And so it was to be. We get to the bus station around 0730 with 30 minutes to spare and buy tickets, decision made, Cusco here we come. It´s also at this point we realise just how well fate has been on our side – there is a whole group of people at the tickets stand, 20 maybe, who have just arrived on night bus from Cusco, and are going back on the same bus as us … as the border into Bolivia is now shut, both routes! Mostly they have little alternative as they have flights to catch in La Paz in the coming days. It all makes some vague sense now, the questions from Nadine on Facebook earlier, and the other bus route being out of action. Bolivia doing what it does best – Strike!
Again the journey goes through some great landscapes but we find no matter how hard we try we can´t keep our eyes open to take all the photos we know we should. Some of the others who are doing the return journey have no qualms about getting their sleeping bags out and lying down in the isle to sleep.
Arriving in Cusco around 1400 we take a taxi with two girls to centre and “Hostel Pariwana” where they´d stayed before leaving for Puno the previous night, alas there are no doubles and the dorms are pricey. With a little negotiation we are able to leave out big bags in reception while we have a walk and see if we can source an alternative. Internet cafés are a bit thin on the ground but we eventually find a bar on the main plaza with Wi-Fi and we just happen to have a message from Sanne and Peter (a Dutch couple from Wasi Masi, Sucre and The Singing Lamb, Puerto Natales) to say they are in town. We try their hostel, just as we reach it we spot them getting back from their day out. It´s much cheaper and central but in a quiet street, perfect!
It´s called “Jacaranda” and with a bit of TLC we all agree it could be as good as Wasi Masi. But it´s not at all bad, in fact it´s in a great old building that apparently used to be the headquarters of “The South American Explorer´s Club”. Once all the bags are safely recovered from the other hostel we go out for dinner with Sanne and Peter, finding a menu for 15Soles which is again great value.
The town has a much nicer feel though it is swarming with tourists, not just backpackers, and there are touts everywhere, offering massages, menus, general tourist tat! Quite annoying!