This morning Juliet and I had a lovely lie in, after a lovely sleep. There were no annoying Americans ringing the doorbell at 4am, no housemates waking us up at midnight and no alarms going off for volunteering. We went to, yes obviously Basilica, our favourite cafe for a long breakfast before heading into Cusco to explore. Juliet and I had made up our minds that this weekend would be sunny and so our weekend plans are arranged around beautiful weather. We even decided this morning that despite the grey clouds in the sky and the not very bright day, not shining through the window, that we were not going to wear trousers as usual, and headed into the city, me in a dress and Juliet in shorts. It was horrible weather.
We were optimistic when we started our walk to the plaza as it wasn’t too cold, in fact we were a perfect temperature. We’d spent such a long time relaxing in the cafe, and walking slowly, chatting away that by the time we were at the plaza it was mid day. We happened to pass “Jack’s Cafe”, a restaurant and bar highly rated in the lonely planet, with all day breakfast, fresh juices and yummy food, that always has a queue out of the door and down the street. We’d been wanting to try it and so joined the queue and a short fifteen minutes later we were seated at a back table with our food in front of us. Lonely planet were not wrong, the food was delicious. It’s obvious, however, that everyone in the restaurant had read the same as us, as there was not one local in the cafe. I think only one table was actually speaking Spanish, the rest English and all of the waiters spoke English as well – a real tourist location.
While we’d been inside eating, for the first time since we’ve been here, the heavens in Cusco decided to open and absolutely pour with rain, filling the cobbled streets with puddles, making them ridiculously slippery. As Juliet and I left Jack’s the rain had stopped – perfect timing, and we carried on our journey to San Blas. Everyone we’ve met has raved about San Blas, a small quaint plaza, close to the plaza de armas and although we both decided it would be infinitely better in nice weather, the open markets and huge water fountain feature with the mountains behind, were very pretty.
(We also enjoyed the different market stalls with handmade items… Especially Juliet and the hats!)
Although San Blas was lovely, it was very small and it didn’t take us long to browse the market stalls and enjoy our surroundings. On the way back down to the plaza we decided to stop in some of the funny looking shops that we always avoid, full of weird and wonderful things.
Juliet finally found the alpaca blanket she’s been searching for since we arrived in South America (hurray!!!) and we both soon found ourselves snuggled up in Starbucks with a chocolate chip cookie and The Book Thief (we’re both reading it hehe). People were rushing into Starbucks with hats and scarfs and Juliet and I were sitting their reading in our summer wear.. We’re stubborn and will be wearing summer clothes until the sun comes out again!!!
Eventually it was time to head back. The traffic in Cusco, well all of Peru, is absolutely insane and crazy. There’s usually two or three lanes on the roads, but no lanes if that makes sense… No markings, so the cars cut each other off and abruptly stop and over take and BEEEEEP the whole time. Combine that with the fact that every taxi beeps a million times and pulls up next to Juliet and I as we walk down the street because they see tourist and assume taxi, so these taxis are cutting off other cars while they beep at us and the other cars beep at them. THEN there’s the busses, that also beep at every opportunity, every person they think might want a bus and every bus stop, AND they have their bus conductors hanging out, shouting all the places that they stop while people on the street are rushing to jump on. The busses also cut every single person off, while beeping and causing more beeping. So as you can imagine, we don’t have peaceful walks to and from the main city, in fact their havoc and I reckon if we counted how many times we’re beeped at in one walk, it would be over a hundred.
Anyways, we’ve found ourselves back in Basilica, with our usual… A vegetable sandwich, to share, on two plates, no mustard, hot, POR FAVOR. We don’t even need to order now when we come in here… Every single waiter knows our usual, based on the time of day – how embarrassing.