After Machu Picchu we spent 2 days in Cusco recovering and getting ready to head to the sun and warmth of Colombia. It was nice to spin the clothes in my bag and bring the shorts and pinnies that had been so neglected for the last 4 months to the top of my bag.
As a treat to ourselves after Machu Picchu, Becca and I treated ourselves to some massages, now in Cusco getting a massage is a bit different and 10 times sketchier than in Canada. To start you head to a busy tourist area, and just wonder. At some point a women will yell at you “MASSAGES” and then various prices or hold a laminated piece of paper in your face to show their services. So Becca and I went to a spot we knew there would be some masseuses and we had barely crossed the street before we had several offers. We settled for 20 soles which is about 8 dollars Canadian for an hour long full body massage. The next part is strange because then they lead you down several streets into the back of a craft market, up some stairs and into a sparsely decorated room with 5 massage areas, and some curtains as dividers. I’ll give it to them, the massage was pretty good!
That night we met up with everyone in our Salkantay group that was still in Cusco for a couple beers and a pisco sour in one of the strangest bars we’ve been to. What made it strange was the woman dressed as a clown trying to coax you into her bar…eventually in Cusco you get used to all the propositions for massages, art work, drugs, and restaurants. We got very good at saying “No, gracias.”
The next day we flew to Colombia but not until 2 so the morning was spent exploring some new craft markets that had gone up outside of the San Pedro Market. We also got some tasty crepes at the coffee museum, so Becca could get a “real” coffee as well.
The flight to Bogotá was awesome, we got a full meal as well as a free beverage (alcoholic ones too!). Though the airport in Cusco is literally smack in the middle of the city so taking off about 50m from peoples homes is pretty stressful and then there are mountains all the way round the city, so elevation is key upon takeoff and the pilots took that seriously.
Little did we know our introduction to Colombia and Barranquilla was going to be a bit nerve wracking and sketchy.