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South America 2016: Day 02 (Peru 02): Nov 23

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Waking up at 6ish to get ready and out. Again, crazy traffic. The airport was fairly close though, so that’s good. I had to check a bag, so the check in touchscreens did me no good. Half an hour to drop off baggage :(… Anyways. Go go go, grab some quick bite and we’re all (plus Pat) on our way to Cuzco! The flight went by so fast, we all passed out before we even took off. First thing we notice are the clay brick houses, a lot of unfinished but habitated rooms. And then, the air. It’s not immediately noticeable, but it’s there. Slightly light headed, deeper breathes, gotta climitize to the altitude! Driving through, we end near the city center, and stop at Alpaca Expeditions. Nice people. Met up with Karen’s friends, Sofia and Ronen. It looks like it’s gonna be a tough trek. Had a small briefing, paid in full, had some coca tea, coca candy… Lunchtime! Karen made reservations, at a restaurant down the road, Chicha. Beautiful place, attached to an older hotel. Rosanna and I shared a Curry Alpaca and Peking Guinea Pig. Both were very good. Seemed very Asian inspired. Our first stop, Sexy woman, AKA Saqsaywaman. A quick taxi ride up, we purchased a 3-attractions ticket. 130 soles. Saqsaywaman had a bunch of natural caves, natural slides, layered land with rocks, aaaaand Llama! Oh, man. This little excursion and we’re totally feeling the altitude. Gotta take our time. Once we get to a flatter area and rest a bit, I’m good. A nice introduction to Cusco, featuring a lookout point over the whole city. It was interesting to see that the local teens were having fun with seeing Chinese people :P. Just across and up some steep hill, and after a break or two, we arrive at Cristo Blanco. A large Jesus Christ statue overlooking Cuzco. Back down and back to Cuzco, and on our way to Urubamba, the Sacred Valley. After Pat made some negotiations, we took two taxis, and rode for an hour to our hostel, Amaru Valle. It’s a bit sketchy outside but it’s like a nice little village inside the gate. Large rooms and a lot of space. Shower! For dinner, we went to El Huacatay, a Karen recommended restaurant. We ordered some great dishes and delicious juices. I had the Alpaca Lasagna, so so good. Stuffed, tired, it’s only the beginning.

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