Cuzco and Cava

Ah… it was great to be able to get up this morning when we wanted (around 7.30am), enjoy a nice long shower, then stroll down for a leisurely breakfast.  Those who were going on the tour were just about to leave, so we said we’d see them later on.  🙂

We pottered around for a bit then decided to go out and explore our immediate surroundings.  Over the road was a large, covered handicrafts market, so we made a beeline for that as I was looking for a good, typically-Peruvian handbag.

The market was massive; it had everything you could possibly want under one roof.  I made a mental note to tell Alison about it when she got back.  There were stalls selling alpaca goods from knitwear to wall-hangings to throws to rugs, also hand-tooled silver jewellery, leather goods, souvenirs such as trinket boxes, toy llamas, panpipes and other holiday ‘tat’, and of course lots of bags of different shapes and sizes.  It was difficult to know where to start!

We wandered amongst the stalls for a while and I saw a handbag I liked; it was made of leather and woven material in a typical Peruvian design, with a shoulder strap.  The leather part and the woven part included local symbols like alpacas, ancient Inca shapes and even Machu Picchu, as well as the words Cuzco and Peru on them.  It was spot-on and so  different.  A little bartering allowed me to buy it for 45 soles, just over 11 quid!!

Trevor had to drag me out of there in fact, there is so much more I could have bought.  I love the stuff you can buy here in Peru; it is so colourful and unusual and so very good value for money.

We still hadn’t had the chance to write out the postcards we’d bought in Lima, so we decided to buy some more cards then look for the post office, which Rosario had assured us was walking distance from the hotel.

We bought some postcards of Cuzco, then walked into town and found the post office.  Even though it was a Sunday the post office was open, so I went in and asked ¿Quisiera ocho sellos para Inglaterra, por favor? (I would like eight stamps for England, please).  We had the cards and we had the stamps; now we needed to find somewhere to write them out.

On way back, we saw a lady who had set up her ‘stall’ by the roadside.  She was selling hand-knitted alpaca hats, gloves and scarves.  As we hadn’t bought any souvenirs for the folks back home yet we bartered with her for three pairs of men’s gloves and two hats; they were double-thickness and lovely and soft and warm.  We got the lot for 40 soles (a tenner!)   🙂  We were well pleased with our purchases today.

Passing a local supermarket, we went in there to have a look at the booze, as we wanted to take a bottle of the local Pisco spirit back to Blighty with us.  We bought the pisco and I noticed they were also doing a nice rosé cava as well, so we bought a bottle of that, in addition to a small canister of sour cream and chive Pringles, yum.  My appetite was coming back!    🙂

On the way back to the hotel, we passed the pleasant park and, as the sun was out and it was really quite a nice day, we decided to sit on one of the benches there to write out our postcards.  But first we had to go back to the hotel as Trevor wanted to get rid of his stomach bug once and for all; he decided to go in the bar, get a double brandy, and sneak it and an empty glass for the cava back to the park.   😉

It was lovely sitting in the park.  Trevor drank his brandy and I really enjoyed the rosé cava.  We wrote out all the cards and just whiled away the time, relaxing in the sunshine. Then we took a slow stroll back to the hotel where we watched TV, read, checked our emails via the free wi-fi and enjoyed an afternoon nap.

We didn’t go into the dining room this evening; instead we decided just to have a light bar snack of a sandwich, along with a drink.  But when my sandwiches came, they were a triple-decker club sandwich complete with a portion of chips.  I couldn’t eat all of it and ended up feeling guilty for leaving more on my plate than I ate.  I washed them down with a caipirinha, which was nice, but not as good as the ones I make at home!   😉

Back in our room for the night I finished off the cava, then we settled down as we had another 5.30am start in the morning.

Tomorrow would see the apogée of any trip to Peru – a visit to the amazing lost city of the Incas – Machu Picchu.


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