Friday, August 30, 2013

Big White Jesus

First thing in the morning we headed to Peru Rail to get tickets to Machu Picchu. The company only sells train tickets and not entrance tickets, so we had to purchase them online. Simple enough... Except not in Peru. You could make a reservation online, but it was impossible to pay. The website said we needed to pay at Peru Rail or 10 other places. Peru Rail said they stopped taking tickets and he best place to purchase was the Ministerio... Which was close because it was a holiday. After hitting up 4 other places on the list and only finding dead ends, we gave up and decided to try again tomorrow.

After the ticket ordeal, we decided to take matters into our own hands and hike to ruins that were sort of near by. We found out that Saxysaywoman cost 70 soles to see, but you can also see it from the giant white Jesus, which is free. In order to get to Christo Blanco, we had to hike about a million stairs (at altitude). A more accurate estimate would be 2 km uphill. But it was worth it. As we got higher up, the views of Cusco only became more beautiful. And once we were at the top, you really could see the ruins. Also, there were about 100 local kids up at the top flying kites. We actually hiked down to the ruins as well, but didn't really explore because we didn't want to pay the fee.

We took a cab back from the giant white Jesus. It was perfect timing to pick up my laundry from the place next door to our hostel... Except the unmarked laundry mat was technically closed. By that, I mean the door was closed. But after some knocking at the door, a small child, probably 5 years old, appeared to take my money and to give me my laundry. Everything about that experience was weird. There have been a lot of situations where little kids are doing adult jobs, and it definitely is something I will need to adjust to.

We had been talking about falafels all day, and saw in Lonely Planet that there was a highly recommended falafel place that donated all of its profits to a school for kids who have experienced domestic violence. This was an excellent restaurant choice. The decor was crazy - a giant tree decorated with Christmas ornaments growing in the middle of the room, stuffed animals inhabiting seats at random tables, and so many details that it could keep our eyes busy for the entire dinner. They also had a game called Quiddler, which I made Ali play because I love word games. The food was also delicious.

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