After 5 long months of searching, I finally found the long-lost, much sought-after Peru blog post. Much like Hiram Bingham trudging through the Amazon jungle and Andean foothills, my journey was well worth the find. Yes I am comparing my blog post to the discovery of Machu Picchu.
Over a century later and I’m finally blogging about Peru. Like I’ve said before, it’s hard for me to edit myself down for big trips, especially ones with Brian. Every moment is jammed packed with excitement and I just wanna blog about it all. But for your sake I won’t write you a novel…well maybe a short novel.
I love every moment of travel. The anticipation of what lies ahead, experiencing a new culture you’ve never seen before. I mean I could do without the packing and flying but it’s an even trade off. Traveling to me feels like life intensified by 1000. Even the mundane like grabbing a cup of joe is suddenly a new experience.
And so our travel begins.
Brian and I decided to take the scenic route to Cusco. We thought it would be fun to try to rack up as many passport stamps as possible in one trip, so we made a pit stop in El Salvador and as you can see, successfully made it out alive.
It was slightly unsettling arriving in a new country and being instantly greeted by armed guards carrying machine guns. We also may or may not of heard gun fire while chilling at Rancho Pato Canales.
Luckily we did some research and consulted an El Salvadorian co-worker before venturing to El Salvador. I always recommend checking out the State Department’s website before traveling to a new country. It definitely provided awareness to Brian and I about this little El Salvadorian gang called MS-13. Because of this we chose a location to hang out about 3 minutes from the airport and chose not to venture into San Salvador.
Rancho Pato Canales was decent enough place to stop. We caught a few rays by the pool, had a drink and bite to eat, and enjoyed seeing some animals. I’m proud to say we avoided being peed on my the monkeys. They did try tough.
Here’s a video touring Rancho Pato Canales, if you would like to check it out.
We took off for Lima hours later. Arriving in Lima, I must say I was second guessing our route of travel. I was feeling like worn and weary traveler, only having slept about 3 hours the night before. We spent our time catching a few zzz’s and I got a mani-pedi (one of my favorite airport activities).
After about 18 hours of traveling and two lay overs, Brian and I finally took off for Cusco, Peru. Horrrraaay!
I’ve been on a few plane rides in my day, but the flight from Lima to Cusco was my favorite plane ride of all. Cruising over the snow capped Andes Mountains at sun rise was breath taking.
About an hour later, we arrived in Cusco utterly exhausted, only surviving on pure adrenaline. We grabbed a cab and headed to our lovely hotel, Hotel Arqueologo. Unfortunately for our tired bones, we couldn’t check in quite yet. We were about 6 hours early (that’s definitely a first for me…always about 10 minutes late). So Brian and I abandoned our backpacks and headed to Cusco’s city center, the Plaza de Armas.
In desperate need of energy, Brian and I grabbed a quick breakfast and enjoyed the beautiful views of both the landscape and people, trying to soak up as much culture in our first moments as possible (without falling asleep at the table). After we walked around and explored the local markets.
I was poorly prepared for Cusco’s chilly climate of forty degrees. While packing, I saw the high of 70 in the local forecast and thought ‘oh that’s just perfect sundress weather.’ Little did I know it’s only 70 for about 30 minutes of the day in Cusco and then it quickly cools down. Wearing flip flops, pants, and a light sweater just wasn’t cutting it. My first purchases were a llama knitted hat, alpaca mittens, and a knock off Columbia jacket.
After a few hours of exploring, Brian and I trudged back to our hotel for a well deserved power nap. At this point, I honestly felt like a walking zombie. I quickly took a hot shower (quicker than usual since I was worried the hot water would run out), closed the curtains, turned on the heat, and climbed under a huge down comforter. Sleep never felt so good.
About 6 hours later, we awoke and groggily pulled ourselves together and made the lonnnnnng trek to dinner. We had already planned to go to La Divina Comedia because it was right next to our hotel (hey it felt long 🙂 ) where they have opera singers who perform at dinner. Well call me fancy. Nothing like sitting in a dimly lit room, listening to an Italian aria while sipping on some local (well, at least south american) wine. Sooo romantic. Dinner was lovely and our kind server made our first dinner in Cusco so special. Brian and I both ordered alpaca which was delicious! It tasted like a lighter, healthier version of beef steak, but still tender. I did feel a little guilty about eating and wearing alpaca in the same day…ALPACA KILLER.
After dinner we made another long trek (across the hall) to the hopping bar (we were the only ones there), SONG THÉ, and tried our very first Pisco Sour, a signature Peruvian cocktail made with:
- 4 cups ice cubes
- 1 cup pisco- Pisco is a brandy distilled from several different grape varieties grown in South America
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 egg white
- aromatic bitters
It wasn’t my thang, but I gave it a shot. After sharing our Pisco Sour (party animals) we headed off to bed and looked forward to our many adventures ahead.