Published: May 18th 2012May 18th 2012
Had a great flight down to Cusco (or up!!!) took the 1 hr and arrived around 11.
The climb up into the highlands was amazing, and then gazing over the glaciers etc it was very scenic. Cusco in a huge valley, and airstrip right smack bang in the middle of town, very interesting. Was taken straight to the hotel – briefed on our itinerary – and then for arvo Cusco tour – telling us to walk slowly etc because of the effects of the altitude. Well!!! the five of us all felt a bit HO HUM!! I can tell you, light headed, headaches etc, drinking plenty of water and electrolytes. I remember reading somewhere that you should take your time getting to Cusco to try and acclimatize, and don’t do what a lot of tour companies do fly straight there, but anyway here we are. All the Inca sights around are just amazing, the huge boulders and terraced land around Cusco is incredible it shows their highly developed engineering skills back then. There was a bit of walking, the three girls went on everything even the climb, but Allan the guy from Cairns stuck
to the bus all arvo, in fact they took him back to hotel because he was feeling not too good! Elder our tour leader took the four of us out for dinner (NO ALCOHOL) and we had an early night., after wandering back to our hotel through all the cobble stoned streets and alleys.
All ready 8.30 for our trip to Sacred Valley. Elder informed us Carol and Allan can’t make it, Allan is in hospital, had to go through the night. So Elder is keeping an eye on them and we just have our guide Nery,who is just a lovely lady, giving us 3 a private tour.
We have had the most wonderful day, this place really should be on everyone’s bucket list who haven’t been here. We climbed by bus through the mountains surrounding Cusco and then made our way down into Sacred Valley to the town of Pisac – the scenery just exhilarating – stopped in Pisac for a walk around the big market there. Nery took us to a family run little restaurant that cook dozens and dozens of empanades, cooked in a huge mud brick
oven. What a wonderful smell (it was only 10.30a.m.) but we thought we could do with a snack and coffee, so sat around snacking on these very tasty treats, and then watched as they bought out a roaster with some guinea pigs and potatoes (someone’s birthday for celebration, they only eat them on special occasions) – my God!! couldn’t believe it. Then set off down further into the Sacred Valley it is about 95km long but we did about 65km – we watched all the colorful clothes of all the different people that live in this area – the hats have different styles and colors depending on where they are from. Loads of farms along Sacred Valley as it is very rich soil – corn, wheat, avocados etc and the potatoes are grown up the sides of the mountains. Then onto Ollantaytambo – where we saw more evidence of the engineering skills of the Inca’s, ruins of the ancient aqueducts, irrigation canals, dams on the Urubamba River, then onto an Inca temple built on a steep mountainside, lots heavy breathing and many stops but have had a sensational day. Arrived back at hotel around 5.30, Allan has to get back
to sea level, so when he is stabilized in a day or two or three he will be flown back to Lima and the quickest way back to Australia, Carol very disappointed as they had made the long flight just to do Machu Picchu, but there is a little hyperbaric hospital here to deal with these cases and he is in good hands. 9.30 just got home from here and ran into Elder and Carol, he looks wrecked, sorting the insurance etc to get Carol and Allan home. 3 of us went to a restaurant I had read about Le Soleil, the first French restaurant in Cusco, sensational, $26.50 for 3 courses each, they owner is from Paris and got a payout with his job and decided to open up a restaurant and Suite Hotel, which he showed us, so if anyone is planning to come to Cusco, treat yourself to La Lune, one suite hotel, above his restaurant. Looking for our bed tonight, very tiring this altitude.