Time well wasted

Friday, July 25, 2008
Cuzcotopia - oh yeah!
Country 2 – Peru

It’s going to be really hard to choose which pictures to post of Peru, it was such an amazing country. So this will probably end up being a few different posts.
We got to Cuzco and I liked it immediately. It has so much character. Our first day was spent exploring. We had an early flight in and our train to Machu Picchu left early the next morning. The weather in Cuzco is crazy. Early mornings it’s freezing – literally. It could be 30 or 40 degrees when we got up. But in the afternoon it could easily be in the 70’s. The fluctuations made it very difficult to dress – but the lack of clothing options due to no luggage made it easy. However, I knew I’d need a stocking cap. There are crappy little shops selling “alpaca” wares all over the city. We found one hidden out of the way that had some of the nicest people working there. I’m not sure if the hat really is 100% alpaca, but I don’t really care. It was soft and warm. We came back later in the trip to buy more stuff, and these were the only people I didn’t haggle with. They were too nice. When I asked Berta if I could get a picture with her and my hat she was more than happy to, even grabbing some more stuff around the store for me and some for her to make a good picture. She gave me her card and asked if I’d send her a copy of the picture. So now I’ve got to figure out how to send something to Peru.

The Plaza de Armas (which is like a downtown or central square to us) was very interesting. With some really old churches and original Incan walls as well as some great restaurants and bars.

The food in Cuzco was fantastic - and cheap! I think our most expensive meal was probably $26 (for the two of us) as compared with probably $50 in Costa Rica. Most meals were around $15 or less for both of us and a beer was rarely ever more than $2. Jack’s (an American place) had one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. We ate a bit of Peruvian food as well, including alpaca steak and cuy (guinea pig).

Mountain biking was kind of a random decision - it wasn't something we had planned on, but it was definitely well worth it. Some of the best views of the trip were on this excursion.

Amazingly this picture is unaltered - in any way. A lot of pictures I adjust the shadow level to give the pictures a more realistic, less washed-out-by-the-sun look. Not this one, the sky really was that blue.

We also visited some ruins other than Machu Picchu. The name of these sounds remarkably like "sexy woman" which everyone makes the joke about.

And of course there was Machu Picchu, but that will wait for another day. But as a preview of what's to come, this was my first view of the city.

posted by Brian @ 8:17 AM  
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