Saturday, October 29, 2011

Peru Trip Day 3

Wednesday October 26, 2011

The alarm-clock rang at 6 am, ordered by our guide.

Leaving the hotel in Lima at 7:30 am. Everybody was on time - - except the plane. Check-in was no problem, but then there was a lot of hanging around. There is construction at the airport. Our plane was canceled but we were scheduled on the next one. Finally we were in a plane but then it took about an hour to get clearance for take-off. It was only a one hour flight. I had a window seat and it was interesting to see the Andes from above ... between the clouds.

Finally Cusco is in sight. 

We had left Lima, which of course was at sea level. Now we landed in Cusco. James found out on his iPhone that our altitude at the airport 10857 feet (what would we do without our gadgets?).

Interesting short drive through Cusco. I don't need to take any photos because we are coming back a few days later.

We had lunch at the Hotel Jose Antonio
(11312 feet = 3445 m)

And there was even live entertainment.

If you would like a sample of this click here
and  here.

Somehow our tour guide Sheila had found out that it was Anne's birthday. A birthday cake was provided and we all sang. The Peruvian musicians even played happy birthday "their" way. It was nice.
After lunch we drove the winding narrow road. At one point the bus driver stopped to point out the wildlife rescue station with several condors.

We had to strain our eyes but here they are.

We did another stop for a photo opportunity.

What a magnificent view into the beginning of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

We stopped at a colorful Quechua market in Pisac. Unfortunately we were late because of the flight and everybody was packing up.

Loved that tree in the village square though.

And we did walk around a little.

Our local guide Fernando showed us the village bakery. You can bring anything you would like baked and they do it for you ... including roast guinea pig, a delicacy.

The boy had baked some Rolls.

And yes, guinea pigs were raised in the corner in case you don't want to bring your own. We were told that they were done for very special occasions like birthdays or holidays etc.

Right next door was a little shop with toys. We found a little stuffed animal for William. The Momma sold it to us and her baby said good-bye to it hoping the American boy will have fun.

Back to the bus.

Finally we reach our hotel Sonesta Posada del Inca In Yucay, quite unique as it used to be a monastery.  If you want to see more about it click here.

The bathroom sink! A picture for son-in-law Ben because it is concrete.

The chapel by night from our balcony.

We had to settle quickly and hurry to be on time for the "Offering to the Earth" ceremony. It was very interesting. The native priest/healer is also catholic and it was a very reverent event.

Each of us received three coca leaves (held together by wax) we were supposed to meditate with and make a silent prayer.

Then we gave them back and he arranged them with a lot of other things into an offering package ...

... which took quite a while ...

... which he then ceremoniously burnt.

After that we had dinner. James and I opted for the alpaca as our main course.

And mango mousse as dessert.

Hey, Sheila keeps telling us that we are burning a lot of calories in this altitude. 


Ah, yes, there were many 'old' (?) pictures in the dining room. Doesn't this look like lace?

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