They say that vacation is supposed to be time to rest. Not for me. I stay busy by adventuring into the unknown. This time was Peru.
We started with a seven-hour car ride to Dallas, Texas. We left our home at 4 AM and arrived around noon. We stopped to rest and visit our cousin. We didn’t have to be at the airport until 5 PM, so we had some time to visit. It had been a year since I last saw her son and I also got to meet her beautiful 3-month daughter.
After a 10 hour trip from Dallas (counting the layover), we made it to our destination. We arrived in the famous city of Cuzco, the once capital of the Incan Empire, on a Saturday morning. We honestly had no plans. The only thing I had booked was the entry to Machu Picchu and the train tickets. Other than that, we were open to whatever.
So like any good tourist, I asked our Taxi cab, what is there to do. Before we knew it, he had already booked us a tour for $60 soles for the day. I’m not going to lie. We were in a foreign country, and already we were going to follow a stranger to who knows were, I did get a bit scared.
We have about 45 minutes to get ready. In my mind, this was enough time to check in our hotel, take a shower and get ready. In my husband’s mind, he thought I was crazy.
I usually don’t fall into the touristy tour groups. However, the places we were going to go were nowhere near walking distance, so there was no way around it.
Twenty-five minutes into us getting ready, he got a call that they were waiting for us in the lobby. My husband wasn’t even in the shower yet. I explained to them that we were told 45 minutes and that if that wasn’t possible, we were going to have to cancel. They waited.
We finally made it downstairs, and we were quickly rushed to find the bus. The streets in Cuzco are very narrow, so we had to walk long ways since the bus didn’t fit in our street.
The tour began in the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption built in 1654 on top of an Inca temple known as Kiswarkancha. Some of the walls still stand today. During our tour, we talked about how the Europeans built on top of sacred Incan grounds, the Inquisition and more.
The second part of the tour was Saksaywaman (or sexy woman, as our tour guide said Americans say it). It was the first place outside the city. We were in awe. This was also once a temple. Some of the stones that it took to build it weigh as much as 100 tons. We only had about 30 minutes to explore, so my husband took on the challenge to do our first climb. It was the shortest hike we did during the entire trip.
We then headed to Qenqo Temple. This is a place where ceremonies and rituals were performed. We were unable to climb the rock to see the labyrinth that was created by Incas due to previous visitors not taking care of the place.
Then it was Tampu Mach’ay. By this time we had met a few people from Mexico. So we took our time to make it back to our tour guide. So we missed the actual explanation. There were some lovely waterfalls, and the place probably looks beautiful during the day.
Our final stop was in a store where they make Alpaca clothes. They explained the process. I ended up buying a nice sweater that later I regretted buying because since this was our first day, I still didn’t have the currency all figured out. Anyway, I ended up paying $100 for a sweater thinking it was only $30.
By this time we were starving! It was close to 8 PM, and we hadn’t eaten all day. My husband had eaten pretty well in the plane, but with me being a vegetarian, I hadn’t eaten since Dallas. I wish I had written the name of the restaurant, but it was delicious. It was here that I had my first taste of Quinoa soup. I was in love.