It was meant to be eight hours on the bus from Cuzco to Quillabamba - it wasn't. After nightfall, with our packs on our backs, the last 2km into Quillabamba were both worrying and elating. Elating because we had walked though many roadblocks, paid over the odds for a minibus to run the roadblocks and protesters and worryng because the hillside was on fire.
If you didn't know, and there is no reason you should, there are protests going on in Peru right now. It has somethng to do with the price of Coca leaves. The problem for us is that we have been stuck right at the centre of the protests, with no money. Access to the banks has been blocked off all day, though now that it is evening, everyone was more interested in the main rally and free music in the main square than the banks.
I watched the police escort somebody into one of the banks. Right after he came out, I ran to the cash machine and shouted with joy as my numbers came up and it gave me money. At least tomorrow we have a fighting chance to get out of here.
On that front, we have axed our plan to go to the ruins of Vilcabamba (Ian, we shall do this in a couple of years). The protests could go on for another week and we dont want to take the chance. We will either follow the road to Santa Teresa and the go over the mountain to Machu Pichu or follow the train tracks to Santa Teresa.
Either way, we are walking out of here.
NOTE FOR OUR PARENTS : We are fine. There is no danger. We have food and are only a maximum of two days from Machu Picchu and then Cuzco. When we get there, we will spend a rather long time in the Irish Pub we found.