Ann and I are sitting in a (stinky, according to Ann) Internet cafe in Cuzco. We flew into Lima last night, only got to see a little of the city since it was 11:00pm by the time we got to our hotel. The guidebook said that Lima isn´t the most beautiful city, and they were right, but what the hey, we’re in Peru!
After eating in the hotel restaurant, Ann, degenerate gambler that she is, persuaded me to go into the small (deserted) casino in the lobby and play a little blackjack. The table was $3 minimum, we slapped down $20, had an incredible run, almost tripled our money, then left when the shoe was being reshuffled. Starting to like Lima a little more…
At 6:30 we took a cab to the airport where we were rediculously early for our 9:00am flight. As we took off Ann mentioned that she wasn’t a fan of domestic flights on small planes, but ours was fine. The mountains start right on the outskirts of Lima and didn´t stop the entire way to Cuzco. The plane took a long, hard bank as it came in to land in the mountains, which was pretty fun. One flight down, one to go.
Cuzco is about 11,000 feet above sea level, and I immediately noticed it upon disembarking. It was a bit harder to breathe and my heart started beating faster and I developed a mild headache. We were met by our tour operator (Erika) who was very nice and who looked like an authentic native Peruvian (which made me feel like I was getting good value for money). I asked her if she was Incan, but she said no. And then I felt dumb.
Will go into more detail on what Lima and Cuzco are like later, just wanted to share a few quick impressions. Can’t upload any pictures because this computer doesn’t have a USB port, but will try to get some up at the hotel (where the rates are ten times as expensive).
Having fun so far. Incas are cool. Saw our first llama. Getting mobbed by street vendors is annoying. Especially the dirty-faced kids who demand to know why you don’t want to buy their wool finger puppets (“Look, it’s different. Llama with baby. Maybe later?”).
Gotta love vacation.