Altitude training 

We had 3 days in Cusco to acclimatise and get ready for Machu Picchu. Cusco is at 3,400m above sea level.Our first day was a complete write off as we had such a long journey to Cusco. It started with a 11.5 hour bus from Valdivia to Santiago, followed by a 12 hour wait in Santiago airport, then our 3 hour flight to Lima, followed by an additional 5 hour wait in Lima airport, then finally a 1 hour flight to Cusco. We arrived in Cusco at 5.30am where our host Fernando picked us up. We stayed at the Illariy guest house which was $47 soles a night (with, and $40 soles without). We were fortunate enough that our room was ready so we could have a sleep straight away. We slept until 11.30am then showered and found something close for lunch. We went to Don Thiago where we had a 3 course lunch for $7 soles each. We then went to a dairy and got some snacks for the rest of the day.

The second day we caught a bus into Cusco city (which cost $0.70 soles each), to go to the information centre and all around the town. We opted for KFC for lunch as it seemed the safest option at the time. We had a look at a few travel agencies for tour to the rainbow mountain and potentially an amazon tour, but needed to think it over more. Cusco town centre was lovely but quite touristy. We went to a local place for dinner, Anticuchos La Gordita, where we tried pollo, corazón and intestines kebabs (not knowing what intestines in Spanish was at the time…we tried to convince ourselves it was calamari). It was served with boiled potatoes. It cost $21 soles, which we shared.

Our third day we went to the local shopping mall and tried Bembos (Peruvian fast food chain) for lunch (Max had a huachana burger meal and I had a Francesca burger meal, which cost around $38.60 soles). I felt a bit queasy so took it easy. We did some laundry ($15 soles for 4kg) and chilled the rest of the day, getting ready for Machu Picchu the next day. 


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