[Editor's Note: I know it's been 7 weeks. Being full-time adventurers is exhausting and I hate writing. This post has been re-written many times over but Kyla's mantra is publish or perish so hopefully there will be more consistency. In any case, enjoy]
There are two routes from DC to Lima, Peru. You can take American Airlines and fly through Miami or choose Delta and take your chances with Atlanta. As fate would have it (and Kayak prices), we were forced to choose the more evil option and transfer through the home of Coca Cola.
We are not happy about this.
Each one of us has a horror story of being stranded in Hartfield (Who vacuums next to the head of a sleeping, stranded traveler?…The Atlanta cleaning crew.) and we are all well aware of the risk of putting your faith in Delta. But completely to our surprise, not only did everything turn out fine, it was terrific. We had absolutely no issues with any part of the journey and when you have a hundred different movies to watch, the 6 hour flight from Atlanta to Lima goes quickly.
Once at the Lima airport, we had pre-arranged a cab pick-up through the hostel. I felt a bit like a rock star when Kyla`s name was on one of the signs being waived. Our new BFF asked us to wait a minute as his partner pulled the car up. A half hour later, we were about to lose it. Just before our breaking point, his partner rolled up…as if perfectly timed…and took us to the hostel. Jerks.
The Lima airport area is industrial and extremely gray. The boulevards are full of cabs and lined with beat-to-crap buildings. It`s surprisingly clean with well manicured gardens and bushes in the medians (Random thought, right? When I say “well manicured”, I really mean they looked ready for professional competition. The difference between these beautiful plants and the dilapidated buildings was striking and very confusing).
Our hostel was only 1 km away and has plenty of charm (i.e. ping pong table, semi-covered roof deck, and green hallway lights). It`s only useful for quick stopovers like ours. In at 11pm, out at 6am.
All of the tour books say to visit Lima last. Two days should suffice to visit the limited sights but enough to enjoy the excellent cuisine.
So on to Cuzco.
Cuzco is an hour away and resides in the middle of the Andes mountain range. It was the capital of the great Inca civilization who built Machu Picchu (our prize). We plan on enduring the 4-day Inca trail hike and pray our rigorous training – hahahahaha (were screwed) – is enough.
Upon arrival, we realize Cuzco is completely different than Lima and has the feel of a Colorado ski town. Tourists sporting the latest REI apparel are everywhere.
[Side note: The two hottest fashion trends in Cuzco are socks with sandals and mountain boots, high socks, and shorts. Pure sex appeal.]
Casa de Carlos is a palace. AirBnB has done us well. Both Carlos and his wife are very welcoming and give us the low-down on the local tours over cocoa tea (Yes, that cocoa. Stop it. We didn`t do cocaine. The cocoa leaf is raw and helps you acclimate to the high altitude. It`s effects are similar to small doses of caffeine).
Carlos tells us the best place to get food and we take off for a 4pm dinner.
It`s a great start to our trip.