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  • Day12

    Cusco and Machu Picchu - 18 to 21 July

    July 20, 2015 in Peru ⋅ 🌙 4 °C

    So picking up where we left off....

    We flew out of Chiclayo at around 11 ish at night and landed in Lima around 1230 in the morning. We immediately tried to find a place to sleep in the airport as our flight to Cusco didn't leave till 630. We found a 'quiet' spot where we could stretch out and immediately Jaime was asleep. For people who have read previous posts, this is not surprising. Unfortunately for Keith, shortly after we laid down, a Peruvian construction worker thought it would be appropriate to start up his rip saw...that lasted a few hours. Shockingly, Jaime slept through the whole thing and had no recollection....

    So we land in Cusco with a couple things on our to-do list. First and foremost, we needed a hostel. Second, we needed a tour/plan/way to get to Machu Picchu. So we get online in a coffee shop in the airport and find a hostel with a room. Unfortunately, once we got there, they told us they didn't have a room...for the uniformed, the elevation in Cusco is ridiculous and you get out of breath just by walking up a flight of stairs....oh, and the whole town has steps. It's crazy....so after the first hostel, Jaime decided that she would wait where she was and allow Keith the privilege of finding a good substitute...which he did...after about 30 minutes....most of that time was spent catching his breath.

    Now that we had our hostel, we then needed to figure out how to get to Machu Picchu....it is as this point in the story that I need to take a detour...

    So...there's no polite way to say this, but due to unanticipated consequences in the past, Keith may or may not have a general idea of when certain hormonal changes take place with an unnamed travel companion. With this in mind, Keith knew that the Cusco/Machu Picchu portion of the trip was fraught with peril....this was why he advocated for paying more for a tour that would take care of all the details...it would cut down on stress and make everything 'much easier' (this is what we call foreshadowing)...

    So we go to the tour agency and get a tour that included transportation, hike, hostel, 3 meals, tix to Machu Picchu and a guide. What could go wrong right???? Well, allow me to tell you....

    Another flawless segue first....
    Hormones, much like the struggle, are real. They exist....and they truly are unexplainable....and as a dude that mainly grew up in a household of dudes, Keith was unequipped in these circumstances...

    Ok, here we go...so we wake up early the morning of the 19th so we can catch a 7 hour bus ride to the Hydroelectric Station, so we can hike the 12 km to Agua Caliente, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. Jaime now refers to this drive as her 'hell/nightmare'. Jaime was already tired because Keith, as perfect as he usually is, set the alarm for an hour too early.....which led to Jaime not getting sufficient rest. It was at this point, Keith should have realized that the day would be a long one (this is what we call an understatement)...

    So I'm just going to hit the high points and move on...mainly because I'm not entirely sure we're allowed to laugh about this yet....

    So according to Jaime, the driver drove too fast for the road and almost killed us, the hike from the hydroelectric station was too long and Keith either walked too fast or too slow, Keith also did not property pay attention to what Jaime was saying because in spite of the fact that we were able to hike along a beautiful river in the beautiful Andes mountains on the way to Machu Picchu, whatever Jaime was talking about way more important than whatever Keith wanted to see. Once we arrived in the town, we were given a room that directly conflicted with what the tour agency told us (and then told we didn't have a choice), the room had no toilet paper, and in a town named 'Hot Water'...there was none. Keith was also negligent in not fixing all of the above complaints in a timely manner. Not only that, but Jaime received some bad news from home and tears joined the mix. All in all, it was what the Army calls 'an opportunity to excel'...Sadly, Keith did not excel on that day....

    But friends and family....20 July was a new day. We woke up, hopped on a bus and 20 minutes later we were at Machu Picchu. It really was a cool day. We explored the ruins and walked out to the Sun Gate. All told, we walked uphill most of the day and saw some great views. We also took hundreds of pics. Some of which we'll try to share.

    We decided to ditch the tour guide pretty early on because he liked to ask rhetorical questions and wait 30 seconds for an answer. We also had a train to catch and didn't have time for such nonsense. Well, that was Keith's reason. By the time that decision was made, Jaime had already wandered off multiple times. She apparently isn't a fan of telling Keith where she is going, but Keith had quickly learned that he can find her gushing over the nearest animal. In this case, they were alpacas...(think llamas)...on one occasion, Keith actually wishes he had taken a pic of Jaime when he found her, it would probably been the best pic of the day. She was so happy that she got to touch the animals...it's weird, we flew thousands of miles to a place thousands of years old and all Jaime wanted was a petting zoo. Keith's nerves didn't understand this at all...especially since he is aware of multiple petting zoos back in the states.

    So after we were done, we hopped on a train back to the Hydroelectric Station where we could get another bus/glorified van back to Cusco. The return trip was not as terrifying for Jaime, but it was equally uncomfortable as she couldn't sleep. She also made sure Keith was aware of her discomfort...these notifications were frequent.

    We spent the next day recovering and in the Internet cafe trying to figure out how we would deal with the real world once we returned to it...we also tweaked our trip plans a little.

    At one point, Keith grew tired of sitting in the Internet cafe and had to visit the bano...he sets off with Jaime on the computer. Apparently, Peruvians treat dudes who are by themselves differently than when they are accompanied. In this case, in a span of 5 minutes, Keith was offered marijuana, cocaine, and a 'happy ending'. Jaime was amused by this information and wanted to embarrass Keith by inquiring about the details....luckily for all parties, this discussion never took place.

    Keith and Jaime made plans to head to Puno and Lake Titicaca the next day...more information on how that goes later....
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