Grab hold of a Pisco sour and let Cusco entrance you, add a tasty ceviche and you’re good to go on your first day! This place is full of excellent restaurants and bars to get your teeth into without getting on the phrenetic tourist trail. you’ll have plenty of time for that later! Enjoy and welcome to Cusco.

A waiter preparing me the Pisco house special.
One of the many cobbled streets to investigate.

TOP TIP: Arriving in Cusco altitude sickness, mountain sickness or soroche, is pretty much a definite thing to some degree. In your hotel they will offer coca tea immediately and even have oxygen to hand should you get it really badly. For me I just had a headache but I think that was more due to lack of food and stress. The various symptoms are nausea (vomiting in some cases) headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue and a general aching of the body. Don’t stress, just take your time to acclimatise. Go slow until it passes and you will be fine. Drink plenty of water and coca tea. Be kind to yourself and maybe just go to one of the many museums in the centre which are all very close. Don’t go on one of the many trips they offer until your body tells you that it can cope, it will only set you back if you don’t and you’ll regret it! I was lucky and just felt a bit breathless going up the many steep streets. It doesn’t matter how fit you are it affects randomly.

Delicious chilli and cheese souffle with a mild chilli pepper stuffed with llama bolognese.

After Lima this was bliss. Pretty little town with all the trappings of much needed break, if only I didn’t have to “do” Machu Picchu! I got onto the booking immediately as I had found out it was a marathon to organise and could be tricky to get tickets in a rush. I wasn’t wrong. The logistics are massive. I found a really good agent who got me a reasonably doable round trip. Thankyou Julio at Andean Machupicchu Explorer! organise that for when you’re strong it’s an exhausting venture!

You need to book a return train trip to Aguas Calientes which in itself is fraught with problems. I now have the return only taking me to a station a way out of Cusco so will have to can it from there late at night. Then there’s the booking of the entrance ticket to the site. I was lucky and got one at 8 a.m. so have enough time not to rush when I’m finally there. The bus ticket up there they advised I buy there. Nothing is straightforward on this shitty bitty trip. That done I’ve left the rest of the other wonderful places til I get back.

Rooftop weather vane.

Museums was my plan pre Machu!

Lorca museum in Cusco.

This sister museum was as well curated as the one in Lima. Prehistoric to the Spanish invasion, it held some beautiful pieces and all was explained in English and French too.

Exquisite polished shell necklace

The Inka Museum is a must but they don’t allow photos much like a some others. It doesn’t really matter as sometimes it’s good just to look! We can all get carried away sometimes and forget just to enjoy the moment. There are churches and architecture to look at too. Cusco is crammed with goodies and I love it here and have found all sorts of unlisted things just by stumbling over them while ambling around.

Free walk in Inca site in the middle of town hat few tourists are aware of!
Almost unrecognisable hands of an old woman at work.Photographic show.