The Pamper Gods & Early Days in Cusco

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
Trip End Jun 16, 2013

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The funniest thing happened after our last post when I was whinging…

We got up at 4:45am to make a hasty trip to the Piura, Peru airport. The Taca website instructions were to be at the airport 3 hours prior to our domestic flight.  Really?!  We figured 2.5 hours would be fine so we arrived at 5:30.  Much to our chagrin, the gates to the airport complex didn't even open until 6:00 so we had to wait on the street. We boarded our plane late at about 8:30, settled into our executive class seats that we found on the internet at half the price of economy and the only 2 seats to be found at that price, and were served with a lovely glass of orange juice.  The captain made an announcement in Spanish only, there was a moment’s quiet breath and people slowly, rather leisurely, started standing up and disembarking the plane.  Jim and I gave a puzzled look at each other and sat there watching in dismay, of course not understanding a word the captain had said.  Eventually, a flight attendant took pity on us, came over and told us that the plane had hit a bird on its previous landing and could not continue to fly.

Others may not understand the seriousness of this situation. I can.  When I was learning to fly an ultralight plane, my instructor yelled at me one time when I didn’t avoid a bird.  I had calculated in my mind that the bird would keep flying by and we’d be fine (which we were - we didn't hit it); he did not think I was flying safely.  By the way, I no longer fly.  I got my license and flew for about 7 years but never felt really comfortable piloting.  Others told me, "soon it will feel like driving a car; you won’t even have to think about it".  I never got there in 7 years so figured it was time to stop while I was still alive!

Back to the story…after a couple of hours of 200-passenger mayhem in Spanish with a couple of very kind bilingual fellow passengers helping us out; we were put on a bus to spend the day in – yes  - a 5-star hotel with meals included!!  I was giggling inside.  Jim noted that I was probably the only person in the crowd who was happy about this delay.  We caught the flight later in the evening, and granted it took some finagling; we were put up in another 5-star hotel for the night in Lima. We had big, numerous, cushy pillows, a big comfy bed and a clean, luxurious bathroom…ahhhh.  What more could someone want?!  Now I am good for awhile.  The pamper gods pulled through and it didn’t cost us a cent, just a little time about which we don’t really have to worry.  And frankly, I learned you (would) pay an awful lot for those luxuries of location, access to amenities, cushy pillows, etc.; the return on investment is probably not worth it – but don’t tell Jim I said that!

Onto Cusco…we are enjoying this historical center of the Incas.  Walking down the street on our first day, we noticed an advertisement for a concert with Pepe Torres.  We bought tickets not knowing who he is but it was clear he is a revered folklore guitarist in Peru.  We were treated to a long (about 3 hours) and delightful concert of Pepe, his son Alex Torres and a singer/percussionist named Marta and I can’t remember her last name.  The experience with the crowd was equally delightful; they show their appreciation differently than in our culture.

We have been wandering the streets, taking in everything – the history, architecture, street vendors who make a personal connection (“I am Elsa, who are you?  You buy from me? Promise?”), crazy drivers, food, scenery, etc.  Our plans for Machu Picchu are settled.  We will be there on Monday.  In the meantime, we acclimatize to the 3500 meters and enjoy our stay at Ninos Hotel at $46/night with a shared bath where the hotel supports a street children project.  We continue to love relaxing and doing only what we feel like doing.  I sit here eating breakfast in this lovely café writing this blog while Jim is off taking photographs.  Next I will join an internet meditation session then we will both head out for more adventures in Cusco. 

Can you imagine what a gift this time and travel is?!
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SueZedQue on

And I'm enjoying having the time to savour your posts, chuckling as I go.

Sue Walker on

Donna, I am Glad you enjoyed some well deserved R&R, amazing how situations just happen isn't it? Thanks for sharing, we love experiencing your travels through your blog, Jim awesome pictures you are very talented.Keep the photos coming please, they are so wonderful. Sue xo

Doug Silsbee on

Hey, Jim and Donna...

Delighted to be reading your travel blog... what a great adventure!

I spent a lot of time in Peru in the early 80's, and we baptized a 4 year old Quechua girl, Lisbeth, as our goddaughter. She's 32 now, and works for the provincial government. We are still in touch with her, although have not seen her since 1984; my brother and his family spent a few days with her in Aug. They were a bit tentative about connecting, not knowing them and everything, but it ended up being the highlight of their Peru trip.

Lisbeth is great.... fun and energetic, and her parents (Blas and Fulgencia) are warm, genuine, and hospitable.

If you want a local connection, please feel free to give her ring; you can tell her you're friends of mine, and she will be most delighted to hear from you and will probably invite you to their house or for dinner or something. They're the real deal.

They speak a little English, but sign language, as I'm sure you're finding out, will take you a long way.

Have a great time at Macchu Picchu and in's really a fabulous area!

Email me directly for Lisbeth's contact info:

Let me know if you connect!


Jane on

Donne, I have a great image of your lounging in the lap of luxury, coaking up ever little detail of the room and bathroom. I had a similar experience in Europe with Roddy that landed us in an exquisite boutique hotel. I thought I had been imported to another land!

You both look and sound so happy. What a lovely adventure, and I"m thrilled to enjoy some of it along side you both.


Ruth-Ann Clurman on

Love all of it! Making the most of moments "Being in the moment." What a wonderful opportunity!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

We are moving to the Pacific Northwest--Washougal, WA to be specific. Last day in St. Louis MO will be 10/15. I'll talk more about this when you are back from this great adventure!

Margaret on

I am delighted to hear the pamper gods treated you!

Lynda on

Really enjoying your travel blog and the photos are exquisite - the portraits are both captivating and evocative.All is well here - our fall is turning out to be just as spectacular as our summer. Sunny and 20 today. Thanksgiving this week-end and it will be odd (and hot!) cooking turkey in this heat. Municpal elections a main topic of conversation here and Justin Trudeau has just announced he is running for leader of the Liberals. Our book club cruise on the Sylva was fun but you were missed Donna. Happy Thanksgiving to you both - how nice it is to be able to take the time to reflect on the many blessings that have been granted us. Keep those blogs coming! xo

Angie on

Wow! This is the part of the trip I'd enjoy!!!! It's great to follow you around the world. The pictures are amazing!! Thanks for sharing it all with us!

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