After yesterday's long day I am glad to have a lie in this morning. After breakfast at around 8:30, I sit in the lobby just watching people coming & going. It appears that we have had one of Peru's biggest football teams staying in the same hotel as us.
At around 10 most of the group board the coach for a tour around Cuzco. Today is a Bank Holiday in Peru & we see lots of families enjoying themselves as we pass by on our way to our first stop. Saqsaywaman was an Inca settlement & we get off the bus to have a look around. Our bus leaves us & drives to the other end of this site. Whilst this site is undoubtedly very impressive, after yesterday's visit to Machu Picchu, I am somewhat under impressed.
We soon move on to our next stop a short drive away, Tambomachay. This may have been an Inca spa but its actual use is not known. Once again after yesterday, I am left somewhat unimpressed. After we leave this spot we travel another short distance to view an underground cave where mummifications were carried out. Sorry but once again yesterday's memories eclipse everything we are seeing today.
We head back to the town of Cuzco and see a religious procession at the Cathedral with people following an idol of the Saint that they are remembering today. We are dropped off at the hotel and I head into town with another member of the tour for lunch. After walking for around 4 miles we find the main square and have a look around the square and its surrounding buildings. We then visit a tapas restaurant and have a large selection of tapas and a beer before heading back to the hotel. It turns out the hotel is only about a mile from where we are and our extended tour here wasn't necessary.
Guinea Pig Dinner
This evening I have company for dinner as 4 of my travelling companions join me for lunch at a small family-run restaurant opposite the hotel. Three of us decide that as it's our last night in Peru we will immerse ourselves totally in the Peruvian experience. We enjoy listening to the music provided to entertain us whilst we eat but are not too keen on the flavour of our final Dinner in Peru, Guinea Pig.
It is brought out to us whole on a plate, its body stretched out like it is running at full stretch, its front legs outstretched before it, its hind legs dragging behind it. Its teeth protruding from its mouth & a tomato crash helmet fitted on its head made it look like something from a Wallace & Gromit Cartoon. They take photos for us, then take the Guinea Pig, away again to cut them up. It reappears 5 minutes later in 4 pieces, the head balanced on the top with its toothy grin smiling at us. In Peru, Guinea Pigs are farmed for food but there is so little meat on them you would need a few for a good sandwich. All I could taste was the Alfalfa that they are fed on. I can say I've eaten Guinea Pig but I won't be trying it again, It didn't taste like chicken but it was foul.
After dinner, we return to the hotel bar for a beer & to say goodbye to the tour group. Tomorrow we will be heading in different directions, some on to the Amazon whilst others of us return to England.