When I was about 7 years old I had what I think was a bingo set, or flash cards, or something educational with little squares filled with photos of different places all over the world. I couldn’t name what any of the other photos contained, except for one beautiful green, mountainous picture of Machu Picchu. And it’s probably the name that I remember most…Machu Picchu sounds very silly even now. My whole life I’ve wanted to go to this magical Inca site. So last month in the middle of an about-to-graduate/identity/future/relationship/life crisis, after realizing that this is my last spring break and maybe the last time I’ll really have to jet off to Peru for a four day hike, I found a tour and booked it.
And I’m almost hesitant to write about the experience, because nothing I say could do it justice, but here it goes…
The most difficult, rewarding, and fulfilling trip of my life so far.
I finished my finals on Monday and was awake until 2 packing to leave for the airport at 5. After a long day of flying I arrived in the crazy Lima airport just after 10 that night and by the time I negotiated a cab and got to my hotel it was well after midnight. My roommate was asleep (I had booked an eight day group tour with shared room) so I quietly crept into bed.
Off to Cuzco! I met my fellow travelers in the morning: my roommate was a woman from Ireland, and also a young couple from the UK, a couple from London celebrating their 40th birthdays, two girls from San Francisco, a family of four from Canada, a man from Vancouver, and one other guy from Ireland. We would later be joined by two girls from Denmark. We took a bus to the airport and took a short flight to Cuzco, arriving around 1. From there, we met our amazing guide Javier who got us checked in to our hotel before taking us on a walking tour of the city. Cuzco is really incredible. After leaving the central marking, however, the sky opened up. Perfect time to duck in for lunch where one of the girls ordered guinea pig and I had some coca tea to deal with the altitude. We finished the tour at an Inca wall and that night me and some of my companions went to eat at the craziest restaurant, the Fallen Angel, which I won’t even try to describe except to say it was like a Dali painting met an army of cherubs.
We left for the Sacred Valley the next day.
Plaza de Armas
Cheese in the market