At Lima airport. Chica I totally feel you. Exhausted and just wanna be in my bed, showered, in NYC. Alas it's gonna be a red eye night then straight to work! Tomorrow should be fun! At least I found some Baileys Choco Luxe at duty free which I'm excited to share with my team (not avail in U.S.). And of course got a bottle of pisco for the sours when I get home. They zip locked the pisco before I could snap a pic of it. Adios Peru....
Today I'm on my own to wander the streets of Cusco. In addition to a little bit of shopping, I decided to give guinea pig a try. I went to Calle del Medio for lunch and asked for guinea pig and requested that I not see it whole (as i understood from others is how it is usually initially presented). The dish came out beautifully. The skin had a bit of a funky char meaty unfamiliar taste that didn't really strike my fancy, but there were parts underneath the crisp skin that tasted a bit like, and had the texture of, pulled pork. All in all, I am happy I tried this Cusco delicacy but I probably would not order again with all the amazing other dishes to be offered.
9 August 2015
Apparently I'm not quite original and everyone else has the same vision and idea -- there is a line for the spot where I want that postcard pic. Unfortunately at this point the place is swarming with tourists - super crowded like we're bumping into one another. And people are getting grumpy and aggressive in line (mostly Americans and Germans making hostile comments and loud sighs at fams taking pics of their kids striking various cute poses). I got yelled at for letting a woman take a photo of her nephew who had not been standing in line. Psycho.
Anyway, I'm happy with the pic and am ready to escape the crowded agitated tourist flocks!!
The descent down is much easier. Once I'm back the clouds have cleared and the sun is out! I practice for the postcard- perfect pic with a try out at the selfie - end result: confusion and off centered ness... Sigh guess I'm not a millenial
Up on top, the cloud coverage is quite heavy. We (me and he other folks up top) were waiting for a while and as soon as he clouds dissipated you had to move fast to take the pics. The clouds move fast around here!
After about an hour and fifteen minutes, I make it up top. I guess it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be - the sweat though - yikes! 😝
Another beautiful photo break - I could really get used to these.
Photo break - I seriously love this one!
Angry at the clouds, I decide to hike mount Machu Picchu and wait for fog to disappear. I say good bye to my guide, who predicts I will be mad at him on my way up because it's all steep uphill and he saw me struggle day one on the salkantay climb.
I meet a lovely elderly man and his guide on the way up and he kindly offers to snap a photo of me - he even knows about filters!!! He impresses me even more though by his determination and ambition - slowly but surely he said he would make it up! Inspiring and adorable. 😊
Um this is not the picture postcard photo I've been craving with Machu Picchu.
My poses at this unesco world heritage site....
Woke up at 410 am (ouch) but so f-ing worth it to see this. Super foggy in the am. Cloud coverage heavy. Founded in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. In addition to its sheer beauty, I can't get over the engineering and science behind it -- the thought and construction. Smart ancient incans.
8 August 2015
More jungle hiking until we reach aguas calientes town where I have a hotel - shower time!!!!! 😁😁😁 ps - wipes saved me so much stress during the camping part!!!
Tent in the backyard of the nightclub where they were raging to lady gaga, alesso, Calvin Harris, armin, avicii, Bon jovi to name a few... Was waken up by a rooster - now I truly appreciate cockadoodledoo.
7 August 2015
Natural hot springs - Peruvian version of pool time - water from and heated by the mountains - could feel the natural hot jet streams flowing from the rock - so cool! :)
I hope the panorama comes out on this one!
Jungle part of the salkantay - I loved how much easier this was, appreciated the warmth and green beauty!!!
6 August 2015
Posing smiles at he top even though I'm quite tired and nauseous (but satisfied and elated and energized at the beauty).
Top. Honestly wasn't sure I'd do it. Haven't felt sick hiking like then and so out of breath with a headache (thank you, altitude - you just prepared me for Kili and Everest hehe)
Beginning of Salkantay Trek. Bright and early. I'm super bright eyed and cheery and excited. Will see how that changes throughout the day....?
5 August 2015
Moray - engineering genius back in the day. Agricultural experimentation.
At the salt mines. Was instructed to pose like jack in Titanic as king of the world. Was told I looked more like a condor. Oh well.
The salt mines - even tasted it! (Salty)
Drive to salt mines
Ollantaytambo templo del sol
4 August 2015
Plaza de Armas - in the city square as the sun begins to set and it becomes chilly. This is where I learned that Cusco was designed in the shape of a puma - that's their animal. So cool! Meow.
Right across from St Peter Church is San Pedro Market (the market for locals to get all kinds of odds and ends, and to order food from stands). I was most interested in the produce. That black corn! Sampled some giant corn kernels, baked (each kernel was the size of a quarter), and some freshly dried golden grapes (we call them "golden raisins" at home). I then spotted these papayas the size of watermelons. This, of course, inspired me to order a juice. Ordered an orange mango passion fruit juice. Juice Press, you've got some competition!!
St Peter Church
Walking the narrow streets of Cusco City toward the local market where "you can get anything" -- fresh produce, meats (as an aside, local delicacies include guinea pig and alpaca, which I clearly must try), groceries, herbs, knitwear, purses, juice, Peruvian fast food (will hopefully capture this when I'm back from the trek), Chinese food and pizza. Wow!
Taypikala Hotel's welcome Mate de Coca. Tea from fresh coca leaves. A bit bitter with a hint of sweetness. Supposedly helps with altitude sickness - due to alkaloid and stimulant properties - guess we shall see! Fun fact: Rumor has it that several cups of coca tea may yield a positive result in a cocaine test - yikes!