South america, Travel diary

We almost did a trek!

Traveling long term, it’s great yes but sometimes things don’t go exactly as you planned, and that what happened to us a few days ago. Here was the plan, get to Chinchero where we already contacted someone to rent the camping equipment, and hike for 2 days to visit Choquequirao archeological site and then 2 days hike to come back. Well, we did get to Chinchero but that’s all.

We took the bus from Cuzco, but the stop is not inside Chinchero. It is on the main road at 18km of the village. We were hoping to get a cheap taxi, except that the driver said it was 50 soles… we argue that it was too expensive and start walking away.We didn’t get too far because it was too late to walk to the village and a thunderstorm was coming to us any minutes. We had no choice but to take the taxi.

When I say taxi, I mean an old car, the windows were not closing, headlight bearly lighting the road and not enough fuel to get to the destination. Anyway, we start driving but when we get to Chinchero, the driver said that it was too dangerous to do the last 4km to the camping. We were a bit hopeless so we asked him to drive us in a hostel close by. We hand up to La Casa Nostra Hostel. The room was more expensive than usual but we were happy to have a bed. We finish the evening eating what we had in our backpack, bread, and chocolate watching Harry Potter.

In the morning we realized that we didn’t have that much cash on us (especially after paying the taxi), we needed to pay the night by card and even with that we were a bit short. Of course, when everything is going wrong, no cash machine in the village and the wifi wasn’t working in the hostel and the card machine with it. So, not enough cash to do the trek.

At this point you realize that everything was against us, we didn’t feel starting a 4 days hike in this mindset. We have time to do another trek another time, we are getting back to Cuzco.

We tried to share a taxi with a German couple, but they were not really happy to do it and the driver didn’t want to take us because the taxi was ordered for 2 people and not 4 (even if there are 4 seats available in the car and that we want to go exactly to the same destination…). We asked the owner of the hostel how to get back but she was giving prices of common transport really high to get us to order a taxi (I’m sure she will have taken a commision on).

We were a bit depressed even if we realized that it wasn’t the end of our trip of course. But then, a local guy then arrived asking for us. It was the lady from the camping rental that was sending him to make sure if we were okay. We explained the situation to him. He was really nice and friendly with us. He told us that he will help us to get back to Cuzco a fair price but first, he invited us for a cup of tea in his house. Our luck was changing!

We had a really nice time with him and his parents. Their house couldn’t be simpler but they welcome us with tea, snack and must of all big smile. It completely changes our day, from a bad day to one that we will remember with a warm heart. They did help us to get back to Cuzco and we were sad to live them.

Moral of our story :
– always check that you have enough cash with unexpected costs
– even when everything is going bad, there are always nice people to help you