Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cusco

We were in Cusco for 3 days before we left on our hike. We planned it that way so we could acclimate. Cusco was fun. It was noisy and smelled like car exhaust and I think 3 days was plenty of time.  We spent 2 days there again after the hike which was fine because we were too tired to want to do much, but we both agreed that if we ever did it again, we would not stay in Cusco the whole time.

On Friday, our first day, we pretty much wandered around the touristy part of the city looking through the shops and just getting our bearings.  We learned pretty quickly that traffic is crazy and the lights and street markings and double yellow lines are pretty much just suggestions. Cars would try to go up and down a one lane street at the same time and would have to back up when other cars were on the road.

On Saturday we took a bus to the ruins above Cusco. The bus is where I lost my camera. I wasn’t very happy but there was nothing I could do about it and it was my fault for not sticking it back in my bag where it should have been.  My sister had her camera (many of my pictures are from her) and I still had my phone. We saw the ruins at Tamomachay, Q’enko, and Sacsayhuaman. The views were spectacular.


 

On Sunday we went to church. There was a ward that had sacrament meeting at 10:00 and the building wasn’t far from us. I ended up playing the piano for them for the meeting and it was a good experience. I hope they liked having live music instead of the recordings.  Later that day we had signed up for a chocolate making class at the chocolate museum. It was one of the most fun things we have done on a vacation. Our teacher was fantastic and she took us through the whole process from the raw plant and beans to the roasting and tempering until the final product.  We were able to sample the beans, and she made cocoa tea and hot chocolate. Then we finished by making our own chocolates in molds. I am very much a chocoholic and I had a blast.
On the next Friday after the hike, I was not feeling great and pretty much slept off and on for most of the day.  We did meet up with a few of our friends from the trail at a pub on Friday night and it was fun to see everyone again, even if it had only been a day. 

 
On Saturday, we checked out of the hotel but still had about 5 hours to waste before it was time to go to the airport. It was my sister who didn’t feel so well that day so we just meandered about and then we bought tickets for the tourist bus that drives around Cusco. It was nice to see some spots we couldn’t walk to and it was nice to be off our feet again for a while.


Then we came home. I’m finally back into my routine. I had a huge vacation hangover because it was really so incredible.  I’ll just be happy being home for awhile and then I’ll start badgering my sister about our next trip. We’ve already got a couple places on the short list.

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