there at the airport. Then they will hail it for you. Okay.
3 (9m 43s):
He chose to stay at the pear Awana hostel in Cusco. And why did we pick it?
2 (9m 48s):
It had free breakfast. That’s all it did
3 (9m 51s):
2 (9m 52s):
I just guessed. I really don’t know.
4 (9m 54s):
Well, that was one of them, but it was ranked like number one or two on hostile world.
3 (9m 59s):
We’re also ranked one of the top party hostels in Cusco.
2 (10m 3s):
Was it? Yeah,
5 (10m 4s):
I was in a really good location. It was very close to Plaza de Armas. It was close to alpaca tour.
2 (10m 11s):
I think it was also close to Marco’s office.
4 (10m 15s):
We didn’t know that yet.
2 (10m 18s):
Dot, dot dot wait for that one.
5 (10m 21s):
And if you guys have never stayed in a hostel, there are a few things to keep in mind. We have a few tips for you. So I, I believe I was the one that booked this hostel, which isn’t surprising.
4 (10m 33s):
Well, I think we all agreed that we wanted to stay in a hostel that we didn’t want anything too expensive. We were only there to get acclimated. There’s a lot of travelers within Cusco themselves who are going to be hiking the trail. So we just thought it would be a good kind of comradery experience to be in a hostel in Cusco. And just that type of environment.
3 (10m 50s):
This was my first hostel experience. Same
4 (10m 52s):
For me. Same for me, Zane, as a hostile veteran though.
2 (10m 55s):
Yes. Yes. I’ve stayed in plenty of hostels.
5 (10m 57s):
So we booked a room that could sleep six people. And so there’s four of us. So there was, you know, two open beds and occasionally we did have people stay in our room, but this hostel had the option to book the six bed room with a conjoined bathroom. So you had a private bathroom for the six of us
3 (11m 17s):
Comes in clutch in the middle of the night.
4 (11m 19s):
Yeah. And just for anyone who’s unfamiliar with how hostels work a lot of them, or most of them, I should say, you don’t have your own private bathroom. It’s a communal bathroom. Sometimes they’re even unisex, but some hostels do have rooms that have specific private bathrooms. You obviously will have to pay a little bit more for it. But that little bit more I think is well worth it. If you’re just going for the convenience. And if you’re doing a group of people that you were actually traveling with.
2 (11m 45s):
Yes. When I was younger, I used to stay in hostels all the time. So I’ve stayed in rooms where you have the bathroom in there where you don’t have the bathroom in there. And let me tell you, the older you get paid for that convenience to have that bathroom in your room, what
3 (11m 57s):
Else do you need to know about the bathroom at the hostel?
5 (12m 0s):
Oh my God. Great question. And I think this isn’t just for this hostel it’s for most of like south America and even parts of Mexico, but you don’t flush toilet paper down the toilet. You actually have to put it in the garbage bin next to the toilet. So when we got there and I read the sign that you can’t flush the toilet paper down the toilet, and this is our first big trip together, I’m thinking shit. What if someone has to take a crap? And then we have to just pile up this poop toilet paper.
3 (12m 32s):
Oh, we survived though. The hostel comes in, I think like three times a day and cleans out your trash cans.
2 (12m 37s):
So don’t be intimidated.
3 (12m 38s):
Other perks that the hostel had were things like yoga. They had a ping pong table that turned into a beer pong table. Our first night there. They had laundry, which came in clutch.
5 (12m 49s):
Yes, because as we mentioned before, we use this as a hub before we went on the Inca trail. So we did wash a few things the night before we left. And that was amazing.
4 (12m 60s):
Yeah. And on top of that, this hostel had a bar and a restaurant. So we know he said breakfast was included, but after breakfast they have a bar and there obviously you’ll have to pay for your own drinks and a restaurant as well. Again, anything past breakfast is not going to be complimentary. You have to pay and relatively good food and inexpensive. I mean, obviously there’s a little bit more of a markup than if you were to go outside because it’s in the hostile a little bit convenient, but all in all, still very inexpensive to do that. So just really convenient.
2 (13m 30s):
And what’s really cool about the hostel is rather than going out to someplace to find what to do, they have plenty of brochures there, so they can guide you on companies that are going to come pick you up for things and just where to go and what to do.
4 (13m 42s):
But it came in handy on one of the things that we did.
2 (13m 45s):
Yes. It was because what did we do then? What was it that day? No,
4 (13m 48s):
It wasn’t that day. We’re telling you about upon arrival at the hostel, just kind of our experience. But we got in mid day, we didn’t really do much other than just explore around the hostel and city area ourselves the first night. But then the next morning we woke up because we wanted to do the free walking tour that started at Plaza de autonomous.
2 (14m 8s):
I love free walking tours because not because it’s free guys, but because the person doing the tour is working for tips. So he knows that he can make an unlimited amount of money. So they will make it as great as they can in order to get those tips. Whereas when you do pay for a walking tour, they’re not necessarily as inclined to make it as memorable. And this is just my personal opinion.
3 (14m 34s):
The tour company that we ended up going with in the Plaza de Armas was free walking, Peru tours.com. And we saw this cute Peruvian boy out there and a bright blue shirt, just waiting for his tourist to come and join his group. And so he took us on a really memorable experience through Cusco. If I do say so myself,
4 (14m 53s):
I was going to say more memorable for some than others, but nonetheless good tour all around.
2 (14m 58s):
3 (14m 58s):
But yeah, like Xena was saying super knowledgeable. He had so much history and just like interesting things about how the city was shaped kind of like a Puma and took us to this amazing market where we ended up staying in, getting smoothies that were amazing. He
5 (15m 14s):
Tests mango smoothie and
3 (15m 16s):
Took pictures of us and showed us cool viewpoints, where he took us to a place where we could feed llamas. And we got pictures of llamas, our first Lama experience in Cusco
4 (15m 25s):
And these tier, we didn’t have to tip the people that take the photos. I don’t believe right. When you see them elsewhere around the city. If you’re going to take a photo with a llama or an alpaca, they’re definitely going to charge you, but where he took us on here, we didn’t have to, but obviously we felt inclined to tip some of the people that were allowing us to take the photos with their alpaca.
2 (15m 45s):
And when Jamal says charge, you really, they’re just going to open their Palm and expect money. So it’s not like a set price.
4 (15m 51s):
5 (15m 52s):
And Plaza de Armas is in the middle of the city, but around the city is, you know, a whole bunch of residential areas and a whole bunch of streets that go uphill. And he took us up a set of stairs that had a beautiful lookout of all of Cusco surrounded by the mountains. And we’re looking into the valley, but he also gave us a tip at this point, cause he handed out maps while we were walking. And he told us that we continued up the stairs. We could make it all of the way to Cristo Blanco. And I remembered that because that’s something we wanted to do. And we’re going to talk about it a little bit later, but I would just want to keep that in mind. But he gave us a way to get up to Cristo Blanco without having to pay, to get there. So,
3 (16m 30s):
So he ended our tour at the Mercado San Blas, which is where we got those amazing smoothies and he’s standing there and he’s saying his goodbyes to all of us, we’re about to part our ways. And he’s like, I’m on WhatsApp. If any of you want to chat for some reason. And I’m like, oh, okay. I’ll let SAP. You I’m like, you know, semi, newly single and out of the country for one of the first times feeling fun.
2 (16m 53s):
Jamal, what did you see Marco doing a little bit earlier while we were on tour?
4 (16m 58s):
Oh, he looked at someone on the street who clearly knew and the person on the street gave him like a thumbs up. And I think it was just because of all the foreign women that were on that tour. And then Marco saw the thumbs up given to him by the person he knew. And then he kind of gave a little chuckle gesture and a little air pound, if you know what I mean, or air, air pounds rust.
2 (17m 23s):
I remember at one point too, we were in a room and he was showing us stuff and he made some kind of comment about being single. And then I was like, oh my God, Kim, you’re single too. And Kim looked at me horrified that I just did that to her. But then he looks at him and he’s like, oh, okay. But you know, you got to put it out.
4 (17m 40s):
Maybe Zana broke the original ice between Kevin Marco possibly.
3 (17m 43s):
Yeah. Well, anyway, I was half joking about all of that, but then he ended up adding all of our pictures like he does with every tour onto Facebook. And so I commented on when like, oh, we look cute together. It’s like a group picture where he’s next to me. Like that’s as far as my game goes, guys
4 (17m 60s):
3 (18m 0s):
Yeah. It would barely work. Cause we ended up hanging out. I think later that night went out for a drink,
5 (18m 5s):
But not for says, Hey Linda,
3 (18m 10s):
Oh, that’s right. His Facebook message says, Hey Linda.
5 (18m 14s):
And the three of us, the three girls, at least we’re sitting around Kim’s phone because this is the most exciting thing happening on our trip right now.
3 (18m 24s):
I’m like guys, he just said, Hey Linda.
5 (18m 26s):
And she’s like, oh my God, that’s not my name. That’s my grandma’s.
2 (18m 30s):
I was horrified for Kim because I’m like, I can’t even believe it. Facebook
5 (18m 34s):
2 (18m 34s):
You what your name is. That’s ridiculous. He’s getting all the girls from the tours mixed up.
4 (18m 41s):
I know. And then I chimed in, yeah, it says the name like you were saying, Xanax. He can’t even see that he’s juggling so many women from his walking tours that he can’t distinguish who is talking to at this time. And then later on,
2 (18m 55s):
What did Kim say? Kim said, Hey, my name’s Linda.
3 (18m 58s):
I think I said, that’s my grandma’s.
2 (19m 1s):
And he said,
5 (19m 2s):
4 (19m 4s):
And he just let it go. And then months later Brittany had an epiphany. And what did you realize, Brittany?
5 (19m 10s):
That Linda means beautiful
3 (19m 12s):
In Spanish, Spanish.
5 (19m 14s):
And so he was saying, Hey beautiful. But I think what confused us was, he said, Hey, in English. And then he said, Linda, which isn’t Spanish. So we were so confused.
4 (19m 24s):
I think we would have gotten it from the get
3 (19m 25s):
2 (19m 27s):
Maybe I think the other thing too is you have to remember, we’re not hearing him say it. Right? So for us, we’re reading, Hey Linda. Whereas in Spanish, I’m sure if he said it, it would have been like, Hey Linda, I can’t do a Spanish accent, but you know what I mean? Like the, I isn’t E so if any women out there are flirting with any Spanish speaking, men, Linda is beautiful at a Mosa beautiful
3 (19m 47s):
Protests right there.
2 (19m 50s):
Those are good things.
3 (19m 52s):
Yeah. So we ended up meeting up later, going out for a drink, having a really nice time. Super cool guy. And the last story I’ll say is that on the way back, we were about to leave, needed to go back to the hostel. He’s like, oh, let’s stop by my office. I got to pick up some paperwork. I’m like, all right, whatever. It’s on the way. And we go in there and I guess we started making out, you know, it’s yeah. And
2 (20m 18s):
File that paperwork, Kim. And
3 (20m 21s):
We left a little while, you know, just an innocent make-out, but we left a little while later and no paperwork was ever picked up.
4 (20m 29s):
He gave you an extra personalized tour. Apparently.
3 (20m 32s):
Exactly, exactly. VIP tour. So I highly recommend guys.
2 (20m 37s):
Thank you, Marco.
4 (20m 39s):
But one thing I know we were talking about Kim’s love story and Cusco, which has always been
3 (20m 44s):
First. This is actually my first international love experience and it’s awesome, guys. I highly recommend pose in different area codes.
2 (20m 55s):
I know what I loved the next day we were walking around Cusco and we ran into him with a new crowd and Jamal goes up to the crowd. He’s like, guys, Marco’s awesome. He’s the best? What a great tour guide little do they know?
4 (21m 10s):
Like I was saying, I know we were talking about Kim’s Latin lover down and Cisco, but as we did mention, he ended the tour at the sandblast market. And I just want to say, this is a very underrated market. They have a more famous one in Cusco, which is called the Mercado central de San Pedro, which is actually the largest market in Cusco. And it sells everything from, you know, vendors where you can buy ponchos, gloves, food, et cetera. But the San Blas market where we had ended with Marco, very underrated, it’s definitely a lot smaller, but I liked it because it’s more food oriented. So that’s where we got those delicious smoothies.
4 (21m 52s):
And if you’re looking for more traditional style, like food to eat from vendors, that’s a very good place to go other than the main market of San Pedro.
2 (21m 60s):
So later that night, we went out to dinner and let me tell you something, Brittany and I both got the exact same thing and we got it because you got a free Pisco sour with it, which is the traditional drink.
4 (22m 11s):
It’s like peruse national drink. Is it not?
3 (22m 13s):
Yes. You’ve got to try one when you’re there,
4 (22m 16s):
Unless you’re Zeno.
2 (22m 17s):
So the Pisco sour has raw egg whites in it. I don’t know if that’s what got me sick or what, I don’t know, but I mean, it could have been the food, right. But later that night I woke up at one in the morning. I think it was. And I puked my guts out
3 (22m 33s):
And I woke up and I nursed back to health.
2 (22m 36s):
She did, she did
3 (22m 37s):
All I had was Toms, but I was like, here you go, pat her on the back, put her back to bed.
2 (22m 43s):
It was terrible. You guys, I felt so sick. And it was worse knowing that I was going to have to wake up at three because we were getting picked up at three 30 and I’m talking in the morning. I’m like puking my guts out at 1:00 AM. Have to wake up at 3:00 AM to get picked up at 3:30 AM to start the next day. That’s okay guys, I’m a member of the NSOC squad. I can hack it. I can do it.
5 (23m 5s):
And as we mentioned earlier, our hostel again, advertises for tours or things going on outside of the city or around the city. And one of the things that they were advertising was a tour of rainbow mountain. So we booked it directly with the hostel. And so they come to the hostel to pick you up in the morning, but Zayna got so sick. She thought she was going to sit out and I thought, no, you can’t sit this one out. This is our prep hike for the Inca trail.
2 (23m 33s):
It would have been the worst thing in the world because it was an all day thing. Like I don’t think we got back that day until what 9:00 PM or something. And I just bungled thing. I remember like walking the trail or riding the horse or the donkey, the trail, whatever it was that we rode and just thinking I am so glad I am not stuck in the hostel right now because that would have sucked.
3 (23m 52s):
So Jamal, I think you should tell everyone what rainbow mountain is because it’s an amazing place.
4 (23m 58s):
Yeah. I’m a big nature fan geology fan, et cetera. And this is something that I had never even actually heard of had no clue that it was even in Peru. So rainbow mountain is the English name, if you will. But the local name of the mountain is Vinicunca mountain. And basically it’s a high elevation mountain in the Andes mountain chain. And it gets the name rainbow mountain because of all its colors, there’s reds, there’s turquoises, there’s oranges, there’s hints of blue, et cetera. And it gets these colors formations because of all the unique minerals that are in the dirt, sand, whatever you want to call it on the mountain.
4 (24m 40s):
And if I’m not mistaken, the only other place in the world where they actually have a mountain that has these type of different colored striations through it is in China. So unless you’re going to be in China, the only other place you can see a mountain like this is in Peru, outside of Cusco. And on top of that, again, it is in the Andes and this really, really high elevation, the trail that we started hiking started at an altitude of 14,189 feet. And it reaches a maximum altitude of 17,060 feet. So if you recall earlier, when I said we all experienced altitude sickness, it’s because we were up in the 17,000 feet range.
4 (25m 20s):
3 (25m 21s):
We weren’t planning on doing this, but again, like Brittany said, the hostel was selling the tour and we agreed to do it. It’s three hours away. So we’re like, this is amazing spur of the moment plans, which was pretty cool. But the only reason we agreed to do it, knowing we had a huge height coming up at the Inca trail was that they offered horseback riding through the mountains. So we’re like, perfect. We don’t have to hike it. We’ll just hike on these horse backs and right up the mountain. No problem.
2 (25m 46s):
And one thing to know is we Exactly so
4 (25m 49s):
2 (25m 50s):
We chose to do this two days before we went on the Inca trail hike. So we figure let’s do this. This’ll be a big day. And then we can have an easy day the next day to rest.
4 (26m 4s):
But before we got to rainbow mountain, I just want to ask, does anyone remember the bus ride to rainbow mountain? That shenanigans of that? And we were about to start talking without going over breakfast. I just want to mind you guys from that, we can’t forget the story of breakfast, a
3 (26m 20s):
Free breakfast though. Yeah.
2 (26m 22s):
But wait, before we had breakfast, we were on that bus and I was remember guys, I was sick at one in the morning. So this is like all between three 30 to 6:30 AM before we get there. And I remember we were going through windy, windy roads, high elevation. And it just it’s crazy lines
3 (26m 37s):
2 (26m 38s):
I feel like we could have fallen off the cliff at any time. And I’m just sitting in my seat, closing my eyes, thinking to myself, what am I doing today? What am I doing today? What am I doing today? I feel like I’m going to be sick.
4 (26m 48s):
We almost did fall off the cliff because it was going up little Hills that was like switchbacks little zigzags up and back. And as we made a turn, I think one of the wheels, our back right wheel had gone over the edge just a little bit. And we were able to catch it to go because it does no one really remember that.
3 (27m 7s):
I remember another bus had to stop and people had to get off so they could cross a certain spot. And
5 (27m 11s):
They had pushed the van
2 (27m 13s):
4 (27m 14s):
That’s when we were leaving. And luckily it was such a long day and we were also tired. We saw that. And I know that’s a really shitty thing to say, because if it was me, I would want the help. But I was thinking to myself, please, God do not stop. Do not stop. So another bus had a little breakdown and we didn’t bother to stop. We kind of continued on, but I do remember that as well, but that was all the way back down.
2 (27m 34s):
Only one other couple got the horses with us. And they were on the bus that had to push. And I remember looking out the window and seeing them push the,
3 (27m 45s):
Do you guys remember the traffic jam on the mountain to
4 (27m 49s):
Traffic with the packet?
3 (27m 51s):
It was a herd of alpacas in our way,
4 (27m 54s):
And literally stopped the bus for maybe about five minutes because it was a giant herd, just crossing the road
3 (28m 0s):
Everywhere around Cusco. Why
5 (28m 2s):
Did they pack across the road? We don’t know.
2 (28m 6s):
I thought it was a joke eagerly anticipating the punchline.
4 (28m 11s):
But yeah, so, I mean, that was just some of the bus shenanigans to get up there. I mean, these are reputable tour companies. No need to be afraid, but with anything stuff can happen. And that’s just some of our little fun stories of that. But breakfast was included
3 (28m 25s):
Who loved that breakfast when we got there. I mean, I know I did
4 (28m 29s):
Well, one, it was freezing. I just want to say we got picked up at three pretty much in the morning. It took about three hours to get there. Let’s just say at the latest, it was six 30, so six 30 in the morning. It’s always already, still cold. Let alone being an Andes mountains at 14,000 feet. That’s one of the coldest environments I’ve ever been in. I don’t even think I was colder when I was in Alaska or anywhere else when I was there, it was freezing. And when I was giving Zayna shit earlier for coming unprepared, she came unprepared with no frickin gloves or a jacket and she was throwing a shit fit. And I just didn’t want to hear her complain. I didn’t throw
2 (29m 8s):
A shit fit. I was just complaining that it was cold And I didn’t
4 (29m 12s):
Freak out. Anyway, nonetheless, I gave Dana my gloves just so she would stop. So I’m sitting there freezing, but for breakfast, they put us in this kind of, I don’t want to say it’s a shed because it
3 (29m 21s):
4 (29m 22s):
Yeah, it is somewhat part of someone’s home that lives up there of the villagers. It’s a
5 (29m 27s):
Barn with absolutely no
4 (29m 29s):
Sunlight. And so they brought out some rolls with butter and obviously there was other stuff that was just
3 (29m 35s):
Not the best solid butter you’ve ever. Oh
4 (29m 38s):
My God, you couldn’t even butter your role. It was frozen solid.
5 (29m 45s):
It was the frozen butter block. That’s what we got for breakfast. He was
3 (29m 48s):
4 (29m 49s):
It was like taking it out of the freezer. What am I going to do with this? I can’t do anything with it, but the
2 (29m 53s):
Roles were delicious. We
3 (29m 54s):
Put jam on it too. Jammed it up.
5 (29m 57s):
Jam was good.
2 (29m 58s):
What else did they have? Take us through the spread.
4 (30m 0s):
I don’t remember too much. I just remember them. It was a little something other than just rolls hard butter and jam. But
3 (30m 8s):
I actually don’t remember what else was
4 (30m 10s):
There and neither do I, but I know there was, we don’t remember it because we’re so caught up on that butter. Like you just couldn’t spread it. You would try to spread it and it just disintegrated your role with your knife.
2 (30m 21s):
It was just so cold. It’s colder in that building than it is outside and outside. It’s like the coldest that you’ve ever been
4 (30m 28s):
After that lovely breakfast, we got to the hiking and they gave us a little orientation of the hike. Not that there was really anything much to it other than getting altitude sickness. But this was the time where they gave us the opportunity to purchase the so-called horses. I’m going to call BS on that. He’s really like mules,
3 (30m 48s):
You know, our hands shot up and he said, who wants a horse?
4 (30m 51s):
We all raised our hand. We’re like, yeah, let’s ride a horse. And then what happened with that?
3 (30m 55s):
Then he makes us hike. Cause he’s like, you can’t get on the horses yet. This is a hard part. And we’re like, all right. And this first part of the hike, do you remember?
2 (31m 4s):
You know what I remember just backing up a little bit is our tour guide told us, follow me, follow me. And then he ran. Do you guys remember that? This is like,
5 (31m 16s):
This is what Kim is Tasha.
3 (31m 17s):
And I keep up with him. Plus the altitude. I was hiking plenty at that point working out. And I couldn’t walk two steps without being out of breath and feeling like I’d never worked out in my life.
5 (31m 28s):
I thought he was going to leave us because you were just like walking so fucking slow. And we hadn’t even gotten to the part where we could get on the horses yet. I’m like, wait.
4 (31m 36s):
Yeah. And it’s so deceiving. I mean, they tell you get on a horse again. I just want to say, I feel like they weren’t horses. I feel like they were mules. Cause they were definitely like a little mini ponies number one.
3 (31m 45s):
Well I’m only five, two. So it felt like a horse to me. Well,
4 (31m 48s):
For me being a little bit taller at six feet, it definitely was a little bit uncomfortable. But I mean, I got to think of it from that perspective. These are the horses of the villagers who live in the mountains in the Andes. They’re not very tall people just in general. They’re shorter. So Zaina and I are taller people in comparison to Kim and Brittany. So we’re riding it. And I just know I barely fit in a saddle. And so it’s already semi upsetting because I’m just like, yeah, we’re going to ride the horse and do the hard stuff. But no, they wouldn’t even let you ride the horse during the hard parts they make you get on them only on the easy flat parts. And then when I’m on him, I’m regretting the fact that I even bought it. Cause now it’s a waste of money because my butt is so sore from the saddle.
5 (32m 29s):
And I just want to point out too, that you don’t just get a horse. You get a horse with its owner. So not only are you on the horse, but the owner is walking the horse. We thought we were just going to write up the mountain
3 (32m 40s):
Gala with the mountain.
2 (32m 43s):
5 (32m 43s):
This guy is having to hike this mountain because
3 (32m 47s):
We all were on a horse
5 (32m 49s):
Horse. He’s like telling us at the hard part. Yeah, you have to get off. It’s too hard on the horse for you to be on it still. It was a waste. You don’t want the horse.
4 (32m 58s):
I definitely don’t feel bad that he had a walk with it. And you say like he hiked while we rode. No, we all hiked at the same time. We only got to ride it when it was flat. So we strolled with him
3 (33m 10s):
And then our owners kind of separated us too. So there were some parts I was even by myself with this man and a horse or a meal,
2 (33m 18s):
I thought that you and Brittany were together the entire, I don’t know. Cause Jamal and I were more behind. And I know that Jamal and I don’t think we ended up getting separated. And then I had to ask my owner if she can help readjust the stirrups because Jamal and I are very, very tall. So it didn’t really give us length to put our feet into it. So we were crunched on the horse, so they had to adjust it. But even though they adjusted it as much as they could, we were still crunched. And I just remember looking over at Jamal and eventually Jamal and I got off the horse and we decided not even to write it because it was like, it makes your ass so
4 (33m 55s):
Well, we decided that on the way back, you know, when they were like, you want to get on and I’m just like, well, one it’s all downhill now. And to no, like definitely hurts. But minus the horse story, rainbow mountain itself was beautiful just being in that landscape. So as much as fun as we’re having talking about the mishaps with the horse, the environment itself was just beautiful out there
2 (34m 16s):
Before we get to the beauty part. Let’s talk about the ugly part. What were the bathrooms like guys,
5 (34m 21s):
Your Oregon hole and the grounds like we talk about in a lot of episodes, expect a hole in the ground to piss in.
3 (34m 27s):
This was legit. Like a dirt hole dug out with a shovel.
5 (34m 30s):
We had like a shed around it,
3 (34m 32s):
Like a fabric
5 (34m 33s):
2 (34m 34s):
Like a teepee. It was a TP.
3 (34m 37s):
Oh my gosh. My experience with the bathroom. When you finally get to the big part of rainbow mountain, that is the big photograph place. It’s a very hard hike, almost vertical, straight up it. So I rough it out. I think I was the first one that got there. I get all the way up there and then I have to pee uncontrollably bad
5 (34m 56s):
3 (34m 56s):
I can not stop. So I have no choice, but to go down and I’m like, fuck that. I’m not going back up. It took me like half an hour just to walk this short distance because it was so hard.
5 (35m 8s):
I think you and I got there together. And then Jamal and Xena arrived to where you start hiking up to the viewpoint later. And I remember looking at Jamal and he was walking so slow and his lips were turning blue.
4 (35m 21s):
Yeah, honestly like what Kim’s talking about, the last little part where you go up even a little dramatic, I wouldn’t say vertical, but definitely steep. It was definitely steep, but it’s only about 150 feet in terms of the length, but you’re at such a high altitude and you’re already exhausted from what you did before at the lower altitude. So I was only able to take about five, 10 steps at a time. Baby steps, mind you before I had to stop and take like a five minute break, no exaggeration. You just run out of breath. You can’t breathe. You’re physically exhausted. And this was the most altitude sick. I felt the entire time.
3 (35m 59s):
And we’d already been taking altitude pills for a few days.
5 (36m 2s):
Two days we had been taking them for two or three days.
2 (36m 5s):
I was with you Jamal, when we were doing the vertical ascend right there at the top. And even when you say five to 10 steps, I think you’re over-exaggerating. I think it was more like five steps and then a five minute break. I’m obviously I’m teasing, but like really it’s bad if you’re not used to that type of altitude.
4 (36m 22s):
Well worth it for the view though. Really beautiful up there. yeah.
2 (36m 27s):
You know what they sold at the top
4 (36m 29s):
Beer and I wanted one so bad. Cause I thought that sounds so good. But then my brain thought better of it. And I thought to myself, it sounds good, but the way I’m feeling right now, I don’t even know how this is going to make me feel like I’m just gonna cut it out.
2 (36m 42s):
And wind is out of control on top too, because you’re so high freezing.
3 (36m 45s):
Yeah. But this is the part that you see in all the pictures that you see the mountain come up to its point on both sides. It’s rainbow colors and it’s a rainbow mountain. It’s really, really pretty.
2 (36m 55s):
You really are at the top at that point, but they do have a section where you can veer off and go even higher. Right.
4 (37m 1s):
It’s true. We tried to do that to just get a little bit better of a view. And then after a few steps, we said, fuck it we’re too.
2 (37m 8s):
I didn’t even go with you guys. I said, have fun. And I waited for you at the top.
4 (37m 12s):
I tried it with Brittany and she says halfway, but I don’t think we maybe a quarter of the way, but we attempted it. And then we both looked at each other and we’re like, I think we’re good
3 (37m 21s):
Pictures from that first part that you get to. Yeah,
5 (37m 24s):
Just the wind and the cold and the altitude was just out of control. And we’re like, all right, this is the best we got.
2 (37m 29s):
Because if you can imagine how strong the wind was there house much more stronger? Is it going to be, if you venture even higher
3 (37m 36s):
And it wasn’t like a guarded off pathway up, it’s the tip of a mountain
5 (37m 41s):
You’re completely exposed. I think round trip, this trail was about 10 kilometers.
4 (37m 48s):
Yeah. So not too long. Mileage wise, actually. When you think about it
3 (37m 51s):
And backward one way
5 (37m 52s):
4 (37m 53s):
And back, it just took a long time because of how slow people are moving. And I was even thinking to myself, oh man, I’m so tired from this last little bit. I’m so excited to ride the horse. Now there’s going to be no hard parts. It’s all flat or either downhill. And then like we said earlier, my butt was just hurting so bad from that small little saddle that it was more inconvenient and uncomfortable for me to write it. So I walked all the way down at that point. I gave it maybe about 15 minutes before I said, fuck this. I don’t want to ride it anymore.
5 (38m 20s):
You know, we thought we were good going downhill and tell, we had to walk back up the hill to get to their bus.
4 (38m 26s):
It looks so close,
3 (38m 27s):
But you have to continue to go uphill to get to the bus and that altitude it’s you again?
4 (38m 33s):
Yeah. We, I think we all decided let’s sit down and just rest. We started to walk. We’re like, fuck, let’s just get to the bus. It’ll be so nice to sit on it. We attempted to walk to the bus, took about five steps and we’re like, how does sitting down sound? We all sat down for
3 (38m 46s):
A little bit
2 (38m 47s):
And remember the bus isn’t like more than 200 feet away from us. It is right there in front of us, but it’s just so exhausting to walk to it.
5 (38m 53s):
I think we all slept on our way back to Cusco.
3 (38m 56s):
I, no one got any pictures of anyone sleeping with their mouth open.
4 (38m 60s):
I think we were all pretty tired. The only scenic adventures I remember on the bus ride going home again is seeing the other bus have to push themselves for getting stuck,
2 (39m 9s):
Falling asleep. After that,
4 (39m 10s):
It was like literally at the bottom of the mountain of where the actual road is before he even caught back on the main highway.
5 (39m 16s):
So after that exhausting day, we thought, oh my God, our next day, we’re going to have an easy,
4 (39m 21s):
Yeah. So we were like, okay, it’s going to be an easy day. We’re just going to go to The chocolate museum. We’re going to go to Cristo Blanco. And I thought we were going to kind of go to the base of it. But soon to find out later, it’s going to be a hike up. But chocolate museum, Cristo, Blanco, we thought, oh, this can’t be too hard. Nice, easy day after that long hike,
2 (39m 39s):
Easy day. But remember when we did our walking tour with Marco, he made the comment that to get to Cristo Blanco. If you want to do it for free, you can walk up and Brittany remembered those lovely facts.
3 (39m 52s):
5 (39m 52s):
3 (39m 52s):
Course she did.
5 (39m 53s):
I did. So I use my map to make us a trail to the top. But before we went, we did stop The chocolate museum and we had chocolate shots.
3 (40m 3s):
Yeah. They gave us a tour. We didn’t make any chocolate, but at the end of the tour
4 (40m 7s):
3 (40m 8s):
Yes we did. At the end of the tour, there’s a guy behind the bar with all this chocolate liqour and what do we do?
4 (40m 16s):
3 (40m 17s):
Not only that, but we go behind the bar and the man
5 (40m 20s):
Is pouring the chocolate core in our mouth. And he’s saying, let me know when to stop. And he’s Freeport.
2 (40m 27s):
He called Jamal back there first. So Jamal went back there and I don’t think Jamal really knew what was going on. He told him to put his head back in
3 (40m 33s):
2 (40m 34s):
You know, this is Jamal is a very tall guy over towering. This guy, knees, practically squatting putting his head back. And all of a sudden like the guy just throws all this chocolate liquor down Jamal’s throat delicious.
5 (40m 47s):
So we all got the money shot.
3 (40m 50s):
So we really got jazzed up off that low core and decided to go for another hike.
5 (40m 57s):
Yeah. You know, I said it was going to be an easy day and you know, with me, that means we’re going to do something hard. So immediately we start to go pass the Plaza de Armas. And again, behind that, like a residential area and a whole bunch of steps. And then
3 (41m 11s):
I really liked that about the neighborhoods. There was just like stairs upon stairs of neighborhoods tucked away. It’s really cool actually.
4 (41m 18s):
Yeah. Really hilly cities and really walkable, not a lot of main roads for cars as well. So yeah.
3 (41m 24s):
Character, not like what our neighborhoods are like around here.
4 (41m 28s):
Yeah. It has that unique feel. But before we get any further, we should just let everyone know what Cristo Blanco is. And basically it’s a statue of Jesus Christ at the top of one of the Hills in Cusco overlooking the city. You could almost imagine it like Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, but on a much smaller scale, but nonetheless, a very famous landmark of the city. And we were planning to do that. Hike up to it.
5 (41m 54s):
Pickup is about 500 steps and about a thousand feet above the base of the,
2 (41m 60s):
And I’m a long distance runner. And let me tell you something. I felt like I was in shape, but not on those stairs. It took the life out of me.
5 (42m 7s):
And after that, Haika, you know, we have to come back down. So we hiked all the way back down and we wanted to stop out another market on our way back. So we stopped at the Mercado central de San Pedro, and they had everything that you need. There, there were clothing, she nears chocolate avocados, everything you need. It was a big market you can go to. So we went and stopped there and he picked up the biggest chocolate bar ever. And we were going to split it four ways.
2 (42m 37s):
You know, I saw that on our show notes and I didn’t really remember it. But now that you say that, oh my goodness. Yes,
5 (42m 43s):
We were so excited for it. And it wasn’t
4 (42m 46s):
3 (42m 49s):
5 (42m 50s):
Worst, But we also picked up avocados and I was worried because you know, when you get an avocado in the United States and it’s soft, you think they might be bad.
3 (43m 1s):
Yeah. But it was bright green, which makes you think it’s not right.
5 (43m 6s):
3 (43m 7s):
It was tripping us out
5 (43m 8s):
And it confused and we open it up. Let me tell you, it was the best perfect avocado I’ve ever eaten.
4 (43m 14s):
They were super good. But not only that, they were so big. They were like the size of Austra jigs. I mean, they were driving enormous.
3 (43m 20s):
Yeah. We won all avocado could go for feed a family.
4 (43m 23s):
We just ate it as a snack. It was really good. And you know, just here in the states, Haas avocados are the main ones and they’re really good, but they had nothing compared to these ones,
2 (43m 32s):
Best avocado of my life.
4 (43m 34s):
It really was. That’s why we’re talking about it.
5 (43m 37s):
And it was her last night in Cusco, before we left for the Inca trail. So Kim had looked up a Thai food place that she wanted to go eat at. So that’s what we had for dinner,
2 (43m 48s):
Which was also vegetarian. It
3 (43m 49s):
Was called indigo grill,
4 (43m 51s):
5 (43m 52s):
What’d you think of that? Thai food, Kim?
3 (43m 54s):
I, I do consider myself a Thai food Connor store, best Thai food ever is in San Diego Thai village. And I’ve been to Thailand. So my Thai food palette is very refined.
5 (44m 7s):
I love how you say that because you only started eating Thai food
3 (44m 10s):
At your wedding, but this Thai food was okay.
4 (44m 16s):
Kim loves it so much. Whenever we go places, it’s her. Go-to like, let’s look to see if they have Thai food. And so she Googled it and she saw Thai food Cusco, and I’m thinking to myself, how can she not see all the possibilities for this to go wrong? He,
2 (44m 32s):
4 (44m 33s):
Yeah. She’s still wanting to eat there. So we went and as a whole, it wasn’t terrible. I mean, it just, wasn’t very good. But I think the most memorable thing about the experience at the restaurant wasn’t the food. It was the fact that we all ordered at the same time. And each one of our meals came 10, 15 minutes after each other. And we ordered an appetizer that came out last after all the entrees,
2 (44m 56s):
We had to ask about it too. She had no idea what we were talking about. Like
3 (45m 1s):
The Pisco sours were good because I came back there another night with Marco and they were great
4 (45m 6s):
Back to indigo girl
3 (45m 9s):
On our last night in the city.
5 (45m 11s):
But that was after we got back from the Inca trail. Yes. So like I said, that was our last night in Cusco. We did go on the Inca trail. So again, go back to episode 10 where we talk about it. One last thing to note is because Cusco is a big hub for going onto the eco trail. We were able to leave our luggage at our hostel, which was great.
2 (45m 30s):
Your hostel is expecting you to leave your luggage there too. Okay.
3 (45m 33s):
I guess we should also mention though that we went on the Inca trail, but then we came back to Cusco for one more night.
5 (45m 39s):
Yeah. We didn’t want to push it with the flights and whatnot. So we just wanted one more night in the city and we wanted to get massages after the trail
3 (45m 47s):
Because everywhere in Cusco, they’re asking if you want a massage, there’s a lot of massage places and they’re super cheap.
5 (45m 53s):
So our last night we were like, let’s treat ourselves, let’s get a legitimate hotel. So the four of us got a hotel room at hotel robots in, which was
3 (46m 3s):
A fancy as fuck,
4 (46m 5s):
No hostile this time.
3 (46m 6s):
Oh my gosh, this place, it had a double fringe door and we opened our room. We were like, oh my God, we should’ve stayed here the whole time.
4 (46m 14s):
No, it was nice. It was a real Spanish style hotel within the city made it really interesting.
5 (46m 19s):
And it was right behind Plaza de Arma. So very easy to get to.
3 (46m 22s):
And what else did it have?
5 (46m 24s):
2 (46m 27s):
Okay. So I chose to fly out of Cusco. I think my flight was like 7:00 AM or something like that. So I had to leave the hotel at 5:00 AM, so I didn’t get to enjoy the breakfast. So please guys for me and all of our beautiful listeners out there, take us through the spread.
3 (46m 46s):
So they did have good coffee. Fruit rolls. Hey yeah. Ooh, bacon. It was oh, good. That was nice. Okay.
4 (46m 55s):
He missed out on your favorite part. I know you love yourself a breakfast.
2 (46m 59s):
That’s okay. You know what, every time you say no to something, you say yes to something else. So no to the last day there in Cusco and yes. To dinner in Mexico city with Nicole that night.
4 (47m 10s):
That’s true. That’s why you had left early.
2 (47m 12s):
Right? So I got to Mexico city. So I had six hours there. I had dinner with Nicole and we hatched our next trip, which was Mexico city and episode one, while you guys had breakfast and massages,
5 (47m 22s):
You didn’t get a massage.
4 (47m 23s):
No, because we got done with the Inca trail midday. By the time we got the train back, checked into the hotel, it was evening. Dana was going to bed because she had to wake up early. So we really didn’t do anything. Well, I know you went out, cannot
3 (47m 39s):
Even sleep in our hotel room.
4 (47m 42s):
I didn’t even know if you were going to share that story. But
2 (47m 44s):
When I woke up to go to the airport, can wasn’t even in the room.
4 (47m 48s):
Yeah. So we didn’t even really do anything that night. And by we, I mean me, Me, Brittany and Zayna Kim had gone out. Zayna had left and the massages were the day we were leaving for the airport, but we had like a mid-afternoon flight. So we had the time to do the massages. The day we were leaving,
3 (48m 6s):
Brittany, how was your massage?
5 (48m 9s):
So we got massages for six American dollars, so expensive and they bring us into a room and
3 (48m 17s):
It’s a triples massage.
5 (48m 19s):
All three of us are lined up on the massage bed tables. And all of a sudden I feel two hands on me and then just one hand. So I look back and I’m like, what’s going on? And the lady is text messaging on her phone in one hand and massaging me with the other
3 (48m 38s):
Certified misuse I
4 (48m 40s):
Was going to ask, did I even get a massage?
3 (48m 42s):
You did. Yeah,
4 (48m 43s):
You did. I mean, I vaguely remember. I know you guys got the massages, but I’m just trying to remember my massage experience. But what I remember the most is obviously hearing that story on how she would have two hands on Brittany, then all of a sudden it would be just one because she would be texting and whatnot. But I mean, I guess what can you expect for $6? But I mean, pretty much that concluded the adventures in Cusco for us really nice trip. But again, got a second vacation if you will, because originally it was for the Inca trail, but had to get acclimated. So we made, do and found nice activities to do and enjoy the city of Cusco.
3 (49m 18s):
So we’re just about out of time, but we do have time left for two more questions that our listeners sent in. The first one for all of us was what was your favorite thing about Cusco?
4 (49m 29s):
For me, I would have to say just the history of the city. It was the old capital of the Incas. You can still see amazing, amazing ruins there. And that’s one thing that we didn’t go too much into detail when we talked about the walking tour, but you just really get to see the fine stonework that the Incas did within the city. And as a matter of fact, you know, this is something that Marco had told us when we were on the tour. And he took us to this one specific wall where when the Spanish arrived, they were so dumbfounded on how the incus could build such intricate Wallwork without any mortar between it real fine lines. And so they destroyed some of their walls and tried to rebuild it and then you can see it.
4 (50m 11s):
But what I found like the most was just seeing the Inca ruined my mind is blown on how they built the structures, the way that they did with technology, that we have no clue what it was.
5 (50m 20s):
I would have to agree with Jamal. I think that Marco gave a real in-depth history. And again, we weren’t on a tour. We did this on our own. So he really gave the city a lot of perspective that I could really appreciate. And I really enjoyed the history of the city and the walking tour.
2 (50m 37s):
I would say the free breakfast at the hostel. No, I
3 (50m 41s):
2 (50m 42s):
Do you think guys and stuff, but that, wasn’t my favorite thing. You know, I’m a very sentimental and emotional person. So I don’t think that there was any one thing. I think like just the fact that this was our first trip together, you know what I mean? Like this is where we were finding our groove, whether or not like we travel well together, figuring things out about each other. We travel well together. I think we fucking do. Absolutely. But you know what I mean? Just, I just think it’s the memories together. Okay.
5 (51m 8s):
I also think this is the first trip I realized how good I was at reading maps.
2 (51m 12s):
3 (51m 13s):
You really came into your own with map reading on this tray.
5 (51m 17s):
Now I read wraps for us all the time.
2 (51m 18s):
And then for all you bachelor nation fans out there as Jamal rolls his eyes at this one, this is where the two remaining girls met Ari’s family. They’re in Cusco, Peru. And it’s so exciting to watch it back and know that you went to all those places And you saw the lady that we took a picture with her llama. Yeah,
3 (51m 38s):
That was my favorite thing about Cusco was the culture everywhere you walked, you would see those ladies in their traditional clothing with their alpacas, just like things they sold in the market. So it was just very cultural and we don’t get a lot of that around here. Just good
2 (51m 52s):
3 (51m 53s):
Okay. We have time for one last question. You guys ready for this?
2 (51m 56s):
Give it to us.
3 (51m 57s):
And we could go on forever on this one, but listeners want to know what the food was like.
4 (52m 2s):
It was deliciousness. I’ll tell you that. I mean, I know we said in our Inca trail episode, the food on the trail was exceptional. We even said it was better than what we came across in Cusco, but that’s not to say that the food in Cusco, wasn’t good. They’re national dishes, the Lomo south Tato, which is a platter of sauteed onions, tomatoes and beef either served with French fries and or rice. And that’s kind of their national dish. So we had that a lot, but they have a lot of interesting meats. You know, they have Guinea pig or alpaca that you can eat. And I like to try a lot of this stuff and it was definitely delicious. I know some people might say, oh, those are cute little animals. I can’t eat them.
4 (52m 42s):
But you know, they eat them locally over there. And I like to try to eat things that the locals eat was delicious. Good food.
3 (52m 49s):
Yeah. A lot of potatoes, corn, the soups, oh my God, the soups, I die for soup. And they had the best cream soups, broth soups, veggie soups. Like, Ugh, I can live off those soups forever.
2 (52m 60s):
Give it up for that Thai food too. Huh?
4 (53m 2s):
Oh, the Thai food was so good. But you know, speaking of that Asian food and Cusco, one thing that I found really interesting that I was not expecting was that there’s actually a big Chinese immigrant population in Cusco. And they have a lot of Chinese restaurants that they refer to as chief. So they have a lot of Chinese and Peruvian influenced dishes in those restaurants. And I found that to be so interesting. I wouldn’t expect Cusco Peru to be a hub for Chinese immigrants.
3 (53m 29s):
Any last thoughts about Cusco Peru, before we say goodbye,
2 (53m 33s):
I just really enjoyed the trip in general. It was amazing.
3 (53m 36s):
Yeah. I love the mix of culture, outdoors things to do food people. I love it there.
5 (53m 42s):
Cheers to our first trip together as a Travel Squad pod. Yeah.
3 (53m 46s):
Yeah. All right guys. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. We hope you enjoyed learning about Cusco and laughing with us.
4 (53m 54s):
Please subscribe to our podcast leaver view and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.
2 (54m 0s):
And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast,
5 (54m 5s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode. We are talking about how to plan a trip and save money doing it. Oh yeah.
3 (54m 14s):
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