I am sitting in the Lobby Bar in the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, Peru drinking a Cusquena beer. This beer is reputed to be the best one brewed in Peru and is actually brewed right here. Deb is at a nearby art museum but I thought that I would rest my feet for a while.
Today started off with a a hurry up to wait. We were bussed from the hotel in Lima to Jorge Chavez International Airport early in the morning for our flight to Cusco (el. 11,000 feet), But the weather was so bad in Cusco that the airport was closed. We did not leave Lima until noon. The one hour flight was on a charter plane operated by Peru Airliines. I will post a photo of Deb getting on the plane.
Both Deb and I have been concerned about the effects of altitude in Cusco. We remember having problems in Quito several years ago at 9000 feet. But this time, we have the presciption medicine that is supposed to ward off the nausea and headaches. So far, so good. I do feel a light tightness on my chest but it is certainly not debilitating.
After lunch at the hotel, we went to a couple of sites to visit Incan ruins. Of course, the history of Peru is largely the story of the Incas and their conquest by the Spanish. The center of the Incan Empire was Cusco. The current name is actually a bastardization of the orginal Incan name. It meant the center or navel of the world. There is very little in the way of complete Incan structures here. The Spanish took care of that, They commonly tore down Incan religious structures because they interfered with Catholicism. In fact, we went to a large Catholic church this afternoon that was built on the still visible Incan foundation. We will give you a picture of that later. There are also Peruvians in Cosco who wear the native colorful dress. Many are selling the beautiful textiles produced in the area.
The Monasterio Hotel is an amazing property. As the name suggests, it is a former monastery. I will post photos of our room and a courtyard which give a flavor of the place. Again, the hotel has wonderful website for more inquiring minds.
Tomorrow, we go down the valley to Macha Puchu (sp?). That will be one of the higlights of this trip. But we do not get back until 10:00 tomorrow night and eat lunch and dinner on the train. I am not sure that I will have the time or energy to make an entry for tomorrow.
My most perplexing decision right now is whether I am going to order another beer. I understand the altitude increases the effect of alchohol. Maybe this is not the place for those in our group who intend to watch the Super Bowl.