Friday, December 2, 2011

Having a Pisco Sour in Cuzco

Yep, that's Cuzco in Peru. For once it is not a trip to a race but rather a pure "for-fun" vacation. I was able to snag a First Class roundtrip ticket from Lubbock to Cuzco for a paltry 35,000 miles and about $60 in taxes, and here I am.
The Andes on the way to Cuzco
I'm pecking out this entry on my latest acquisition, a Nook tablet. So far, so good: It connects to the internet, holds a cool book on the Incas, and entertains me with music. Best of all: It weighs 2/3 of a pound! No photos accompany this entry as the Nook can read only micro SD cards and my camera uses the standard SDs. Oh well. Otherwise you would see photos of mongrel dogs lying next to big old pig carcasses at the market, or you could marvel at the amazing stonework (Alan's beloved "blocks") that goes back to the days of the conquistadors.
Typical Cuzco street scene
After flying all day yesterday (with a 4-hr layover in Miami) and then spending five hours in the Lima airport before my flight to Cuzco at 7 a.m. I took things pretty easy today. I didn't have too much trouble finding my hotel and then I just walked around town, nice and slowly since this place is located at something like 3,300 meters, which translates into somewhere around 11,000 feet. Walking uphill one feels winded right away. I've just been taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. Having been to Ecuador and Bolivia before nothing appears totally foreign and exotic, but it sure ain't Lubbock either. The people, in general, are much shorter than in the US, and that seems to be only more evident with the indigenous people in traditional garb who are hawking their wares while having children slung on their backs in colorful cloths.
Welcome to the chicken monger
Tomorrow morning I will be picked up by a private driver whom I have hired for a day of sightseeing and transport to my next hotel. Sunday and Monday I will be at Machu Picchu; I was able to obtain entry tickets today, so all my travel arrangements are now in order. Tune in sometime in the next few days; maybe I can somehow upload some picks.

Hasta luego,


PS: Here are—finally—a few more Day One pics thanks to American Airlines' Admirals Club's blazingly fast Internet connection.
Several of these weirdly dressed personas reminded pedestrians to obey the crosswalks

Garbage collection involves the ringing of a bell and locals' [that's a gerund, Kai!] scurrying
to get rid of their trash

Dead pigs and a sleeping dog (lower right)

Christmas tunes on the Plaza de las Armas

What is it: Llama or Alpaca? Send your answer to (joke-joke)
La Virgen (no joke here)
Somewhat incongruous, no?

Peru's answer to Dollar General (1 sol = 30 cents, mas o menos)

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