Well, I must say that I really had no expectations about what I was to experience on this wonderful trip so it made it even more surprising. The brochure that the tour company gave us said when things happened that you did not expect to happen then "choose to be surprised!". I had to use that one a few times but all in all a fabulous trip. After an uneventful 8 hour trip, we overnighted in a cute little hotel in Lima. Here is a pic of that place:
After a delicious breakfast with some very strong coffee, we were off to the airport to catch a flight to Cuzco, altitude 11,000 ft, for a few days to acclimatize before the trek. The hotel was OK-it DID have a bathtub which most foreign countries seem to not have. And was clean. Here is the view from our room (which looks worse than the room is):
I chose to be surprised! The breakfasts there were really good and the main square in Cuzco was close:
The cobblestone streets were quaint and NARROW. Was like stepping back in time a few hundred years. We toured several churches in the town like this one:
We took several tours as a matter of fact, one to the "Sacred Valley" which Hartley missed because he was sicker than a dog for about 30 hours-we figured altitude/local food reaction-whatever. The tour lasted a day. We saw the town of Cuzco from above:
This is a picture I got of a local Peruvian woman on the side of the road, selling her wares, trying to comfort her daughter. These women from the mountains come down every week to sell homemade sweaters, hats, jewelry at the market. i really felt for these women especially , who worked some long hours to feed their families..
Hartley finally got well in time to tour the llama and Alpaca farm. The Alpacas were very skittish but hart got this one to let him pet him:
More views of the countryside:
We had some fabulous very cheap food in Cuzco. One night dinner for 6 of us was like $15, including some beer folks had. we had to insist the local cafe owner take more for a tip!
A view from one of the cafes in Cuzco:
Some local Peruvian art in one of the museums:
Cuzco was a delightful town to spend our first 3 days before the hike. It was relaxing, the people so friendly. Lots of huffing and puffing up and down the very narrow streets as we walked almost everywhere. The food was great. There were nine of us traveling together, many of us had been on dive trips together before so knew some of our idiosyncrasies. My name on these trips has always been "Nurse Debi" which i suppose stems from my nursing days in the early 90s. They all still come to me for medical advise, which cracks me up-I haven't been licensed for about 15 years now. Anyways, I bring practically a drugstore with me when we travel out of the country, mostly stemming from neurosis, not medical knowledge. I was able to help in some medical ways this trip for various minor things (wrapped an ankle, told what to give for nausea, diarrhea, etc).
We had lots of fun laughing, drinking "Coca Tea" to prevent altitude sickness (more about this later) and did much touring and walking, getting prepared for Part 2....