I FELT A LITTLE DOWN WITHOUT MY MEXICAN AMIGOS. I wonder if solo travellers feel somewhat uneasy on Valentine’s Day, especially if there is no one there to talk to. I hovered at the hostel’s breakfast area longer than usual, hoping to make friends with someone. I ended up practising broken Spanish with Christian the hostel staff instead.
Determined to make this day memorable, I held the “Boleto turistico” in hand and started planning my visits to all the museums in Cusco. The Qarikancha, temple of the Sun museum was uninteresting, although its outer compounds are beautiful. Some of the museums were closed on Sunday. Some of them I could not find an entrance to it.
I’ve always had a secret love for markets. It is where things are happening everyday, maybe it will turn my day for the better. San Pedro Market turns out to be a large chaotic selling place. After visiting the small friendly San Blas market, and the well-organised Arequipa market; San Pedro seemed too dirty and filled with touts. The food looks fresh and interesting though. I bought 3 grenadinas in memory of my Mexican companions and walked out.
DISAPPOINTED AND AGITATED, I WAS REPEATEDLY EITHER SPRAYED WITH FOAM OR GOT HIT BY WATER BALLOONS. I am not sure if it is because of Valentine’s Day, or there was some sort of fiesta, the city was filled with people pranking each other. Now wet and slippery, I had to go back to the hostel so that I could get changed. And possibly avoid all pranks by wearing a raincoat.
On a side note, I was stopped twice today by locals that remembered me from the dance club Mythology. I was either very good or very bad at dancing. Anyways, they were very enthusiastic and hoped that I would come to the club tonight. Apparently they were having a big one, oh ya, because it is Valentine’s Day. I was thinking of going to another bar, but maybe I should consider Mythology. That would be a problem for later today.
WET AND FOAMY, I went back to my room. Since I am leaving early tomorrow, I’ve decided to pay my room when… Ay Caramba! I can’t find my Mastercard. I panicked. I have been depending solely on it throughout my trip. Since I can’t withdraw money with my ATM card, and most places do not accept American Express; I paid mostly via Mastercard, or at the last resort, withdrew cash from the same card. If I lose it, I am left with only S/500 soles.
The last time I remember seeing it was my night out at Mythology. Not wanting to bring my wallet, I shoved my credit card along with a few bills into my pocket. I drank but wasn’t that drunk. Maybe I misplaced it. Maybe I sent it out with my laundry. Maybe someone stole it.
I checked online and the only transactions were those done by me. Phew~ But the card is still missing.
I REALIZED THAT THE REMAINING DAYS ARE GOING TO BE CHALLENGING. I had thoughts of going to either the Amazon or Ayacucho. These plans may not work because I am worried that they won’t accept my American Express card there. After some gruesome planning. I set my future itinerary to stone, reserved all the hotels (those that would accept my card), booked and paid transportation/entrance tickets before I cut my Mastercard into half.
After everything is done, it was already late in the evening. No Mythology dance club for me tonight. I am not even in the mood for dinner. As a result, I went to a market and brought back a large bottle of Cusquena beer.
Alone, broke and confused. This may be the BEST Valentine’s Day ever!
The local Artisans’ Market
The majestic church
Lots to see, smell, taste and buy at the market
Ladies getting ready for the festival