Onwards and Upwards

Our third day in Peru was a laid back one. We had an amazing time on Sunday exploring ruins just outside of Cusco, made all the more fascinating by the very serendipitous meeting we had with a freelance guide, who ended up touring us around the site and adding valuable insights and context for what we were seeing. I had hoped to be able to post a blog about the ruins before leaving on our hike, but sacrificing sleep just before trekking for four days at altitude does not seem like the brightest idea, so that writeup will have to wait until we’re back online next weekend.

Monday’s agenda was decidedly more low key than the day before. Jan had booked in for a massage at our hotel, so while she did that I went off in search of a bank and a shoestore that we had briefly visited on Saturday, which had the most gorgeous boots I’d ever seen. Unfortunately, since I wasn’t paying attention to HOW we got to the store the first time, it took me ages to find it again. After trying on pretty much every style of size eight shoe they had, I ended up going with a pair with brightly coloured woven detailing up the front (I’ll try to post a picture when I can upload my photos to my phone…)

UPDATE: The boots I bought:


Almost enough to make me okay with the possibility that I may still need to be wearing boots when I head back home. Though the fact that I’m writing that sentence while currently sporting a sunburn from yesterday’s walk in 20+ degree temperatures (that perfectly illustrates all the spots I missed applying suncreen) may have warped my memory a bit, as far as the joys of Saskatchewan’s interminable winter go…

After picking up some lunch from a bakery on the way back to the hotel and eating it together on the terrace, Jan and I took a taxi to a different hotel, where we met up with the G Adventures folks. We had our pre-trip meeting just before dinner, where we were introduced to our guide and the other people on our (very full!) tour, and heard about all the things that await us in the coming days. The guide’s account of the trip focused on the wonderful sights and sounds we’ll be seeing and hearing, though fellow travellers we’ve spoken to who have already completed the trail universally reported that it was utterly exhausting, their legs felt like jello–and it was the best thing they’d ever done. Seems like an apt description to me!

Our bags are packed, weighed (they must be under 6kg) and ready to go. We depart at 7:30am tomorrow for a day trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the town of Ollantaytambo. We’ll stay at a hotel in the area tomorrow night, and then the following day we begin the hike in earnest. Five days from now, after a plethora of stairs and elevation changes, and a 3:30am wake-up call on the last day to make it to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu for sunrise, we’ll be able to say we hiked the Inca Trail to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Will look forward to telling you all about it! In the meantime, for those that are interested in reading the details of what our hike entails, the tour itinerary can be found here: And for a preview of Machu Picchu, this blog has beautiful shots of the area:



Arrived in Cusco!! And it’s glorious. Pictures to follow. Our accommodations have so far proven to be an excellent choice, helped in part by the wifi in all the rooms, and desktop computers in the lobby for guests to use. (Though those amenities are far superseded by the fact that the hotel is in a gorgeous old part of the city, has an extremely personable and helpful staff, and an unlimited supply of coco tea to boot!

We arrived in Cusco a little later than anticipated, on account of having to wait around to claim our luggage at the airport in Lima before clearing customs and boarding our connecting flight. For some reason our travel agent booked us on flights little more than an hour apart, and when you add in the fact that we were 20 or so minutes late arriving, the odds were not on our side…

What WAS helpful was that we chose the right flight to miss, as there was another plane leaving for Cusco just over an hour after we were initially scheduled to depart. We took a quick, highly entertaining taxi ride to our hotel, wherein we got to witness firsthand how masterful our driver’s spatial awareness was as he zipped past vehicles all over the road, some of whom wisely folded in their side mirrors to avoid losing them as we whizzed past.

After getting a rundown of the best local cuisine in the area from the hotel manager, we took advantage of the lack of snow here and decidedly un-Prairie-like temperatures to drink coco tea (apparently helpful for dealing with the altitude) on the Casa’s terrace while our room was being readied.

We’re off to explore around the city this afternoon (another traveller told us there’s a festival in the main square this weekend that we may check out), followed by a light dinner somewhere.

Will plan to post pictures soon, but in the meantime, here’s the link to the place where we’re staying for our first couple of nights in Cusco before we meet up with the G Adventures folks:

The photo gallery for the hotel specifically is:, though their main photo gallery has some wonderful shots of the country in general:

We’re planning on heading to bed at a ridiculously early hour tonight, given our lack of rest the past few days, but tomorrow it’ll be off for more explorations in and around Cusco. Adios for now!

P.S. I wrote this post yesterday (Saturday), so am working on the blog and pictures to go along with our tour and activities today (Sunday), and will hopefully have something up soon.



This is just a quick update letting people know (in case the email alerts that were set up during my time in Uganda are still in effect), that I’m on vacation in Peru right now with my aunt, and am planning on writing some blog posts about our adventures. Keep an eye on your email for updates and pictures in the coming days, or, if you’d signed up for email alerts specifically to hear about Uganda and don’t want to be notified about subsequent posts, I’d imagine there’s an unsubscribe option somewhere in the email notification… Adios!