We have finished the first city of the trip – Lima – and have now moved on to Cusco. Before we left Lima we wandered down the seafront, had a tour around Huaca Pucllana (some pre-Incan ruins in Miraflores), relaxed on the terrace at Hostel El Patio reading our books and visited some artisinal markets.
Next up was a looong bus journey to Cusco. It was supposed to take 21 hours but ended up taking 23hr45! During this time we didn’t even get off the bus for more than 30 seconds! We travelled with Cruz Del Sur, on one of their ‘suite class’ buses. We had front row seats on the top deck offering great views throughout the journey and our seats were luxurious reclining leather armchairs. The first 8 hours passed quite quickly but then came the mountain roads, for the next 16 hours. It was constant winding mountain roads as we ascended and then descended multiple times. Most of tbe passengers were suffering from a combination of the constant motion and the altitude at least once during this part of the journey! We spent 90 minutes sat at roadworks at an altititude of 3610 metres 52km from Cusco. We went over some very high passes, up towards 4000 metres above sea level before we got off the bus in Cusco at 3300 metres.
Since then we have been trying to get used to the altitude – even walking along the street is leaving us out of breath but we are hoping that we’ll get acclimitised before we set off for Machu Picchu at 0430 on Tuesday morning. Until then we are taking it easy – reading books, wandering around the city of Cusco. Tomorrow we are hoping to go on a tour of some of the local Incan sites and on Sunday we are planning a trip up the Sacred Valley.