Getting into Cusco
Almost 9 months since we set out to Peru on an amazing adventure and I’m just now getting to this. I can remember it like it was yesterday. After about 3 days of returning home, the wanderlust set in. We asked ourselves “Where should we go next?” Since Germany was a leisure kind of trip, with tons of exploring in the city, we came to the conclusion (or should I say Kat) to do something challenging.
A few years back, we took a cruise to central america and fell in love. Since we love the mountains and love to trek. The first thing that came to mind was South American. We had been previously looking at the Camino de Santiago, but thought it was too long of a trip and is probably not what it used to be. We’d been seeing a lot of our friends and other travel to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail came to mind. We knew what we’d be getting into, but had no real expectations as to what lied ahead. For the next month or so, we planned. Starting off with watching some Aussie’s hiking the trail and finding any YouTube video we could gather for inspiration. We were hooked. We found a company called Global Basecamp’s that help with planning your trip and getting you the right guides for the trek. Of all the amazing cities Peru has, we wanted to experience Cusco, Aguas Calientes and some of the smaller towns associated with the history.
It took us about 1 month to plan and start the beginning of our journey. For the next 10 months or so, we needed to plan and prepare. We hadn’t done anything like this before, so we had no idea what to bring. After searching, I found a pretty decent packing list! I would recommend bringing a very light-breathable long sleeve shirt and pants. There is a portion on the trail where you will meet the puma wakacje’s. These insects are relentless and immune to any insect spray out there.
Here is our itinerary:
Day 1 (Sat Sep 1st, 2018)Cusco Arrival Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel
Day 2 (Sun Sep 2nd, 2018)Cusco Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel
Day 3 (Mon Sep 3rd, 2018)CuscoCasa San Blas Boutique Hotel
Day 4 (Tue Sep 4th, 2018)Cusco - Inca Trail Camping - Inca Trail
Day 5 (Wed Sep 5th, 2018)Inca Trail Camping - Inca Trail
Day 6 (Thu Sep 6th, 2018)Inca Trail Camping - Inca Trail
Day 7 (Fri Sep 7th, 2018)Inca Trail - Machu Picchu Pueblo Inkaterra
Day 8 (Sat Sep 8th, 2018)Machu Picchu Pueblo - Cusco Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel
Day 9 (Sun Sep 9th, 2018)Cusco Departure
Our First day in Cusco; my mission was to find the best food and eat as much lomo saltado that I could. We were staying at the casa san blas boutique hotel. They were very accommodating and best of all the location was great. We couldn’t have asked for a better hotel. After getting checked in and having some coca tea, it was time to venture out. Staying in Cusco is recommended before hiking the trail to get acclimated to the altitude. Cusco sits at 11,152′ and believe me its not easy to get used to. Even being an atomic athlete it was still somewhat challenging to getting around. Almost every corner turned was a new adventure and being in the closely knit streets was comforting. Since we were close to the main square, we headed in that general direction almost everyday. It was a very lively place. Here you could experience all kinds of life. There is religion, food, parades, families playing with their dogs, a farmers market, photo shoots and . If you needed to find culture, there it was. From the square you can venture down any street and find food. I wanted to find something cheap and fresh. Our guide told us there was a market just a few blocks out of the square so we headed that way. This place sells everything and there is a row or column inside of this place that leads you straight to food. It starts off with arts and crafts, goes to fruits, veggies, all parts of the pyramid. At the very though, it where it all comes together. The food vendors. Ceviche, lomo saltado, sopas, you name it. I think I paid the least amount of money and had the best lomo saltado here. There is a seat in the very middle all the way to the back. This elderly lady asks what you want and there are two choices. There is the lomo saltado plate and there is chicken soup. The lomo saltado starts off with a potato soup then goes straight into it. There’s no messing around here. Meanwhile Kat is enjoying some ceviche right behind me. We have another day ahead of us for venturing outside of cusco, visitng ollantaytambo, just before we get dropped off at the Inca trail head.