Leaving Cusco, Peru

1st September 2019

Last night, I said farewell to the people I had come to know at The Point Hostel over the last week.

It’s a crazy place that throws the best parties: the spinning wheel determines the dares carried out by the wild travellers. One minute someone is giving a lap dance, the next they’re dancing on the bar and moments later everyone is swapping clothes. There’s a pool table and beer pong and the palpable atmosphere of Living Fast.

Given that I was moving on the next day, I was sure to let loose and get adequately drunk on a concoction of free shots, Pisco cocktails and Cusqueña beer. By 2 in the morning, everyone was ready to go clubbing, as I ran off to buy a falafel wrap, hyper-keen to sober up.

I tried to stumble back to find them afterwards at our usual hot-spots — Changos and Mama Africa — but with no luck. So, rather sensibly, I went back to the hostel and to bed. My apologies to the poor people who had to listen to me snore.

I checked out in the morning, footing a huge bill from my running tab, then said goodbye to Quentin and Verity, with whom I had come close during my time there. I pulled my home onto my shoulders and climbed onto the combi bus that was packed with locals doing their daily commute to the Sacred Valley, Pisac.

Lots of things were going on in my body: my eyes felt shrunken and tired, my temples were pulsating and my throat was sore from strings of cigarettes. And yet, in that van I felt ecstatic, listening to music and watching the Andean mountains drag past my window.

In that van, as I moved onto my next destination, I felt the utter freedom and trust in myself that I had only ever dreamed of.

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