Saturday 7th January- After returning to Cusco by private car we headed back to the hotel to reclaim our huge suitcases from front reception and we checked back into another luxury suite at Casa Andina.
We then arranged for the hotel to book a taxi to take us to the other side of the town, our destination would be San Pedro Market, the “best market in the area”.
It was the place we hoped we would find a Wall Hanging as we were still disappointed that our bartering game had come to an abrupt halt that morning.
San Pedro was more like our Vic Market, full of cheap tourist stuff, we wandered all around in search of the high-end wall hanging we had came to find, checked a few local shops nearby just in case, and then we stopped for a freshly squeezed fruit juice, and then we flagged a taxi back to our hotel.
Luckily all went well with the taxi …. (it had never been our intention to get into a random taxi, i was comfortable with the hotel booking a cab for us to get us to the market, but i hadn’t thought about getting back again).
We had told that transfers between the airport and hotel was safer option, and that taxis weren’t overly safe, but we had found ourselves, on the other side of the city, with no other way of getting back. I was nervous about doing it, but it was still daylight and crowds were still around, so we took the plunge, and were delivered back to the front door of our hotel.
We then went to talk to the concierge about where we could find a good quality wall rug, but i wasn’t sure the guy really understood what we were looking for, as we set off on foot, with map in hand and his vague instructions.
By this time, the altitude kicked in again, as we were back in Cusco, and had returned to 3400m above sea level, and michael started to develop symptoms of altitude sickness as we went along, still in vain searching for that illusive wall hanging.
By then i was starting to tire too, and as we continued to wander on foot, i had a feeling of history repeating, as we wandered aimlessly, down streets and alleyways, as the sun started dropping in the sky with the realisation that we were lost and not on the street we thought we were on….. and then we started bickering with each other as i wanted to turn back and michael wanted to continue down the same path.
With doubts that we were wandering to somewhere where the rugs wouldn’t be anyway, i started to stand firm and said that i wanted to head towards the main square where i felt safer. This didn’t go down very well, and the bickering turned to terse words from both of us.
But then Michael agreed that he had more chance of finding the high-end item in the high-end part of town (in the centre of town) so we turned back and found our bearings and we then made our way to the town square.
Thankfully we found two stores that had stunning hand-woven wall hanging, so our choice to turn around was the correct one. Unfortunately however, these were made by the original artist ( not the mother of some random shop keeper) so they carried huge price tag. As much as we loved them, paying over $800 for a small tapestry to sit on a wall was just too much.
So on our last night in Peru we returned to our hotel without the prize.
We then had the standard chicken noodle “light meal” as we both felt spent after all that exercise in the high altitude, and then we rested in our room as the headaches returned. Michael’s asthma returned and his sinus started playing up, so i drugged hubby again, and called it an early night.
In the morning we would be heading to our next destination…. mexico.