For starters, let´s just say that everytime Christine and I travel to another country, we contemplate never doing it again at some juncture of the trip. These thoughts came flooding over us as we´re laying on the floor of the airport in Lima Peru, having been awake for almost 24 hours and only knowing that one of our bags is somewhere between there and Denver. Although, give us a good nights sleep and multiple cups of coffee and we´re good to go!
We flew from Lima to Cusco yesterday morning and took a taxi from the airport to Pisac, a small village about 30 km away. Pisca is a town of only a few thousand, best known for it´s weekly markets in the square just outside our hotel. We´ll be able to experience this tomorrow, as Sunday´s market is said to be the largest. Yesterday was pretty much a blur, going almost 48 hours without quality sleep. We tooled around town, took a few pictures, and had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel we´re staying at. We did get to spend the better part of an hour talking to Jose, a hotel worker and Inca descendant. He told us all about the area, the country and his proud heritage.
We awoke this morning to beautiful skies, huevos, and more coffee. We met a few other folks staying in the hotel and discussed our various travel itinerary´s for Peru. We then geared up and headed up the mountain to view the Pisac ruins. It seems most tourists take a bus or taxi up a mountain road, dropping them off to either tour the area, or, if they are really adventurous, walk through all the ruins back to town. The guide books slated this mostly downhill hike as roughly 2 hours. Christine and I headed straight from town up, which enabled us to visit most of the archeological sites prior to the bulk of the tourists. When we arrived at the halfway point of our hike (the top) we were greeted by the hoards and they were greeted by many a street seller with anything from beaded bracelets to handmade instruments. We mostly stayed in the background, eating the snacks we brought, then headed back the way we came. The hike totalled 4.5 hours, including stops for pictures, snacks, and a brief rain shower which cooled things off quite a bit.
Now we´re back at the hotel. We´ll probably shower, have an early dinner, and prepare for the masses of the market tomorrow. We are bracing ourselves for a large number of people, as all the books and websites say Sunday is the day. We may do another hike tomorrow afternoon, in an attempt to escape the chaos. Our plan is to leave Pisac for Ollyantatambo Monday morning, catching the train for Aguas Calientes. We will wake up early on Tuesday and try to be at Machu Picchu for the sunrise.
Overall, the trip is turning out great. At no point have we felt unsafe. Everyone has been extremely friendly and it seems there´s a photo opportunity around every corner, from the colorful dress of the natives, to the towering mountains all around us. We look forward to sharing pictures and stories when we get back. Until then, we hope this finds you all well.