The journey from Lima to Cusco started entirely too early for this night owl, but that goes for 99 percent of the mornings during our trip. We headed to the airport for a quick flight from Lima to Cusco, comparable to a quick hop from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, which means honestly more time making our way through the airport than the actual time in the air.
Once we landed it was a quick bus ride to our hotel before we took a tour of what Cusco had to offer. But like most things in Peru, the best and most memorable things had to remain unphotographed, cue google search. Unfortunately we only had time to venture out once during our stay in Cusco for a authentic meal. I would have loved to have been able to check out a few of the amazing restaurants tucked away to truly get a taste of the city.
We started out making our way through the Plaza De Armas where an Inca statue upon a fountain reaches towards the Cusco Cathedral. Alex was chased and harassed by a woman carrying an alpaca convinced that she took a photo of her as we made our way into the Cusco Cathedral, to say that they were aggressive would be an understatement. The juxtaposition of catholicism and Inca beliefs were quite mesmerizing throughout not just the cathedral but the entire city. Most notably the amazing carved choir stalls mixing Inca symbols, saints and nuns covered by the thick smell of the wood it was carved from. A beautiful experience for all the senses.
From there we made our way to the Qurikancha, formerly the most important Inca temple dedicated primarily to the Sun God. An amazing combination of Inca structures and more modern architecture, do largely in part to earthquakes.
Sacasayhuaman (pronounced like sexy woman, yes, that’s right) was our first contact with any ruins, which was very exciting. Riddled with alpaca and towering wall-like structures across the vast field. Pictures simple do such little justice to the many locations we visited, this one included.
We’ve covered most of the planes, so cue trains and potentially life threatening bus rides. The train brought us into Aqua Calientes before boarding the bus to bring us up to the entrance of Machu Picchu, and solidifying my travel health insurance purchase that would send my remains home. The buses zigzagged up the top of the hill playing chicken the entire way. Literally playing chicken to the point of brake pumping, edge drifting, and waiting for one bus to give in and back up to let the other through.
But the ride was worth the view at the top. Absolutely breathtaking. Even standing there in the entrance to the city it felt like it wasn’t real, a huge green screen pulling the wool over our eyes. But my words fail me and at this point, I’ll let the photos do the talking.