Ahh, a free day. Unfortunately, JJ wasn’t feeling well, so the rest of us trekked back to the San Pedro market, tried to get photos at the train station across the street (photos are prohibited so that didn’t happen), and went back to the market to pick up various food for lunch back at the hotel. JJ was better when we returned, so we ate in their outdoor courtyard. The plan was to visit several museums including the Inka and Casa Cancha (Machu Picchu) museums, have roasted chicken (a specialty) for dinner, and watch the native Peruvian dances in the evening.
Due to proximity the Inca Museum was first and turned out to be disappointing. No photography and not well maintained. The better museum would likely have been Casa Cancha, but when we got there we discovered the cost was twice the previous museum and again, no photography. It came highly recommended, but we were starting to deplete our funds and couldn’t justify it. I believe we would have all preferred to have gone to that one over the Inka Museum though, since it holds the most artifacts from Machu Picchu and could have bookended that visit nicely.
Instead, we walked to the ChocoMuseum, which turned out to be a lofty name for a store with a few plaques explaining the chocolate process. For how many street vendors and dogs chased me along the way, I would argue this is not worth the time and harassment. From there we really just meandered the streets until it was late enough for dinner at PolloAbrosa, the recommended roasted chicken restaurant.
The sun was setting at this time, and I started shivering. Regardless of the baby alpaca sweater, I was chilled to the bone. I had also quite stupidly worn shorts (it was a nice day when the sun was up…), so while standing in line we purchased some large scarves from street vendors. I am glad for that because the building was not heated. After standing in the cold dark line on the sidewalk, we sat in a chilly auditorium for an hour watching sometimes creepy dances (they wore masks that spooked me out) and mostly colorful traditional outfits. The performances were heavily influenced by the Spaniards, but we did see a few more traditional numbers. Stopping for some baked goods afterwards, we quickly made our way back to the hotel to pack for our flight into the jungle.