The next morning after we arrived in Lima and Peru we headed to a cheaper hostel within walking distance of the hotel we stayed at the night before. We were in the Miraflores area of Lima which is considered the night life center of Lima. It is right on the ocean and is home to the more affluent citizens of the city. There are many restaurants and cafe’s lining the streets which are incredibly clean.
We moved to a hostel that been recommended to me by a friend in New Zealand. The Loki Hostel was suppose to be a very well run, fun and social place that I really wanted to check out. Little did I know then that this decision would change me in very fundamental ways.
We only stayed at Loki for a night. We went out to grab dinner and then in the morning we booked a 24 hour bus ride to Cusco, which is the city positioned near the Sacred Valley and the gateway to all the Inca historical sites. After a quick lunch of ceviche, which is a Peruvian invention of cooking seafood with citric acid, we headed to the bus station and got on the longest bus ride I have ever taken. For the first 3 hours or so we drove along the coastline heading south. There was a solid swell in the water and I could see big 5 ft waves rolling in along the cliffs under us. I was super anxious to get into the water, but I knew I would have to wait a few weeks as we where headed inland, up into the Andes and some of the most visited historical cites in the world, one of which was the famous ruins of Machupicchu.
A few hours south of Lima we turned onto the road that lead through the foothills and up the crazy 6 hour section of switch back road climbing into some of the highest mountains on the planet. All through the earliest hours of the morning the bus turned hard, and then turned hard again, making all of us passengers slosh back and forth like an aquarium in an earthquake. I doubt anyone got sleep.
As we headed into late morning, we slowly approached Cusco, but were impeded by long waits for construction on the road. 2 Months before massive floods hit the area and had washed out many villages and roads. The area is still recovering and many aid drives and organizations are continuing to raise money and work in the area.
We Finally arrived in Cusco. The first thing I noticed was a dull headache and the feel of being at high altitude. I have experienced this before from the many snowboarding trips I have made, but it was hard to know what effects where from the altitude and which where from riding in a tin can for 24 hours without proper sleep.
We checked into a small guest house near the Plaza De Armas which is the heart of the city. Bethany was in real rough shape after getting some kind of stomach bug between Lima and Cusco. She was pretty much out of commission a felt like death. Right around this time I started feeling very sick as well. I had not been feeling right since Luang Prabang in Laos, which was over a month ago at this point but it really started to hit me hard in the altitude. On top of all this, Bethany and Geneva and I weren’t meshing as a traveling team. We are all very good friends, but whether it was a personality clash, or the fact that Bethany and I where very sick and therefore very edgy, the result was that our group dynamic was deteriorating fast…..
More to come on Cusco soon!