Saturday, January 24, 2009

Memories of Cusco. . .

Cusco, Peru is a gorgeous town with a rich history, and the jumping-off point for most treks along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. One of the "New Seven Wonders of the World", Machu Picchu is an absolutely breathtaking testament to the innovative, industrious, and meticulous nature of the Inca people. If you haven't seen it, it should be on your short list of places to visit. I recommend SAS Travel; their guided 4-day trek was well-organized, affordable, and our guide Freddy was quite knowledgeable. Plus, the food cooked by our porters was some of the best I've ever eaten.

January 23, 3005

Hola! We made it safely to Cusco after a brief 45 minute plane ride from Arequipa. While we were exploring Cusco for the day, some Australian guys that we met in Arequipa were on a grueling 14 hour bus ride during which their driver got lost. Needless to say, we are extremely glad we opted to fly. Cusco is a beautiful city, and yesterday we lucked out with sun and got some beautiful pictures. We just checked the weather report and it looks like it will be pretty nice here until Wednesday, which just so happens to be the day we start our hike on the Inca Trail. Good thing I love hiking up thousands of stairs at 14,000 feet in the pouring rain. Awesome. We are staying at Hostal Amaru in Cusco that is seriously luxurious compared to anywhere else I´ve stayed so far on this trip. Last night we stayed at a different hostal, but after figuring out that the water didn´t work from 8 pm to 5 am, we decided to look around for other options. We have a sweet room at Amaru. The hotel has a few different deck areas with panoramic views of the city, beautiful flowers and cobblestone patios, and comfy chairs for reading. Our room has French doors and a skylight and our own bathroom with a shower (and hot water!!). Including breakfast, it is costing us each a whopping $12.50 a night. A splurge considering our hostel in Arequipa was $3 a night, but definitely worth it. Last night we ate dinner at this posh tapas bar with couches and absolutely delicious food. We also saw a free (pirated?) movie at a bar, "Million Dollar Baby." Anyway hope all is well, we are off to explore the city!

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