Saturday, May 13, 2006

Back From Peru

Machu PicchuA dozen boat rides, nine flights, eight hotels, five bus rides, and two train trips later - we're back home after two weeks in Peru. Our time spent high up in the Andes after the Amazon was sick. Real sick. Like altitude sickness kind of sick.

The first night and morning was gross. After landing in Cuzco, Peru (11,300 feet above sea level - twice that of Denver Colorado), it took a few hours for the headaches to start. They got progressively worse until it was a 24 hour migraine with nausea, loopiness and shortness of breath. It felt like the worst hangover ever and we were worried this was how we'd feel for the rest of our trip. We decided not to pursue a white water trip we had been considering - good choice because the river looked lame as hell in the parts they let tourists raft. It all subsided on the early morning train ride to Machu Picchu, which is 2,000 feet lower than Cuzco. That was enough to let us acclimate to the altitude and we felt fine for the rest of the trip. We just had to get used to the shortness of breath and Lori being loopier than normal.

We had two days at Machu Picchu, the first day was bright and sunny and the second was cool and misty. It was great to experience it under both conditions and being able to hang out without the masses of tourists who take the train/bus trip just for the day. We did three different hikes around the site then returned to Cuzco for a couple days on our own.

Fine DiningCuzco is a really cool city, all the buildings are built on 500 year old Inca foundations. The combination of Inca, Spanish and modern architecture is pretty wild and the area is full of tourists from all around the world, with American definitely in the minority. We did find the best Pisco Sours and I even got to dine on a fine roasted guinea pig. Mmm... that guy was cute and delicious.

Many more details and photos will be posted eventually. Peru has a ton more things to do and is definitely on our travel list for a return trip someday.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Loopier than usual, I will have to give him a slap for that comment. As far as the altitude sickness, it was like an out of body experience. I knew something was wrong but couldn't quite figure out what or how to resolve it. It was a good thing that our itinerary resolved it for us.

Even if I was a bit loopy our first day in Cusco. It made it easier to deal with Andy's loopiness.

Peru was fantastic, I would definitely go back there. However to say we have a close and personal relationship with the Lima airport, is putting it mildly.

I have to say my favorite line after buying a new ticket to fly to Iquitos from Lima (as she handed me the hand written tickets) was "It's a five o'clock flight leaving at 7, 7:30 pm the latest." Turns out it was 8:15 pm, which wouldn't have been bad except that we had arrived at the airport before 4 am for a 5:15 am flight.
I will say that was the only flight in Peru that actually left on time. The problem (at least for all of our flights) they didn't quite master the leaving on time and actually arriving on time. So although we left for Iquitos on Lan Peru at 5:15am we actually landed in Iquitos on Star Peru at 9:45 pm. MMMM, a long day for a 1 1/2 hour flight. Buzzards and fog, not a fun filled combination for flying.

It was a fun filled exciting vacation in spite of the aborted landings (read as near crash landing).

I better let Andy give you the rest of the gory details.

Not so Loopy Lori