Days 008 - 011
10.10.2012 - 11.10.2012 25 °C
So we arrived in Abancay next morning after a night at the river and nice breakfast and Conny was already feeling quite bad, apparently the rice with French fries and 2 greasy fried eggs were not the best decision for lunch the day before while your stomach is still adapting to the altitude. Abancay is just a town on the intersection of two important roads, so there’s nothing really to do or see there. Also the region around of Abancay is one of the poorest in Peru, notable in the stunning deal of S/.3 (= 1€) for a complete lunch menu. We ended up staying two nights in hostals for Conny to recover before we headed on towards Cusco. The first 30 kms climbing up from Abancay (2.378m) to the first mountain pass (3.900m) were no problem since we already knew how to drive the Dodge in high altitude (just NEVER stop while you’re ascending – once the car is running keep going until it’s flat again) and we made a stop on the way to visit the “famous” stone of Saywite, a rock of 4 meters in diameter which has the plan of a Inca city engraved. The stone is not so spectacular after all, but it was free entry and we enjoyed the walk in the sun of high noon along houses of farmers, chickens, pigs, cows etc. After lunch we offered a ride to one of the farmers who was walking along the street back to his house about 5 kilometers downhill, supported by two crutches because he had hurt his leg a few days before. Still he went up in the morning to work in the fields and appeared decisive to walk back to his home all the way on his crutches!! But he was quite grateful for taking him with us; he thanked us about 20 times and sainted both Conny (“Que díos le bendiga, Mamacita”) and me (“Papi”) over and over again. Slowly we continued our way through the beautiful valley of Corahuasi and soon found a nice place to stay overnight on a small diversion of the main road. Unfortunately, on a walk close to the car before dark we discovered that we were not the only ones around and stumbled across a palm-sized spider sitting on the ground. We left it there in peace and just hoped it would return the favour during the night in the car.
Next day was quite uneventful and we were surprised that we arrived in Cusco already shortly after noon – it was not so far after all. We called our Couchsurfing-host Ysmael and luckily enough he was so flexible to accommodate us although we had planned our arrival for a few days later. He lives next to the historic city center of Cusco and generously offered us his bedroom, while he shared a mattress in the living room with his brother! We went together to the neighbourhood market to get copies of the keys and slept early, happy about having our own room and a big comfortable bed to spend the night.