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Published: October 22nd 2017
Mike's only enjoyment of Inka Cola
Looks like fizzy cat piss. The flavor did not win a new fan.
Geo: -12.1428, -77.0195
Our plane was scheduled for 2pm and the front desk recommended that we get a taxi at 11am so we had a little time this morning before flying to Cusco. We packed up and left our luggage at the front desk and took a taxi over to the Inca Market area in Miraflores. Both Silvias said it is a very good place to get souvenirs. We got there a little before 10 and the shops were just starting to open. A few vendors were enthusiastic about having business, others decidedly not. I wanted to buy a stack of hats from one place, but the guy there seemed to just be a place holder for the woman who owned the shop. If I wanted to negotiate, I would have to come back after 1:30. Mike and I walked away with a little better sense of what is available for our return visit, but not much else. We both have the impression that it's an area better visited late afternoon or evening.
It's a bit of a hike to the airport, but the taxis are cheap and it cost us about $16. When we arrived, we checked our bags and sat down
Genuine plastic crystal chandelier
"Only the best for you, honey," he tells me.
to grab some lunch. Mike tried the Inka Cola Light. He gives it a thumbs down. It's made by the Coca Cola company so I don't feel like this could be considered a criticism of Peruvian culture. I had an empanada with chicken and onions-- simple and tasty. I've been drinking water and tea all morning because I dread the idea of altitude sickness. I'm really hoping this won't be an issue. We were told not to plan anything for today or tonight and to take it easy, maybe nap.
Our travel and pickup at the airport went well. It's too early for me to have much of a read on Cusco yet, but we are very pleased with our rooms. We have the top floor of a very small hotel. It rents out separately on VRBO so it is a little like an apartment. There is a nice view of rooftops and mountains. Tea is available all day on the first floor, as are coca leaves to chew to help with the altitude. I tried the tea with the coca leaves. It is very mild in flavor and not at all tannic. Mike gave it a pass rather than
View from our room
One interesting aspect of this hotel, Andenes al Cielo, is that much of it is open air so you can't guarantee that you won't get soaked walking down to the front desk
risk poor results on a future drug screening.
We needed to check in with our Inca Trail trek operator and pay the balance of our fees so we got a map at the front desk and hit the cobblestone streets in the rain. While the walk wasn't pleasant, it did give us a bit of a preview to the conditions for our hike and a sense of what needs to be on our shopping list. I need gloves and a hat. Mike wants another layer (shirt, I'm guessing) and a hat.
At the Peru Treks office they took our cash for the balance due and wanted it in our crispest American $20s. We didn't quite understand why the condition of the bills was so important, but Elizabeth insisted it was. We next got a briefing of what to expect and time to ask questions. She also asked us several questions as if we were being tested. Elizabeth would be great at poker--that face gives away very little.
We stopped at a random restaurant on the walk home. Luckily, by then, the rain had stopped. Mike had beef saltado with Jenga stacked French fries. I had cream of asparagus soup and river
For my VA Tech buddies.
trout ceviche-- not quite as good as lunch yesterday, but it hit the spot.
No plans yet for tomorrow.
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