Parts 3, 4, 5, 6

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Part 3 – Cusco

Again I was worried about going to Cusco thinking I would be just another foreigner or tourist there, hence losing my individuality. I was mistaken again, Cusco is a huge city and the foreigners who go there stay only in a few areas.
Something I was sure of, was that Cusco wasn't a place to spend a few days at. There were too many things to do and to see. Even a few weeks would probably not be enough, but they could be a good start.
I obviously can't afford to stay in a hotel for a few weeks, neither do I want to stay with Couchsurfers and having to socialize every day and do stuff together, so the way we approached the housing situation, was the same way we had approached it in the past. We got a hotel room for the night, left our belongings and started walking around the city looking for signs posted on the walls saying they rent a room. That technique had never failed us before, so it should work even better in Peru because we were able to speak their language.


The check-out time from the hotel was 12 PM, so we left the room at 7 AM with the hopes of coming back before noon after we had found a room to rent, to pick up our stuff and move into our new place.

The hotel was already in a residential area which was where the bus from Puno had dropped us off. We checked our GPS and started walking away from the city center which is where cheap rooms usually are.

By 9 am we had found about six signs saying they had rooms for us. By ten am, our list was reduced to two, one of them was small but furnished, at a ran down family-house with access to the kitchen, the only downside was that you had to go through their living room and interact with the family every time you needed to get in or out of the house.


The second one was a fourth floor empty room at a hotel a few hours away from downtown Cusco, there was nothing on it, not even a bed, instead of walls there were windows, without curtains, making it incredibly bright during the day and brighter than it should be during the night because of the street lights. The good thing about this one was that it had its own independent entrance so we wouldn't need to wake everyone up when leaving the room early in the morning.
Both rooms were priced equally, at about a hundred dollars a month, that was something I was comfortable paying, as it was the same I was paying in China for the last few years before coming down to South America. They both accepted dogs and had no problem in renting me a room for just two weeks to start with.

We chose the room in the hotel because of the independence it offered and because it had wifi, which the other one didn't. By eleven thirty we were back in time to get our bag and check out from the place we'd stayed the night before.
After that, we took a few days to relax and went to explore the sacred valley around Cusco by ourselves. With its many valleys and grasslands, it was probably the nicest thing we've seen during our time in Peru. When that was done with, we took a few more days off to relax and went off to Machu Pichu.

Part 4 – Machu Pichu

Machu Pichu is a tourist trap, that much is clear. And I'm not really a tourist, that much is also clear. I wouldn't go to see stuff like the Eiffel Tower or The Great Wall.

Did I want to see Machu Pichu? Maybe, but I wasn't crazy about it, like some foreigners, who dream their whole life of coming to Peru just to visit Machu Pichu. For me it was more like a dilemma, it could be nice to see it but I definitely don't want to feel like a tourist.

That leads me to the next question: Could I afford to visit Machu Pichu? No, not really.

If I factor in accommodation, transportation, and entrance fees, Machu Pichu could have cost at least two or three hundred dollars. To be honest, my budget is about a hundred dollars a week for everything, that's something I, realistically speaking, feel comfortable spending. Some people spend more, some spend less, I don't consider myself a frugal traveler or anything like that. I eat well, sleep comfortably and take good care of my dog, and that's how much money it takes to do it. I'm saying that to explain the point that spending the budget of a few weeks in just one day was not really an option.

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