Monday, September 12, 2011

Peru - Cusco - Day 2

On my recent trip to Peru, we did a lot of traveling.  While I only had 2 main places that I wanted to visit (Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca), we still had to travel somewhere new every day and stay in a different hostel almost every night.

Our itinerary:

Day 1
Fly into Lima. Spend the night in Lima.

Day 2
Fly to Cusco. Spend the night in Cusco.

Day 3.
Train to Aguas Calientes. Spend the night in Aguas Calientes.

Day 4
Bus to Machu Picchu. See Machu Picchu. Bus to Aguas Calientes. Train to Cusco. Spend the night in Cusco.

Day 5
Bus tour to Puno. Spend the night in Puno.

Day 6
Half day tour of Lake Titicaca. Traumatizing bus ride to Cusco. Spend the night in Cusco.

Day 7
Free day in Cusco. Spend the night in Cusco.

Day 8
Fly to Lima. Overnight flight to USA.

--------Itinerary malfunction----Hurricane Irene cancels flight to home to Boston-----

Day 9 
Flight arrives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  The second leg of our journey, a flight to Boston, is cancelled. Rent car and drive 4 hours to fiancee's Mom's house.

Day 9-14
Stay with fianc√©'s Mom while awaiting earliest flight home to Boston.  (I can't work, as I didn't have my stamping supplies, so I research wedding crap the whole time and answer any messages I get from customers.)

Day 14
FINALLY - Arrive home in Boston!


Let the journey begin!

As Lima was scary* and we only stayed there for 9 hours to sleep before flying to Cusco, I will skip Lima and start sharing our trip from when we left Lima and flew to Cusco on Day 2.

*We arrived in Lima at night and someone from our hostel met us at the airport and drove us to the hostel.  Just from the car ride, I am going to say I don't like Lima.  While my feelings probably aren't justified, the little bit of the city I saw wasn't pretty and the traffic/driving was scary.


After checking into our hostel, we went out to explore the nearby Plaza de Armas in Cusco.  It was a Sunday afternoon and some kind of children's dance competition was going on as walked up.  

Please note: I am so not a videographer.

Each group performing had their own unique outfits and danced to traditional "Peruvian flute band" music. :)

We had lunch at Cafe Bagdad, which had a nice balcony overlooking the festivities below.

Coca tea: coca leaves stuffed in a cup of hot water.  This tea is supposed to help with altitude sickness, so I drank it at most meals.  It tasted ok, but I don't know how much it helped me as I still had constant headaches the first few days in Peru.

 Enjoying the lovely view in Cusco.

 Plaza de Armas church.

All over Peru we saw mountains decorated like behind me.  At first I thought it was created with rocks, but I've read elsewhere it was "carved" into the mountain.  Either way, it's pretty neat.

 Peruvian currency: Nuevos soles.

 Call me immature, but this picture was in EVERY hostal that we stayed at. ><

 View from our hostel,  Hostal Amaru.  It kind of sucked because I only booked this place for 1 night, and it was by far the nicest place we stayed our entire trip.  It was a let down going to all the other hostels later in the trip, because none of them were as awesome as this place.

Hostal Amaru was gorgeous and was less than $50/night.  When we drive from Boston to Atlanta to visit family, and stay in crappy motels off the highway so we can sleep during the night, we pay at least $60.  So, I thought the value for the price of this hostel was pretty awesome.  The whole place smelled wonderfully of wood, was super clean, and had wonderful staff that helped us book other parts of our trip and find good foods for dinner.

At the hostel, taking advantage of their free coca tea station in the courtyard.

I was surprised to find that most of the hostels that we stayed at had internet.  This little computer nook area offered lovely views of the flowers in the courtyard below.

My first alpaca petting of the trip!  The lady called me over to take a photo, so I thought - Wow! People are are so friendly and nice here!  Then she asked for money...1 sol, which is about $.30.

These other ladies saw me getting my picture taken, so when it was my better half's turn to get his picture taken, they swarmed him to get in the picture.  This photo cost 10 sols or about $3.25.  (Yes, it should have been 3 sols, but all we had was a 10 sol bill and they practically snatched it away from us when we asked for change. Hey, it was our first day...we didn't know the ropes yet. ALSO - I believe that cute little critter in that lady's satchel thing is a goat.  At first I thought it was a baby alpaca or llama, but after looking at baby goat pictures, I think it's a goat...Still cute though.)

At the suggestion of the hostel staff, we went to Pacha Papa for dinner.  It was in a neat open air, enclosed restaurant place where we could see the twinkling lights of the houses on the mountains behind us.

I had alpaca for dinner (with more coca tea).  It was delicious!

 Then we finished the meal with this tasty pastry dish.

Sorry, crappy nighttime photo.  From the hostel we could see the pretty lights of the homes on the mountain. 

I hate to end this post with such a horrible picture, so instead I'll leave you with a little preview of the next post documenting our trip to Peru - Day 3:

View from the train heading to Aguas Calientes, north of Cusco.

1 comment:

  1. Whew! That sounds like a lot of moving around, even if you don't count the hurricane. Can't wait to see more pictures!


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