The day started early (4:30am), getting ready in a rush. Excitement is in the air! Today, we gonna start our hike to an inka site which is only reachable by foot, called Choquequirao. A bigger site than Machu Picchu, with really few tourists (only reachable by foot you know 😉 ), there is something to be excited about! So…
Getting to the bus terminal – Pfff! – was a piece of cake with the right taxi-app (easy taxi) then, entering the main hall, something seemed strange. Not even one ticket booth was open, even if 10 buses leave at 6am. We went to the information desk and UNDERSTOOD (thanks to our 4 weeks Spanish boot camp) that there is a “Paro regional” (regional strike) today AND tomorrow – no buses in or out of Cusco. Anyhow, we want to go! So we got a taxi (faster and more navigable than a bus) to sneak out of town. Driver’s comment: “Si vamos! Con un poco propina .. vamos”. Of course! With a little “propina” / tip. Bribe is on our way! Still hoping to make it fast and in one piece to start the trek as soon as possible.
But not a minute, we were considering HOW important this “paro” is for the people here! http://rpp.pe/peru/cusco/cusco-acata-paro-regional-por-aeropuerto-de-chinchero-noticia-1063722
The whole thing is about a promised airport project in the region, which would bring tons of building jobs and afterwards, tons of tourist, so a lot of money to the region. I can understand those guys being upset about a big promise which was not held. For us, it is just a hassle and maybe one, two days delay in our plan but for them, it’s about existence!
… so even with “propina”, we did not pass the striking lines and we had to back off at a burning blockade. The rocks on the streets and the cars with flat tires were really convincing.
So, for now and until the end of the strike, we “keep calm and enjoy Peru” 🙂