Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cusco/Lima,Peru - Day 6 & 7 Machu Picchu G Adventures Tour

Monday Night, October 7 & Tuesday, October 8:

How could it be that the time passed so quickly and we are back in Cusco with tomorrow being a totally free day? Seemed like we had just been there with much anticipation of enjoying our quick stay but excitement of getting to Machu Picchu.

Once resettled into Hotel Prisma, we all met to go not far for Chinese or Chifa food.  Quite a nice place but service was slow and by the time Mike got his meal everyone else was finished. LOL  Off then to bed!

Mike and I had wanted to sleep late but our bodies just didn't cooperate. Instead, I was downstairs by 8 am catching up on some work and making phone calls to the states. I looked really plugged in with my computer, iPad, and iPhone all syncing and updating. It was my grandson, Peter's, 18th birthday and I was able to connect with him by iMessage and later by FaceTime. Love technology!!  Does make them feel so much closer!

So by noon, Mike and I were more than ready to get the heck out of the hotel and into town for lunch and some meandering. Upon coming up to the main square, we heard music and bands and we knew immediately that some sort of festival was happening. 

To our surprise and joy, it was just starting and we were able to see the whole beautiful pagent!!  Wonderful costumes, dancing, and music!!  We're not quite sure what it was celebrating but it seemed to have something to do with chasing the devil and demons away. But, we certainly could be wrong. So enjoy the videos and pictures!  Videos:

The beautiful sun seemed to be chased away by some very dark thunder clouds. As it's still the end of rainy season, the pattern has been beautiful, warm sun in the mornings with the clouds and rain in the afternoons and evenings. So rather than tempt fate, we found a delightful French restaurant, Papillon, with space on their balcony overlooking the square. And, sure enough, the skies let loose and the thunder pounded!  Our delicious lunch was served and by the time we finished, the skies had dried up for awhile and we could carry on with our meandering.

The baby in the sack stayed dry at least!

But, the tourists who tried to brave it out on the top of the bus got very wet and the wind was blowing something fierce!!  LOL

The wood oven in the restaurant, Papillon.

Tourists all decked out in colorful plastic ponchos that they sell everywhere.

Up close detail of a balcony.

So up the narrow streets we went and made a few stops along the way. A picture of me with musicians at the Inka museum, into a shop to buy a couple of beautifully woven shawls that I just finally couldn't resist (one for me and for my daughter to say thank You for all the help she's been giving us in the states when necessary), and, finally Mike bought another hand woven belt made by a sweet lady on the street.


Just outside of the Inka Museum.

Inside courtyard of the Inka Museum.

OK! We fell for it and they dressed me up royally for a picture and a buck. LOL

Nice photo from a distance.

So incredible that this city was built on top of the existing Inka built city!

Gorgeous leather boots with inlaid woven patterns!! Wanted a pair of these too but probably wouldn't wear them in the tropics.

Not religious, but Mike was fascinated with the lavishness & pageantry.

The woven belt lady!!

Fine specimen of the Inka craftsmanship!
Main Square

Waiting for tourists to come along and pay them for a picture.

These 2 stole my heart!! Boy, do they know how to work the system!! Taught very early how to make a buck. Yes, that's Mary Had a Little (Live) Lamb in her woven sack!

Close up of the 2 of them.
Tired from the week, Mike and I headed back to the hotel to just veg out a bit.  But, along the way, we found a nice English Pub, the Cross Keys. Ducking in and finding a delightful, charming atmosphere, we made tentative reservations for the group dinner that evening. 

Once back, we got confirmation from several that the Cross Keys sounded good and, why wouldn't it with everyone having some sort of British connection? LOL  As our appointed meeting time was to be 7:30pm, Mike and I actually went ahead to try and catch Happy Hour from 6:30-7:30pm. I was the lucky winner this time, as wine was included but not the good beers Mike was going to imbibe in. Yeah, me!

As the rain let loose just as the group was ready to leave the hotel, their arrival was with lots of wet bodies and some had taken a cab. But, by 8:15 pm, we were being settled at our table. And, thus began a grand party for our last get together as a group!  Fun but sad. The group would be split in half with half continuing on to the jungle for a couple of days of Amazon adventure and the other half, which we were in, would return to Lima the next day. Those going to Lima would then be departing to wherever their next adventure was to take them on Thursday. 

The grand finale, however, was a beautiful birthday cake for Bernice, Inka, and me!! THANK YOU all so much but special thanks to Linda for arranging the cake with candles!!  It took forever to get our food, as they were actually trying to serve all 14 of us at the same time!!  That's unheard of in Latin America!! Usually, the food comes out as it's cooked and you eat when served no matter who hasn't gotten theirs. Just the way it is.

One last photo of the usual "14".

Willie & Cazz

Birthday cake & candles!

The birthday girls, Me, Bernice, & Inka!
Anyway, to while away our time, we drank, oh and drank, and drank!!  Mike and Ryan downed a bit more than usual and, unfortunately, Mike felt the not only the effects from the amount but alcohol at that elevation hits a bit harder. Oh boy, did it in the middle of the night!!

The next morning, my 62nd birthday, we actually did get to sleep in a bit because the hotel guests seemed to be a bit more courteous with their noise levels. Something also very refreshing for a change!  But, we were down in time to visit with our group mates who were catching an earlier plane to the jungle and to say our goodbyes. Parting is such sweet sorrow, my friends!!  I miss you tons but know we'll be in touch with some in our future. We have lots of invitations now in many parts of the world we'd still love to visit. And, some want to come visit us wherever we land. 

As we didn't have to be ready for the bus to the airport until 12:40pm, Jessica, Ryan, Mike and me took a walk back to the patio restaurant where we first had drinks after the chocolate factory tour on our first visit to Cusco. Service again a bit slow but a nice meal and friendship, then back with no time to spare to gather our bags and hop on the bus for our flight back to Lima.

Some pictures taken by Mike during the flight:

Sunset...sort of.

Lima Airport.
Once back in Lima, Mike and I had a bit of business stateside to coordinate and then we headed to the corner Italian restaurant for a bite to eat. We needed to be refreshed for our early morning departure by bus to Paracas, on the ocean and 4.5 hours south, for our next 3 days in Peru. 

So that is the end of our glorious tour of an incredible week of discovery and exploring in the Peruvian Andes !!  It had been planned for so long with great anticipation and it was now just beautiful memories to be documented and talked about endlessly. Sigh....

And, so the journey continues....

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