This morning we arrived in Cusco about noon, after a quick flight from Lima. Our driver picked us up from the airport and took us to the hotel. We were already loving this place after leaving the parking lot.
It’s a VERY hilly city, of about 11,000 ft above sea level. We were warned. The buildings, scattered up into the hills, are a sandy orange color. The streets are old and cobblestone. Traffic is quite funny, with the “push through and honk” mentality, although not that intense. The architecture is a strange combo as well, with some Spanish, maybe Bavarian (in the main square), and then the wood carvings in the cathedral reminded us of Balinese work; extremely and impressively detailed. The main plaza square was WAY more impressive then what we’d seen last in Mexico, with very tidy flour beds, benches to sit on, a nice central fountain, and of course the view around the plaza, with the cathedral and other neat buildings. And I LOVE the kids here, they are all adorable, carried in mom’s colourful swaddle-wrapped hammock carriers. I snuck a picture of one little guy, staring at our ice cream.
We wandered the streets, ate some ceviche (VERY different from in Mexico) at a restaurant in the Plaza de Armas with a gorgeous view of the cathedral and square. We also tried the local beer Cusqueno which was possibly a bad idea, since our bodies are a bit dehydrated from flying, and we’re trying to adjust to this crazy altitude. I had a massive headache and was dizzy. After some snacks (ice cream, candied peanuts, and raisins) we jaunted back to the hotel for a siesta in our lovely king size bed with soft sheets and lush pillows. A few notches up from last night, we’re at the Terra Andina Hotel, and I expect we’ll be here again on the way back from Machu Picchu. Although I’m not sure the heater in the room works. Its a touch nippy in here, and the outlet is fried. Hmmm.
Tomorrow, we catch a taxi at 0545 to head to Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aquas Calientes). There’s no sleeping in on this trip apparently.