Today we arrived in Cusco having just spent a couple of days in Peru’s capital, Lima. Cusco is 4000m above sea level, so we are taking it very easy today. I was feeling quite breathless earlier as the air is quite thin, but I seem to have calmed down now – maybe because I’ve found a PC in the hotel with net access so I can get a fix!
We’re off on a couple of tours over the next few days, then we start our trek to Machu Picchu on Wednesday, so really the next few days are just about acclimatising to the thin air.
Lima was interesting to say the least. It’s not a particularly attractive city and with a population of 8 million people it’s BIG! We went on a tour and visited some sites, such a mud brick temple built a couple of thousand years ago by a bunch of people who were in Peru before the Incas (sorry, wasn’t paying attention to the details), the cathedral and the catacombs under the Monastery of San Francisco (complete with thousands of human bones all arranged in a very macabre manner).
As it’s winter here, it wasn’t that warm in Lima and the coast was bathed in a permanent fog, so much so that you couldn’t see the horizon out to sea, nor could you see the sun. It was pretty grim to be honest. Cusco is a different matter though, because we are so high up the air is fresh, there’s no cloud and the sun beats down during the day and it’s pleasantly warm. However, it’s now 6pm, the sun has already set and the temperature is plummeting. Good job I brought some warm clothes with me.
We’re going to pop out later to the main square, which is only a few blocks away, and get something to eat. The food’s been fine and the people are friendly enough. They speak Spanish so with my phrase book and an innate ability to order beer (thanks to all those Spanish holidays when I was a kid) I’ve been doing all right!
Anyway, I’ve managed to upload some photo’s of Lima so you’ll be able to see what I mean about the coastal fog. Till next time, with more photo’s hopefully, TTFN.