Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cusco, Machu Picchu Day 1

I'm going to rewind about a month and tell you about all of the trips i've been on. So, think back with me to Easter weekend (yeah, i know i'm late-sorry). With no classes Thursday and Friday, it seemed like a wonderful weekend to travel. So, away we went. Thursday morning, Becca and I were supposed to leave at 2:30 AM. Around 1:30, my brother Ernie knocked on my door, opened it, and switched the light on. Yeah, i wanted to protest like no one's business. I literally didn't finish packing till 11:42, so i only had two hours to sleep anyway, and he was interrupting those precious two hours. When he told me the flight was delayed and we didn't have to leave until six, i could have kissed the boy. lol. Yay for sleep!
A later flight meant less time in Cusco, but honestly, i don't think i would have enjoyed it as much if i hadn't gotten some sleep. I was actually awake when we flew into the city, so i got to see it (unlike Iquitos... still bitter about that). The Andes mountains are nothing like the Swiss Alps, but nevertheless, i love mountains! Still absolutely breathtaking!!!

Walking out of the airport, we were first offered coca leaves. Yeah, it's what you think it is. It's not considered a drug here though (although you are NOT allowed to take it with you when you leave). Tourists chew it in order to help with the altitude sickness. Or they just chew it so that they can say they had it, i'm not sure it does anything. I tried it, but I can't honestly say i felt the altitude before i chewed it, so i don't think it helped. jaja. Thankfully, i didn't get sick, but i certainly noticed it walking up stairs... I know i haven't worked out in two months (yes, i might die soon), but I have never felt so out of shape in my life!First stop was Valle Sagrado. Tons of little villages nestled in the Andes mountains. I loved the traditional clothing, but don't even want to think how long it took them to make, or how much it would cost. Mostly made from alpaca... pretty sweet, i know. It's so much softer and finer than wool... I'd love to be able to work with it, but I have a feeling it would be alot harder than these women made it seem. They showed us how to make all of the colors. It's incredible, but they can make 15 different shades of red by using 1 bug. It was quite fascinating! It takes 1 woman, 45 days to make a table runner from start to finish. I'm not exactly sure what prices were here, but trust me, they aren't making much money. For sure less than $50. That works out to just under a dollar a day. I tell you what though, if i could make myself clothes like that, i definitely wouldn't have to buy clothes!

It seems like every trip, i lose my heart to some random child... well, here he is for this one. If that's not completely adorable, i don't know what is. We traveled by bus and it was incredible to see the countryside change around every turn. This trip, pictures are going to have to speak louder than words... we ate lunch at a nice little restaurant in a nice little town that i can't remember the name of. Oops, anyway, from there we visited Seminario Ceramicas in Urubamba. The ceramics part was really interesting, but to be completely honest, i liked the flowers more. lol. It was beautiful!

After the exciting flowers we went to an Inca Bar. Yeah, i was thrilled let me tell you. There was this cool sort of game that reminds me alot of Mr. Frog. Does that game even work anymore? Anyway, i just know that it is based off of this game. It's at all of the Inca Bars, and you're supposed to play it before you drink and then after you drink. The object, of course, is to get the coin into the mouth of the frog. Good Luck. The drinks... were made of corn. Not exactly the most appealing thing i've ever heard of.

We also saw dinner... well, someone's dinner. :)

We spent the night in a town called Ollantaytambo. Yeah, try learning to spell that as a child. We stayed in an incredibly gorgeous hotel, and the best part was that since we are in high altitudes, there were three heavy blankets on each bed and an extra on the shelf. So, i had four blankets, three of which were alpaca (really warm) and a heater that i put right next to my bed. It was so unbelievably warm... i loved it! Teh only problem with the room was that everything was orange... talk about strange.

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