This post is mostly my random musings on my first day in Cusco. If you are looking for useful info, skip to observation #4 about the Lima airport. For those who are here for some light bathroom reading, I hope you enjoy! :)
1. There are dogs EVERYWHERE. Some have collars, but most look like street mutts. There was an entire pack of dogs just hanging out in a parking spot on a very busy road. No idea if they are friendly or just wild, but they are all cute! Don't be surprised if half my pics in Cusco are of dogs.
2. I had a window seat on the hour-long flight from Lima to Cusco and the view of the mountains was unreal. I have seen plenty of mountains from the air, but the Andes are bigger and stunning in a way i had not imagined. This is a picture from the plane, and it does them no justice:
3. There was an afternoon rain shower that came and went over about a 2 hour period. I didn't bring a rain jacket with me, but I may have to pick one up while I'm here. I'll use it as a good excuse to buy something local :)
4. The flights I took were easy and on time, but landing at 1:30 am and having to hangout in the Lima airport for 5 hours was BRUTAL. The good news is that the Lima Airport is huge but safe so I didn't feel uncomfortable navigating it alone in the middle of the night. There were travelers all over the place sleeping on the floors, in chairs, etc. The other thing that helped with the wait was the lounge. I hung out in the El Salon for the majority of my layover. It was quiet and it was freezing!! But compared to the rest of the terminal, which was humid and a little warm, the overkill on the AC was bearable. If I had to do it again I might splurge on a more expensive ticket to avoid staying up all night. I'm too old for that shit. One more note on airport lounges...I had never been in one (mostly because I assumed they were filled with whiskey-drunk business men) until yesterday. My credit card reimbursed me for the stay (it was $25 to get into the lounge) and also is providing me with access to lounges in many airports. If you are planning a trip, get a credit card that is meant for travel. The benefits will pay for themselves!
5. Altitude sickness is common in Cusco. Luckily most hotels that deal with foreigners have coca tea in lobby to help. I have never had altitude sickness, but between the up all night and the altitude I definitely don't feel like myself. I'm hoping coca tea is a one stop cure all.
6. When I went to meet my tour guide I learned that I'm the only person who is on this tour. So my grand plan of being on a tour to have friends on NYE is a bust. On the plus side I'm now on a private tour, so I'm back to being fancy :)
7. The tour guide recommended a restaurant for dinner and said it wasn't too touristy. I had a lovely candle lit dinner of quinoa and veggie soup with yucca chips while Olivia Newton John sang her 80's hit "Physical" over the restaurant speakers. I should also mention i was the only diner in the place. Here's my very romantic dinner for one:
8. The hotel I'm staying in is probably 2 star at best by American standards. With that being said, there is some weird shit going on. There is a slatted window at the top of the shower that I'm fairly sure is connected to the shower of the room next door. I can hear my neighbors every bathroom move and vice versa. It is way too tall for me to look through and would be for most people, that's the only reason i didn't completely freak out and change rooms. Also when I got back to my room after dinner, there was a hot water bottle with a lamb covering between 2 pillows. There were no new towels, no made beds, just the hot water lamb. I'm guessing this is their idea of turn down services? Here is the lamb and window. Can't make this shit up LOL.
That's all for today! I'm excited Stay tuned for more updates and check out my Instagram for all the latest photos!