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Published: October 22nd 2017
So worth 3 dollars to hold a baby alpaca. Here I am with Elizabeth who is the owner of this 1-month-old cutie
Geo: -13.52, -71.99
I'm not sure how altitude adjustment feels for other people, but I'm not enjoying it. We took everyone's advice and have kept the activity level low and the hydration level high. I still had to spend a good portion of the night trying to convince the reptilian part of my brain that I was getting enough oxygen. I felt like if I went to sleep I wouldn't be able to take enough breaths. I kept thinking about the oxygen tank I saw down in the lobby--when do people break down and ask for that? At any rate, my hope that I would have a nice, long sleep and wake up feeling at least close to normal was not to be. Mike seems to be doing better but he was making noises like a small animal in the night. That was his reptilian brain protesting quietly, I guess. He looks ready for action this morning though.
Breakfast is in a communal room and made to order. It would have been very pleasant had it not been for a very loud group in the corner. We both ate small omelets and had rolls and fruit. We then went out to walk
Plazoleta Comandante Ladislao Espinar
If I read the sign correctly, he was a hero of the war in the Pacific who hailed from Cusco
the streets, get our bearings and look for a few items we wanted to buy before our departure for the Inca Trail at the crack of dawn on Friday (no blogging from Friday-Monday).
We did a fair amount of shopping and a lot of walking. The weather was generally good, but there were showers for about a half hour while we were a little lost (of course). Prices here, especially for food, are very reasonable. We had a very nice lunch at Cafe Morena with four drinks for about $22. I was happy to buy some pink Peruvian sea salt to bring home. Mike found a hat he liked and we purchased a small assortment of other random items-- nothing that makes for a particularly interesting blog entry.
We both like Cusco. Our map doesn't match up particularly well with reality, but it is still very walkable. There are many vendors on the street, but they aren't overly aggressive. I did buy a hat from a kid I took a shine to last night. He was very charming and I was very impressed with his English. I hate to think of 12-year-olds spending their evenings selling trinkets on the street after
dark, but I expect he wouldn't do it if it weren't necessary.
At one point today I got into a discussion with a guy who was with a school group which was doing street presentations on car and pedestrian safety. At some point, I may turn up in their video. They had me wave to the camera and tell everyone in Spanish that safety is everyone's responsibility. Since I have some pictures of Peruvians, why shouldn't they have pictures of me? On a related note, the highlight of my day was getting to hold a baby alpaca. Sure, it is goofy to pay $3 to hold a baby alpaca and take a picture, but BABY ALPACA!
There are walking sticks in the lobby of our hotel that are wooden sticks wrapped with hand-woven cloth at the top. They are for decoration, but Mike has been on a quest all day to find one that he could buy for the hike. No dice. Finally, while I was here blogging, he found a lady who had sticks and he paid her to wrap cloth around the top. Service while you wait! The whole thing set him back less than $7. See what I mean
about the shopping?
Mike wants to go to a Peruvian steakhouse for dinner. I don't think I will have alpaca. It seems wrong to hold one and eat another all in one day.
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