Photo Reflections on the end of Cusco, Peru

I spent a lot of time based in Cusco waiting for my bones to heal.

I met a lot of good people there. Sadly many bad ones too. Looking back it is unfortunate how the negative experiences still overshadow all the good times that were had in Cusco, and in Peru in general. Here is some of the good, some of the interesting, some of the randomness and a touch of the bad. Basically photos and mini-stories I like that haven’t really fit in any other posts about Peru.

 

My amigo Chester after picking up his circus ring, looks over the valley of Cusco. Chester set me up with his mechanic, who would later fix Jugs.

 

This isn’t London, don’t park too close to the curb.

 

Sheep-in-a-bag (TM): Not that uncommon a sight, near Lamay, just outside of Cusco. The sheep then travels on top of the combi-van or bus.

 

 

Randomly ended up at Ollytantambo ruins one day with some other hostel-ites. We simply walked in the exit, saving 70 soles (25$), adding another “free” ruin to the list.

 

Very often I encountered ridiculously overloaded trucks driving around Peru (and elsewhere). This one had just blown out BOTH left rear tires. I’m sure his bottle jack was up for the task though.

 

Out on our adventure walk in the beautiful sacred valley, Oli and Jayne navigate over “difficult” waters.

 

As close as either of us cared to go to Machu Picchu in the end. Still got the same photo as everyone else anyways.

 

Tania, my Peruvian mother holds little Madi for a nap.

 

…she doesn’t nap long though. From crying at the sight of me to yelling “Tio Jesus!” (uncle Jesus) when I walked through the door. Only took a couple months!

 

Family kids with sparklers on Christmas. “Uno mas! uno mas!” (one more, one more!)

 

Wilson. The best Tattoo artist, perhaps Artist period, I met in my travels. He was tasked with painting the Bar to look like Machu Picchu was getting attacked by Transformers and laser-shooting Dinosaurs. Amazing Guy. Terrible introduction.
I met Wilson my second day at Loki, New years. We were new roommates and I woke to him weeping in his bed across the room. Wilson had been on his way home from all the new years festivities when he was robbed by a group of men. When they found he had nothing of value to steal, they stole his clothes, stripping him naked. The men then tied him to a post and whipped him with their belts over and over and over while taunting him. Wilson was eventually found and brought back to the hostel by police, who initially had arrested him.
His entire back and legs were covered in whip marks and looked atrocious.
I gave him pain medication. We became friends.
My opinion of Cusco dropped further.

 

Work at the Loki Hostel bar can take it’s toll on tiggers. Henry, uh I mean “Tigger” was well suited as events manager.

 

Ward (Bar manager) and Colin (fellow cripple). Ward was a great shoulder for me when I found out my Nan had passed away. Colin, a fellow cripple who had broken his foot in a terrible balloon popping incident, understood what it was like getting stuck.

 

Luis has a powerful compulsion to lick off fellow barman Colin’s cast…

 

… oh I see. Always good banter with Loki Crew.

 

Met up with fellow rider Eric Bates who stopped by Loki. He may or may not remember the encounter as I was serving him that night.

 

Phillipe looks on beside Jugs before my desperate run for the Bolivian border.

 

A great scenic detour en route from Cusco to Puno: take the loop to Lampa!

 

Officer Jenny was very kind and insisted on taking photos with the giant “Cuy” (Guinea pig)…

 

…and with the other local fake fauna too.

 

Buying insurance before my border run paid off huge, as these Officers insisted on checking it (albeit in a friendly manner) on my way back in to Cusco after my 1100km two-day round trip.

 

…and a dash of 2 metallic clavicles.

 

Jessica and Lauren model the Loki “blood bomb”. Red bull, Vodka, a dash of Grenadine and a full glass of hangover.

 

Alan (Loki Manager) starts the Olympics strong. (Don’t worry mom, we put out safety mattresses.)

 

IOC, look into dodge ball. Guaranteed fan favorite.

 

Limbo would settle the score. I would fall on the floor.

 

Debauchery earns medals. (medals not included)

 

Meet Shane…

 

Shane was a special character. An amazingly friendly Irishman, daily drunk to the point I thought he may have withdrawal seizures each morning. Here he is trying to convince our taxi driver to let him take the cab for a “spin around the block”. In return the cabbie would get 100 soles (40$). Given that our fare was only 3 soles, the cabbie was very tempted…

 

While Shane carried on with the Cabbie (who eventually decided he liked his cab in one piece and drove off) I was able to reunite once more with the Two Moto Kiwis! Great to meet old friends in new places!

 

 

Feel the love. When time came to finally get out of Cusco, the people I’d become close to made it that little bit hard. I woke to find a shirt from Henry making sure I woke him before I rode away.

 

Loaded and ready for the road. Rob was among the friends always around for me to vent my frustrations during my downwards spiral at the end of Cusco. Thanks bud.

 

I didn’t take a lot of photos during my Cusco stay. There are so many others to thank for their part in making my lengthy frustrating stay in Cusco bearable. Thanks to all of you.

 

Fake money, two stolen phones, two crashes, two broken bones, one useless surgeon, one badly beaten friend, lost both pairs of my undies, corrupt police and three months of waiting later… I was about done with Peru when I left. Looking back, perhaps not fully justified.

 

Onwards to Bolivia…