Up into the High Altitude we go

Trip Start Jul 04, 2012
Trip End Oct 02, 2012

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Where I stayed
Casa Andina

Flag of Peru  , Lima,
Thursday, September 27, 2012

0600hr wake up today as we are off to the highlands of Cusco.  We had a beautiful breakfast at the hotel we have to eat as we never know when lunch will be, mostly its around 1400hrs as dinner is usally at 2000... The Hotel is terrific, beautiful rooms and really nice staff and meals, makes you feel like a King.
The trip to the airport took about an hour due to peak hour traffic and the crowds at Lima airport was crazy..pure madness, thankfully I had just packed my stuff in a backpack and left my suitcase in the hotel for when we return as the checkin was huge.  A few people insisted in taking their cases and they paid the penalty.When we were lined up to board the buses to get out to the plane, a French tour came in after us and started a new line..So the Airline staff went up to them and told them to move to the end of our line and they cracked up. for over 30 minutes they argued black and blue that they should just line up in the front..but the girl from the airline stuck to her guns and refused to budge so most of them moved to the rear except about 8 of them..So when the flight was called to board she blocked them off and started taking everyone elses boarding passes.. It was so funny to watch as all they were doing was getting on a bus to drive 50 metres to the plane...so all the other passengers watched the debarcle going on..so they created a real stir, unfortunately for me I got to sit next to two of them..So I blocked her view out the window when she was trying to take photos.  So our aims over the next few days was to ruin every french persons photos..We ended up sitting on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for airspace to clear...So for those that dont like American tourists let me tell you the French are rude and obnoxious pigs and I hope that group gets a shit load of airport delays. Stupid Frogs.
Flying into Cusco had everyone worried about the altitude sickness as its 1100ft above sea level or something like that..Fernando had warned us all and I had been taking Diamox as a preventative, I had also found some Candy made from the coca plant they also have the coca tea, its supposed to come from the cocaine plant..Apparently !  I seemed to cope OK but Fernando was the first to get crook. a few of the others we a bit seedy. Tomorrow hopefully everyone will be acclimatised.
Cusco looked fantastic flying in and when we arrived in the terminal we were met by  locals in traditional dress and they gave everyone a small bag with a colourful pen and a DVD in it. Then out in the luggage area they had a band playing with couples in traditional dress dancing and grabbing the tourists to dance, they were also handing out the coca tea.  Fernando had told us all to just walk slowly and not over exert ourselves, so when the dancers started grabbing partners from the baggage line we were ducking for cover.  It was a lively welcome thats for sure.
We hopped straight on a bus and started touring..We went to the "Temple of the suns" and when we came out the local souveneirs sellers were thick and selling everything you could imagine. I wish I could have bought something from everyone :(
We had lunch at a local restaurant which was nice then stopped by some Inca ruins, the rocks they used were massive, I guess it must be like the Pyramids in Egypt.
After that we drove for about 2 hours to the town of Picas where they had some local markets. Picas is located in the Sacred Valley.  We didnt stop for too long as it was getting late, so a few people bought some stuff and then we made our way to our hotel which was another hour away.  The village the hotel was in had houses all made from mud brick so when we drove up the lane to the other Casa Andina we were blown away by this beautiful hotel..We had a light dinner buffet then it was straight to bed as its Machu Picchu tomorrow.
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