Cusco! (May 20, 2009)

We made it to Cuzco! Flew out of Arequipa at 6:40 a.m., stopped in Juliaca to pick up more passengers and landed in Cuzco around 8:30 a.m. We checked into our hotel (the Hotel Villa de la Hermoza; the above photo is the Pachachuteq Monument, just around the corner from our hotel), had breakfast, and then headed out to walk to the city center....but after about half a block, decided we were too tired and too winded (our altitude nearly doubled, from Arequipa's 7,000 feet to Cuzco's approx. 12,000 feet). So we headed back to the hotel and laid down for an early siesta.

After showers, we headed back out to walk the Avenidas el Sol, the main street of the city (if you look real close at the photo below, you'll notice a motorbike parked in the CENTER lane of the street....that's how they roll in Cuzco. The parking is in the center lane, not against the curb. Both directions, too).

We stopped and sat on a bench by the beautiful gardens in the shadow of the Santo Domingo convent.

Then we continued to the main square of the city, the Plaza de Armas....

where we sat for a half hour or more before enjoying a wonderful dinner at the Inka Grill.

Robin and I both tasted alpaca for the first time, in our appetizer. After dinner, we browsed the shops around the square, asking for vicuna, and eventually found one out-of-the-way shop that had only one pair of gloves and one matching (small) scarf....for $100 (US) for the gloves, and $300 for the scarf! We put them back, but did find a pair of alpaca gloves for Miles at that shop.

On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped into an evangelical church service on the Avenidas el Sol, and sang "Here I Am to Worship" in Spanish, and a couple other songs we didn't know, before leaving early and coming back to the hotel.

So we've come this far. The city tour tomorrow should be fun, and then it's Machu Pichu on Thursday!

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