Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 2: Cusco

Friday, February 15, 2013:
  • Take flight to Cusco @ 8:00am, Arrive to Cusco @ 9:10am via StarPeru Airlines
  • Reservations for lunch t Senzo Restaurante @ 12:30pm
  • Planetarium tour at Llaullipata @ 5:40pm
  • Stay at The Garden House Bed & Breakfast
5:00am and I am opening my eyes once more. Chancho is up already and threatening to turn on the lights. I need a couple more minutes to adjust. My body is sore from walking so much and the lack of rest. I swear I'll throw the closest thing I can grab and chuck it at him if he flips that light switch!
Once I'm up, I brush my teeth, get dressed and am ready for our flight to Cusco! As I wait for Osa and Chile to get ready I drink a strawberry yogurt drink. I had to have something in my stomach if I was going to make it through the flight ok.
We got lucky with a taxi pulling up in front of the house big enough to take all of us & our luggage. We thought for sure, we'd have to take 2.
Check in went smoothly and we headed to Dunkin Donuts where I had an iced latte with caramel and an omelet of ham & egg on a croissant. That was in an interesting ordeal trying to order that. They don't have the same choices as we do in America. Standing in line I experienced my first true Peruvian. We were standing in a line that was probably 5 people long and this woman just walks straight up to the counter and orders, cutting everyone else. Of course Chancho said something to her and she played the innocent role of "what??" Please like you didn't see this long ass line.
Anyways...we waited to board our plane and they announced it would be delayed due to weather in Cusco. We waited for a half hour and they announced once more that it was delayed.
 A few things to keep us entertained while we were waiting:
When we went to the bathroom a woman (an older lady) tried to exit by going into the men's room. A man sitting next to Chile was sleeping and drool was hanging from his mouth dripping down landing on his wrist.
Our tiny plane
Finally, they announced we could board the plane. First we boarded a bus which then took us to our plane. It was a smaller plane, only about 50 people could fit and we had to use the stairs to board. It was a bumpy ride as we flew through clouds, but the views were amazing. We flew right over the Andes Mountains and they were a reddish color, no greenery at all. Once we got to Cusco it was all green and so lush. Just beautiful.The landing was rather smooth compared to the flight. We were picked up by our hotel, The Garden House. It was really hot outside.
Leaving Lima
Andes Mountains


The Garden House is located further into Cusco and is literally surrounded by gardens. It is a bed & breakfast with a total of 4 rooms. We have the whole house to ourselves. Once we arrived at the hotel we were told to drink a tea called Coca tea. It is supposed to help with the altitude. Cusco is very high up and it is hard to breath. Coca tea is made out of leaves from the Coca plant aka the plant which makes cocaine. You can find this tea everywhere in Cusco and is very popular. After placing our items in our suite we met with Chancho's 2nd cousin, Mama G's cousin and Mama R's niece/goddaughter. She brought with her, her husband and grandson. We took a taxi to a fancy restaurant where we spent $350 on our meal. The food was delicious. I tried my first "unusual" food here. I ordered and ate smoked alpaca. It was quite the experience. After we saw that bill we freaked. We just spent a ton of money and here we are only on our 2nd day. We had to recalculate everything we were going to do from here on out.

Coca Tea
The Garden House

Inside Restaurant Senzo
Smoked Alpaca 

From there we needed to find PeruRail beause Osa couldn't print her ticket from the train from home and that was the only place to get it. Once she got her ticket, we went to the plaza in Cusco to wait for our pick up for our planetarium tour.
We were brought high up into the mountains to a place above trees and inside a small building. A woman gave us blankets to wrap around ourselves once we arrived and gave us a tour speaking all about the Incan constellations how they played a role in their lifestyle. We were viewing the southern hemisphere stars, for me so different. No big dipper. But they do see the Orian's belt, which is the center or above Cusco. Once the learning portion of the tour was complete we went outside to view the stars, but since we are visiting during the rainy season it was cloudy. We waited and waited in the chilly dark for some clear sky. Finally there was a brief moment when I was able to look through a telescope and see jupiter. To me, it looked like a big star. I wouldn't have known the difference. They could have been lying to me.
It was a very exhausting day, once more. We grabbed a bite to eat once we were dropped off at the plaza. I had a strawberry milk drink. It was so fresh! I also ordered a chicken, tomato, lettuce & guacamole sandwich, which was banging!

Quote of the Day: "Sacrifice is part of life. it's supposed to be. it's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices." -Mitch Albom

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