Saturday 6 May

School Prize-Giving

After the exertions of the previous days, we feel that we deserve a lie-in. For breakfast, we make our way to the “La Yunta” café next to the cathedral on the central square, where we have an excellent and leisurely continental breakfast. There are a few adminstrative matters to attend to before leaving Cusco, and so while James and Jay spend some time in the town centre, John and I proceed down the hill to the station, to arrange train tickets for Puno. It is with some difficulty that we locate the station. There seems to be a singular reluctance to advertise its presence—we stand on the pavement for some time, feeling sure that we are in the place marked on the map, but unable to see anything that might betray the presence of trains, or indeed a railway line. It is not until we venture through a small metal gate set into a tall plain wall that we confirm that we were indeed standing directly outside the main entrance of the station.

Plaza de Armas

After we have reconvened and eaten lunch, we take a rather disappointing tour of Cusco’s museums and churches. Our visit to the market is much more rewarding. This is a proper Peruvian market where the locals do their shopping, rather than a set piece for tourists, and the prices, as well as the atmosphere, are quite different to the city centre. John and James are both successful in bargaining. I have decided to leave my souveneer shopping until we return to Lima, but after Jay returns later that evening from a successful expedition to an art shop near to our hotel with two lovely watercolours of Peruvian street scenes, I know my resolve will not hold for much longer.