Our First Day Of The Big Trip - Cusco, Peru 7/7/2006
From July 6, 2006 to July 6, 2007, Bill and I took a leave of absence from our jobs and backpacked across the world to 22 countries. I am republishing our original blog posts as part travelogue and also for bucket list travel ideas for you, my readers. I hope you enjoy!
Today was our first day. We arrived in Cusco around 7 a.m. And promptly went to our hostel. As with entering any foreign country, the first few minutes provide too much stimuli.
Everyone wanted to offer us a tour or a taxi, etc. Everyone was "'official". We were proud of ourselves for not taking the first taxi driver and actually negotiating cheaper than the going rate.
I don't know why no one ever discloses this, but it really IS cold here in the morning. No, seriously. Bill and I were initially quite nervous and were freezing. Our fears were assuaged when we got to our room and unfurled the covers to find several (Bill counted 4) warm, alpaca blankets (the afternoons are quite warm, probably around 75 degrees or so).
Though neither of us was tired, we immediately went to sleep. Our flight attendant had warned us, 'Go to bed. No hanky panky." So we did.
When we awoke several hours later, we decided to explore the town. What a study in contrasts. So much history, but so much progress too. The town of Cusco is gorgeous, full of hills and there are cobblestones and mud bricks to guide the way.
The cars wind around buildings that have been in place for hundreds of years before the invention of the automobile. Both the Incas and the Spaniards left their mark on the city and both leave very beautiful, but distinct characteristics.
Cats and dogs abound, but the cats seem mostly domesticated. The people are friendly, but we often have to repeat the phrase, "'No, gracias" for various wares that folks try to sell to us.
The churches are gorgeous and tomorrow we will explore them more fully. Today we took it easy and adjusted to the 11,500 ft of altitude that we are facing. We are roughly twice as high here in Cusco as in Denver and we are feeling each labored breath.
Our dinner this evening was interesting. Quite good, actually. I had alpaca...and thoroughly enjoyed it. The alpaca was in a steak form and it reminded me of salisbury steak that I used to eat as a kid. Great, powerful flavor, but what a funky texture. I attacked it with fervor and started to lose my appetite the further that I got. I can't explain why, because it truly
Bill had a nice dish of red chili peppers with meat, peas and cheese and it too, was good.
We enjoyed a nice bottle of Peruvian wine and settled into the town quite nicely.
Tomorrow we go in search of language schools, but tonight we bid Buenos Noches.
Chrissy and Bill
Originally Published Saturday, July 08, 2006