I’ve noticed that towels are considered a somewhat luxury item in Peru. You’ve got no chance of one being provided at a hostel and a hotel would probably have to be 3-star before you’d be guaranteed to receive a towel. Despite this it was still a surprise that someone had robbed mine sometime between yesterday morning and today. Why anyone would want a rancid travel towel is beyond me. While I try not to leave stuff lying around you can’t really lock a towel away if you want it to dry. The only towels that I could find for sale around central Cusco were swish travel towels in outdoorsy shops that cost around £20. There’s no way I’d spend that much on something that could easily be pilfered again. Plan B was to purchase a temporary towel-substitute and get a proper towel in the future. This towel substitute was a throw I found on the market that was both lightweight and at least as absorbent as a travel towel. Plus it only cost a fiver.
When looking into other things to do in Cusco I noticed that there’s a planetarium up in the hills that also has some decent telescopes to view whatever is out there in the sky. They even pick you from San Francisco Square. I signed up and a minibus collected a small group of us just before dark. The setting was great, with the planetarium in its own grounds and surrounded by trees in order to block out the light from the city below. It was a lovely family run business with a brother and sister running things and a dog and a cute child also on the premises. When we arrived we were given a bit of historical information about how the stars were significant to the Inca way of life back in the day. Then it was into the planetarium itself for some theories about what we could potentially see if it wasn’t so cloudy. At one point someone ran in from outside to quickly get us out as a gap in the cloud cover had emerged. Through the telescope I managed to see a close-up of the moon which was great and Saturn which didn’t look that impressive to me but something that the more initiated stargazers seemed excited about. After a bit longer in the planetarium it was back out to see a few more stars. In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best idea to attempt to look at stars in Cusco at this time of year. The weather was overcast for a pretty much the whole time I was there. We were probably quite lucky to have seen anything tonight. On a clear summer’s night it would be amazing though.