Success (kind of)! Managed to make it to Cusco and get last minute entry and transport tickets to Machu Picchu. On wednesday, we got a scenic train from Puno to Cusco, which included meals and drinks. They had traditional music performers and dancers on board as part of the entertainment, which was really interesting. They also had a bar tending class on making a Pisco Sour (Peruvian cocktail), so now I’m an expert!
Once in Cusco we checked out the San Pedro Markets, which sell anything and everything you could think of. The only Machu Picchu train tickets we could get were for Friday (my birthday!) leaving early morning and returning late night. We were picked up from the hostel at 2.45am and made it to Machu Picchu at around 8am. Unfortunately it poured rain the whole morning, and the view of the site was obscured by heavy cloud and fog. Luckily the weather cleared up later on long enough to get a few photos in. Not a bad way to spend my 24th birthday! Only downside is that our train back from Machu Picchu didn´t leave until 9pm, so we were stuck in Aguas Caliente the whole day.
Because of the long day at Machu Picchu on Friday, I decided to celebrate my birthday on Thursday night instead. Met up with Shellie again, who knew a local restauranteur who cooked an amazing Peruvian dinner for us all, complete with pisco sours all round!
We finished our Peruvin leg of the trip in the city of Lima. It is a truly beautiful colonial city with amazing architecture, history and food. We arrived in Lima with a mission to eat as much ceviche as humanely posible, and I think we succeeded! It helped that Carol and Giovanni knew a local Lima girl who showed us around the best places of the city. Really enjoyed Peru, more than Bolivia, and am looking forward to what Ecuador has to offer.
PS: We tried alpaca and guinea pig in Bolivia, which were actually quite good! Apparently Ecuador eats a lot of guinea pig too…