Cusco

Arriving in Cusco, Peru after an 18 hour flight was a huge relief. After a few hours trying to figure out what happened to Lara (delayed flights and no cell service) and struggling to find our hostel shuttle among the throngs taxi drivers shouting at every passenger through the door, we got things sorted out, and were on our way to the hostel.

Seeing Lara was an immediate antidote to my fatigue. This girl and I have been through many adventures together, and still love each other somehow. I am extremely lucky to have her in my life and was overjoyed to see her step out of the plane terminal. Happy tears and hugs!

We’d given ourselves a couple of days in Cusco to see the town and acclimate to the altitude (11,000 feet is nothing to sneeze at). Check out the main plaza! Gorgeous.

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During our briefing session we met our guide Santiago at the ITEP Travel office and our trekking companions, two friends from Los Angeles. Santiago impressed on us that we would need to listen carefully to his advice and expect the unexpected out on the trail.

A Final Treat

Knowing that good cheer and free-flowing libations would be in short supply on the trail, Lara and I treated ourselves to a good long girl chat over the traditional Peruvian cocktail – the Pisco Sour – and a delicious dinner at a restaurant downtown. Citrusy and zesty it was a very refreshing drink! Cheers!

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‘Twas the Night Before The Hike

And I couldn’t sleep! Not a wink, despite having packed and prepped all I could think of. Desperate not to start the trek grouchy and groggy, I tossed and turned most of the night but alas, the alarm rang too soon. Racing to get dressed and downstairs to meet the shuttle, we sipped one last cup of coca leaf tea and waited for the ITEP shuttle lights to appear in the darkened streets. No turning back now…

 

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