10 July 2008

Peru: Days 3 & 4

I should have known it was too good to be true. Not long after that last entry our guide Wilfredo informed us that a 2-day strike was going to shut down the rail service to Machu Piccu. Short of hiking 42 kilometers through the mountains, we weren't going to make it as planned (I would have considered it, but traveling with my 67 year-old dad made this option out of the question).

The worst part of the news was that we had to get up at 5am the next day to get to Cusco before the strikers blocked the roads. Even at 6am there were some boulders and debris in the road, but we made it to Cusco without any problem. My foul mood was lifted temporarily by the site of the "Chuckie" internet cafe, complete with photo images of the psychopath horror movie doll. Then we stopped at a roadside "cuyeria" and ate a little guinea pig. I was given the prized neck portion but I had trouble finding the meat. Apparently you're supposed to eat the skin also, but I demurred.

That was yesterday. Today we slept in and walked around the sites near our hotel (itself a former monastery, complete with a chapel with motion-sensor lights that illuminate the golden altar so brightly it sort of creeps you out). The main attraction was the strikers parading around the main square though. By afternoon all was quiet.

We're trying again tomorrow to see Machu Piccu. Fingers crossed...

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