The Pamper Gods & Early Days in Cusco
Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
63Trip End Jun 16, 2013
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We got up at 4:45am to make a hasty trip to the Piura, Peru airport. The Taca website instructions were to be at the airport 3 hours prior to our domestic flight. Really?! We figured 2.5 hours would be fine so we arrived at 5:30. Much to our chagrin, the gates to the airport complex didn't even open until 6:00 so we had to wait on the street. We boarded our plane late at about 8:30, settled into our executive class seats that we found on the internet at half the price of economy and the only 2 seats to be found at that price, and were served with a lovely glass of orange juice. The captain made an announcement in Spanish only, there was a moment’s quiet breath and people slowly, rather leisurely, started standing up and disembarking the plane. Jim and I gave a puzzled look at each other and sat there watching in dismay, of course not understanding a word the captain had said
Others may not understand the seriousness of this situation. I can. When I was learning to fly an ultralight plane, my instructor yelled at me one time when I didn’t avoid a bird. I had calculated in my mind that the bird would keep flying by and we’d be fine (which we were - we didn't hit it); he did not think I was flying safely. By the way, I no longer fly. I got my license and flew for about 7 years but never felt really comfortable piloting. Others told me, "soon it will feel like driving a car; you won’t even have to think about it". I never got there in 7 years so figured it was time to stop while I was still alive!
Back to the story…after a couple of hours of 200-passenger mayhem in Spanish with a couple of very kind bilingual fellow passengers helping us out; we were put on a bus to spend the day in – yes - a 5-star hotel with meals included!! I was giggling inside. Jim noted that I was probably the only person in the crowd who was happy about this delay. We caught the flight later in the evening, and granted it took some finagling; we were put up in another 5-star hotel for the night in Lima
Onto Cusco…we are enjoying this historical center of the Incas. Walking down the street on our first day, we noticed an advertisement for a concert with Pepe Torres. We bought tickets not knowing who he is but it was clear he is a revered folklore guitarist in Peru. We were treated to a long (about 3 hours) and delightful concert of Pepe, his son Alex Torres and a singer/percussionist named Marta and I can’t remember her last name. The experience with the crowd was equally delightful; they show their appreciation differently than in our culture.
We have been wandering the streets, taking in everything – the history, architecture, street vendors who make a personal connection (“I am Elsa, who are you? You buy from me? Promise?”), crazy drivers, food, scenery, etc. Our plans for Machu Picchu are settled. We will be there on Monday. In the meantime, we acclimatize to the 3500 meters and enjoy our stay at Ninos Hotel at $46/night with a shared bath where the hotel supports a street children project. We continue to love relaxing and doing only what we feel like doing. I sit here eating breakfast in this lovely café writing this blog while Jim is off taking photographs. Next I will join an internet meditation session then we will both head out for more adventures in Cusco.
Can you imagine what a gift this time and travel is?!