Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a strange place.  As the old capital of the Inca Empire and the jumping off point for Machu Picchu, it is a major tourist city.  It has a very nice main square in the Plaza de Armes which, unusually for most of South America has lots of flowers in it.  The architecture has old Inca bases to the buildings with Spanish structures on top.  The city looks good and despite the hills it is a nice place to walk around.

But the fact that it caters for so many tourists means that many of the bars and restaurants are English or north American in style, with English menus and waiters speaking in English as a matter of course.  This feels a bit strange and somehow wrong. You feel bad about speaking in English, but it seems wrong to speak in less than perfect Spanish when they aren't using it themselves.
Cusco, Peru

That said,  during our time in Cusco we did avail ourselves of some of these places, with a roast dinner in The Real McCoy, american breakfasts in Jacks, and drinks in Paddy's bar, the highest 100% owned Irish bar in the world.  We tried some of the more local places too, but much as these gave a more authentic experience and were fine, the taste of home was really quite tempting by this stage, three months in to the trip.  We did stick to the local beers and wines though.

Pigs might fly in Cusco, Peru

Walking around we were constantly offered massages by those knowing that most people in Cusco either are about to or just have been trekking to some degree of other.  And of course there were plenty of souvenir shops, although some had much better quality stuff in them as well as the normal alpaca woollens and carvings of Pachamama.

But overall Cusco was a nice relaxing place to spend a few spare days especially either side of a trek.

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