Wow, it’s been longer than I thought since I updated this so I might be a little short on details.
We woke up around 3:30 packed up our gear and scrammed for the airport. Check-in went fairly smoothly. Walking around the airport was pretty interesting as there were dozens of special handbags laying around with roosters in them that would crow (is that the right word for it?) when you walked by.
We played our first game of kemp while waiting for our flight which has now become a good contender to our games of Jin-Rummy, but is much more intense.
When our flight was finally ready to board, we got the bus that took us out to our plane on the tarmac so we could get on, which was a first for Noah. On the ride out there we tried to figure out who would have isle or window seats and tried to guess who else would be in our row, which was all overheard by Lizzy and Annabelle, who we’d meet later.
The rest of the flight to Cuzco was nothing short of ordinary until it came time to land. The city is surrounded by mountain peaks and so the pilot had to circle around it to come in at the right angle and gently bring the plane down in the valley between the two steep ridges. I had been told that this was a pretty spectacular thing before coming, but there really aren’t words enough to describe how scary/cool this was.
After landing and getting our bags, we headed for our hostel, paying 15/s for the ride, which is about 5x what it should have been, but still only works out to about $5. But that’s what we get for not knowing the going rate or how far it’d really be.
When we got there, the hostel was already really close to being over booked and so we got put on a wait list and had to come back around 1 to see if there was a spot for us or not, but it was very likely that there would be. This is when we first officially met Lizzy and Annabelle, although we had seen them at the Cuzco airport. We’ve been crossing paths ever since.
While we had about 3-4 hours to kill we figured that we’d go to town, finish paying for our Machu Pichu trip and try to make plans to go to the jungle. This of course required Dave, Noah, and myself to go to the ATM (which took forever to find) while Tom stayed back at the travel agency. Along the way we ended up seeing some sort of parade for a local patroned saint, which delayed us even more. So when we got back to the agent’s place Tom was standing outside pacing nervous that we’d be late to check into the hostel and could potentially lose our room, rightfully so since we thought it was 12:55 and it was quite a walk.
So we ran back up the hill to Hostel Loki (which is no short feat at this altitude), and went to the front desk, where they were very laid back and they gave us a tour and told us to relax for a bit and to check back a little after one. This seemed a little confusing to us until we re-checked the time 10 minutes later when we had settled into afore-mentioned hammocks and realized that it was only 12-10 or so and that we had just misread the clock earlier.
So we hung out, got some lunch at the hostel, checked in, showered and took a much deserved nap. We were planning on getting guinea pig for Thanksgiving dinner, but Tom found this ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving dinner that some other people from the hostel were going to so we decided to do that.
This turned out to be one of the better decisions of the trip thus far. They had eggnog, turkey, cranberry sauce (if you can call it that), apple and pumpkin pie and slices of corn on the cob (sort of weird). We all paired up with someone else, myself and Noah with Lizzy and Annabelle, and had a pretty good conversations over dinner and a good time all around.
After this we all went out to a near by club. When we walked in everyone was doing the specific line dances for whatever song was on at the time (think latin american dance music with specific dances like the Marcarana), but this quickly switched over to normal club like music. Noah, Lizzy, Annabell and I weren’t really feeling it all that much so we decided to head on back to the hostel.
On the way there we walked through one of the larger parks in the area and were immediately attacked by a swarm of Chicklet pushing 8 year olds. We gave in and game them 1/s ($0.33) for a pack and were immediately asked to share. We traded for a picture of all of them which I wish I could include here, but I still can’t upload photo’s yet. Noah danced with a dog, we had sliding contests in our socks by the fountain and road lama statues. Back at the hostel we played kemp, the girls went to bed, and Noah and I stayed up waiting for Dave and Tom, who had a few stories of their own, and then headed to bed. My kind of night.