Part I - A new home in Cuzco

Trip Start Mar 20, 2005
Trip End Dec 25, 2005

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, May 28, 2005

We made it out! No more Bolivia - thank goodness! Just flying over Peru made me excited. A new country, a new start.

First, a small story on my initial day in Peru: While awaiting Mark's arrival to Cuzco, I decided to skipped lunch and get some more shut-eye in. Seemed like a good idea since I had stayed up all night awaiting our 4am cab ride to the La Paz airport. (The only "safe" time to get there.) Well, when he did arrival later that day my stomache was screaming for food. This would be the last time it does so for the next 30 hours. Within an hour or two of having a lovely Mexican meal in a French restaurant in Peru (strangely typical in Cuzco), my body shut down. It was horrible. I spent that first night in our new home in deep, repeated conversation with our bathroom toilet. Since my healthy companion had almost the same food as I, we belive it to have been some bad water I had. Either way, this was the first time I've been sick on my trip and I pray it's the last; although very unlikely. Thankfully it all passed quickly and I was able to fight through the next day on a smoothie and water and continue on our explorations. It was a sudden shock though to realize how important my health is. One bad week, day or even hour could cause entire schedules and plans to shift or be eliminated. And on my ultra-restrictive airline itinerary, that could be devastating...

But enough of bad times, this was Cuzco - the city of endless activities and awaiting beauty and wonder. There is much to be said about this city and it's surrounding areas, but it all starts with the Plaza de Armas where every tourist finds himself on that first day.

Although this city has expanded greatly over the years, the pulse of the city is still found around this plaza. With meticulous care it is cleaned, trimmed and watched over. Tourists flock to it in search of restaurants, shops and the numerous tourist agencies selling every imagine tour package. The locals, or at least those interested in the touristīs dollar, are aggressive and at every corner waving menus, postcards and crafts. It's a strange and exhausting place, but one still worthy of visiting. For even among the chaos, the locals find time for celebrations and tourists can relax from balconies above.

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