This summer I finally went on my first trip out of the country (Other than when my parents took me across the border into Mexico when I was too young to remember). Back around Thanksgiving of last year my mom, siblings, and I decided to head to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. I got the joys of planning out the whole thing. By February we had our trip booked and by March we had our plane tickets (at $1,700+ each those really hurt). By the time everything was said and done it would be six of us going… my sister Andrea, her girlfriend Mandy, my mom Kim, my brother Spencer, my boyfriend Brian, and myself. Everyone except Brian and myself were originally slated to fly out of SLC but two weeks before the trip their flights all got cancelled. They re-booked to fly out of Denver on the same flight as ours. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
We first start off our trip by flying from DIA to MIA. We have a 10 hour layover so we rent a minivan (First time I’ve ever driven one) and decide to see a little of Miami. First off we go to Little Havana to get some food. We stop off at a highly rated Exquisito Resturant and stroll up and down Calle Ocho. After some delicious Cuban food we headed over to Miami Beach and to the World Erotic Art Museum. Id recommend this to anyone that doesn’t have any serious hang-ups over nudity and sex. It was extremely interesting especially seeing objects of art from so many different time periods and cultures. There were even pieces as old as 400 BC. After that we head a few blocks over for a stroll on Miami beach, then over for some of the biggest fishbowl sangrias ever .. where we were rained out by a crazy storm.
After getting everyone but me drunk we hopped on the plane for an overnight flight to Lima, then a dash through customs to get on board for Cuzco. We get picked up by a van sent to get us from SAS Travel and he zips us through traffic, pedestrians, and dogs to the center of town. We then check in to the Marquees Hotel and enjoy the wonderful courtyard complete with their own Peruvian lady making alpaca scarves and sashes. We then take a nap before heading out for our first adventure into Cuzco. After adjusting a little to the altitude (Twice of what Denver is at 11,152 feet) we walk over to the Plaza de Armas where they are just picking up after the big Inti Ryami celebration. The streets and sidewalks are full of vendors trying to sell you everything from alpaca goods to Inca Cola. They are even as forward enough to put a pin of the Cusco Flag ( a rainbow that resembles the gay pride flag) on your chest telling you it is a gift, then asking for 2 soles (the local currency).
We then get talked into coming into a restaurant on the Plaza that had amazing views, and pretty amazing food. Where I tried both Inca Cola (Which I loved) and some cuy or what Americans know as Guiney pig ( which was an awful chewy mess). We also tried the local favorite liquor drink, the Pisco Sour. Which was very good and reminds me of a margarita. After that Brian and I killed some time by walking through first the markets targeted towards tourists, then down to the local markets where things were quite different. We had to have passed by 20 women cooking up their own version of soup and selling it to the locals.
Then we had to head back to the motel to be briefed on our trekking trip and to rest up for tomorrows adventure.