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Cuzco, Peru

Hello there,

This is the first entry of the trip, though it has been a few days since we arrived here in South America. Joe and I landed in Lima, Peru late on Thursday night, pretty beat. We had taken SpiritAir, which left something to be desired. Let´s just say I had to basically sit cross-legged in order to not be constantly kicking the person´s seat in front of me. Guess that´s the price you pay for such cheap international tickets. Can´t really complain all in all. We took a taxi through some very shady parts of town to our hostel in Miraflores, one of the "upscale" neighborhoods in Lima. We checked into our hostel and got some food at a local eatery. Decided to play it safe tonight and got a grilled cheese sandwich and some corn'bread.

The next morning we woke up early and got a taxi back to the airport to fly to Cuzco. It´s kind of a bummer we didnt get to spend any real time in Lima. It seems like a bustling city with a bunch of things to do. But we´re on a tight time frame and Peru just has to much to offer to stick around.

We decided to fly into Cuzco (a nice 1hr flight as opposed to the 20+ hr bus ride!!), and arrived late morning. I was struck with how dry, clean, a crisp the air was, until we actually started walking around the city...where buses constantly spew unfiltered smog onto the sidewalks. Overall, Cuzco is really a pretty city.

Lots of interesting colonial architecture and some great Inca ruins, which we will check out today. Yesterday, we checked into our hostel, which is great, took a quick nap, and started exploring. The elevation here is HIGH, over 3,000m, so it definitely gives you a bit of a light headed feeling when you´re walking around. I think Joe is having an easier time adjusting than I am, but hopefully after a couple days things will stabilize before our trek.

The high elevation and thin air here makes for some extreme climate changes during the day. The sun is very strong, and when in it, it feels like the temp is mid-70s to 80s. But when you step out into the shday the temp drops a good 15 degrees. At night, we´re talking Northeast winter temps that hover in 30s. Good thing I brought a winter hat (also bought some 2 dollar gloves at a market). We explored the Plaza de Armas, the center of town that has some old cathedrals and monuments (pics to be posted later).

Today we´re going to check out some big ruins on the outskirts of town and then go to an orientation for our trek tomorrow.

We are taking a 5 day/4 night trek up the mountain, Salcantay. It is supposed to be an amazing and challenging hike. The hike then leads us to Macchu Pichu. I will be sure to post more about that later. Anyways, time to head out into town, hope all is well with everyone, and I´ll try to post some pics before we head off for our trek tonight!


Side note: Sitting in this internet cafe I´ve confirm my suspicions that people just about all over the world people are completely obsessed with Michael Jackson, moreso than in the US. Right now I´m listening to a spanish'dubbed version of "You are not Alone," and last night at dinner, the entire time they were playing jazzed-up versions of MJ. Pretty funny. I actually haven´t heard any music hear yet that isn´t American, although after having traveled to other places around the world I´m really not that surprised. No matter what happens to the U.S. economy at least we´ll always have Lady Gaga and Jonas Brothers.

permalink written by  bhkann on August 7, 2010 from Cuzco, Peru
from the travel blog: Peru 2010
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Next: Trekking in the Andes - Salkantay: Day 1

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