After the longest bus ride of our lives at 20 hours, Eric and I made it safely to Cusco. It was definitely the nicest bus I have ever been on, complete with endless American movies in Spanish (and some with English subtitles), deeply reclining seats, and a free dinner! The dinner was probably the highlight of the trip for me because one, it´s always nice to get something unexected, and two, it´s even better when that surprise is delicious and hearty. It was a simple meal of braised beef, potatoes, and rice but it really hit the spot, and Eric even dove into the mysterious dark red, gelatinous, syrupy stuff that was presented as dessert. We had also stocked up on food before we left Lima, thinking we would need to provide our own, so much of the otherwise uneventful bus ride was occupied by casual snacking. I had also been a little concerned that I might get car sick given that the trip climbs to about 13,000 feet over snaking switchback turns, but with a little help from my old friend Dramamine and about 2 liters of water, I was fine. I´m feeling the altitude a little bit now that we´re in Cusco, but so far both of us are holding up okay and have been told that most people acclimate in a day or so. We are seriously considering the idea of renting a donkey to carry our things on our trek though. At about $5 more a day, it seems like a pretty sweet deal...it´s more whether Eric´s manhood can withstand such a show of pansiness.
We just dropped our things off at a nice littel hotel near the Plaza de Armas in Cusco and are going to head out to explore in the afternoon. I expect to be looking at Eric´s back the majority of the time as he outpaces me, but I´ll manage. Then we´ll probably get some dinner, stroll around some more and hit the sack relatively early so we can get up to go to the big Sunday market in Pisac tomorrow. One of our couch surfing aquaintances in Lima told me that I could find tons of cheap gems and stones there, so I´m excited to see what they have. Then on Monday morning, we begin our hike to Machu Picchu.
We are taking tons of pictures and will be sure to post them as soon as we find someplace to upload them!