Supporting The Local Economy

Since we had taken a Cusco city tour 3 years ago, I opted to use my day here to rest, get caught up on the blog, and do a little wandering around the town on my own.

The cathedral and the main town square on which it is located were as lovely as I remembered. One task I needed to take care of was to ship a few treasures home. With my backpack loaded and map in hand, I trudged down El Sol street where I had been told I’d find both DHL and the Correro (Post Office.) En route, I stopped at a small grocery store and got a suitable box for my shipment. DHL wanted 750 Sols($278) to deliver my 5kg package in 3 days. The Correro price was 182 Sols($67) with a 3-4 week delivery time. Guess which one Cathy Davies chose!

With my critical mission accomplished, it was time to wander and reminisce about our wonderful visit to Cusco 3 years ago. While walking to a jeweler that supposedly would re-size the ring I bought in Bolivia, I saw The Libertador, our previous hotel, and the Inka House, where Larry and I celebrated our Anniversary that year listening to the beautifully eerie pan pipe music while eating pizza.

After 3 minutes and $3.50, my ring fit beautifully. Wouldn’t you know it, ½ hour after dropping off my shipment home, a tiny leather shop beckoned me in the door. There I found a small turquoise suede handbag with red and tan trim and an embossed llama. After 24 years of sales carrying a black purse, I decided that I will try something out of my comfort zone – that is, my OLD comfort zone.

A faded sign for Manicure, Pedicure, Massage, Reiki, and at least 5 other options, prompted me to think that a relaxing manicure would be a perfect end to my personal day and beginning of our group evening. Gloria greeted me at the top of the moss covered stone steps. Her manicure station was a dimly lit table in the hallway outside of the massage room. No certificates indicating training or licensing decorated these walls. No autoclave or other form of sanitation for her manicure instruments was evident. Sometimes you just decide to take a risk. Her work was that of an artist. While Gloria painted lamas and little Peruvian ladies on my nails, her beautiful 3 year old daughter with black pigtails watched patiently.


Tonight was one of our weekly “Group Dinners.” From the buffet at Tunupa, I enjoyed sushi, alpaca, tongue, as well as more traditional fare. The music and dancing that followed was excellent, just as Tunupa had been 3 years ago. Another trip down memory lane.

18-Feb Cusco Rest Day

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One Response to “Supporting The Local Economy”

  1. Dale and Cindy Leppo says:

    Cathy, We also stayed in the Libertador in Cusco when we rode through in 2007, and it is a lovely hotel, city and square. I bought a copy of “The Motorcyle Diaries” in a book store on the square. I remember Juliaca as well because kids there threw rocks at our group….the only time we had anything negative happen in 3000 miles of riding through South America. Thanks again for all of your wonderful posts, and I hope that Larry is mending quickly so that he can re-join the 1DE. Safe riding to all! Dale and Cindy

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