Archive for the ‘Cusco’ Category

Day 69 – 1 July – Cuzco -> Lima, and Lima stopover

July 6, 2010 7am in 2010 trip,Cusco,Lima,Peru,Travel | Comments (0)

I woke up early this morning after the housekeeping barged their way into the room at 6:30am, then after going back to sleep for an hour I woke up at 7:30am. We didn’t have to check out until 10:00am but I wanted to see some of the town because I didn’t get a chance to when I flew in as we went straight out of Cusco in the taxi.

Actually, because I had my clothes all over the floor, I didn’t have very long to see much. I went and had breakfast in the kitchen and went out into the town. I saw the main square, and I also saw a church called La Merced. I really wanted to see this church because it was the pit stop for Leg 1 of The Amazing Race Series 7 and I’m a sucker for seeing destinations off this show because I love it so much. I got there as it opened at 8:00am and was the only one there. The woman inside wouldn’t let me look around unaided, she insisted that I see every bit of the church, and I felt rude because I didn’t have long.

Ian, Richard and I got our taxi transfer to Cusco airport. We were a bit early so Ian spent some time and taught me the card game two-player 500, it was pretty awesome, although I lost.

It was a short flight to Lima. Ian and I both had 8 hour waits until our flights out of Lima, so we both tried to check in on our respective flights out of Lima to save carting our bags around for hours.

My next flight from Lima to Los Angeles was with LAN – most of the rest of the flights on my itinerary were with American Airlines, but this was a “codeshare” flight which I’d never done before – a flight that was booked and paid for via American Airlines, but the actual flight was with LAN. I went to the LAN self checkins, which had no record of my booking at all which got me a bit nervous. A woman nearby told me that these checkins were for domestic flights only and sent me to the “bag drop” line at the main checkin.

After a while in the queue, I went up to the guy at the counter, who, after much fluffing around, told me that they have no flight to Los Angeles at that time. Yikes! Oh god I thought. He went and consulted separately with two of his colleagues then proceeded to type into the computer for 5 minutes. He then asked me “you’ve changed your flights, haven’t you” to which he got a very short, sharp “no I haven’t!”. I wasn’t feeling very good about this by this point. Anyway, after 5 minutes more of typing into the computer he did give me a boarding pass. “Is this by the window?” I asked, only to get a “no, it’s an aisle seat” followed by some evils and a new boarding pass by the window. Oh well, I didn’t mind, my bags were off my hands and I had a boarding pass.

Ian and Richard didn’t have as much luck on their flight to Auckland via Buenos Aires – Aerolineas Argentinas didn’t even have a desk open by that point so they had to pay 21 soles each (£5.25) to check their bag into left luggage for the rest of the day.

We exited the airport, ignoring all the official taxis and people saying “taxi taxi taxi” outside the airport. We walked outside the airport boundary to where the “dodgy” taxies were, I say dodgy taxies but then 90% of all taxis in Lima are dodgy and we used them all the time before. Only the official taxis are located inside the airport and they cost twice as much. So I bargained a 25 soles (£6.25) fare into central Lima to show Ian and Richard around the centre of the city. I’m not sure why, but the taxi driver took us through some really rough areas of Lima and I started to doubt where I’d asked him to take us!

Sometimes they have world cup games playing in the main plaza but there was none at that time. So we caught another taxi to the market Polvos Azules where I bought a fake football shirt and some other fake branded clothes. Then, we caught yet another taxi out to Miraflores where Ian had earlier seen a painting that he liked. We had dinner in Miraflores and then Ian and Richard bought paintings each, and I bought a massive 200cm x 160cm alpaca rug, which was so soft but is going to be a nightmare to carry home on the plane. By this time, it was only a few hours before our flights out so we got a taxi back to the airport.

Our time in Lima airport was uneventful, except for a security guard on a power trip – Richard hadn’t put his liquids in a plastic bag, and when they went through the scanner, the officers argued with him that they weren’t in a plastic bag and that he needs to buy one for $2USD. Eventually Richard did, and as soon as he paid his money and got his bag, the officers left him alone – didn’t recheck his liquids or anything – Richard was not happy.

I left Ian and Richard to their flight which boarded at 11:25pm and then went and sat by myself for another 40 minutes – my flight was at 5 minutes past midnight – so technically the next day. Oops, in that case, better close off this blog entry right here.

Day 64 – 26 June – Flight to Cuzco

July 6, 2010 4am in 2010 trip,Cusco,Peru,Travel | Comments (0)

I got up early and caught a taxi to Lima Airport for a flight to Cusco. When I got to Cusco I saw a desk in the arrivals hall for “Hotel Monestario” which was written down on my itinerary as the place where I was staying. They had no record of me, which got me a bit worried. Luckily the guy there spoke English. After many unsuccessful phone calls, I went outside the airport to find my booked airport transfer waiting outside – seems that I was staying in a hotel with the same name but in a different town about an hour away in Urubamba in the Sacred Valley – oops.

Here I met Raul who told me all about how the Inca Trail was going to go. I learned that the porters who accompany us on the trip are only allowed to take 4kg of my stuff on the trail so I wouldn’t be able to take all the stuff I was planning to. I also learned that there are 11 porters looking after 7 of us that are doing the walk! New Zealanders aren’t used to that sort of attention if you ask me.

The rest of the people doing the Inca Trail were out on a sightseeing tour that I couldn’t join because I arrived too late into Cusco, so I waited for them in the hotel. They eventually turned up and I got to meet them. There was me, Ian and Richard, and four others who were a generation older, including Ian’s Dad. “Great”, I thought, “at least I won’t be the slowest one on the trip”.

We had a nice dinner together at the hotel but got an early sleep because we were leaving the hotel at 6:30am the next day. By this point my sore throat was going away a bit but sinus pain was coming on.