Cuzco and the Inca Sites

So! I'll start where I left off. I only got about 4 hours of sleep before I had to wake up again to get breakfast at the hotel and meet up with my group to fly to Cuzco. We took a bus there through town where I fell asleep. :) When we got to the airport we went to go look for my bag. Shout out to Charles for being my translator and helping me get my bag back! I guess there was someone else who lost their bag and wasn't going to get it back for 2 days! I got lucky.

The plane ride to Cuzco is only about an hour. However, the difference in altitude makes the trip hard. Cuzco is twice as high as Lima at about 10,800 feet. This is what you see when you get off the plane. 
You are literally surrounded in mountains. You can feel the difference in altitude almost immediately because you'll start to get a dull headache and feel short of breath. 

During the day we got acclimated to the altitude and explored the city on our own. I visited a market where there were booths of homemade things. It was very cool. I met up with some people in my group for dinner and ended up at a place that had an open rooftop. 
All of those lights are from the houses on the mountains. It was amazing. 

The next day we left the hotel at 7:30 in the morning to visit some Inca sites. It turns out that our guide Enrico is Incan and even knows the native language of the Incas, Quechua. We visited the Sacred Valley where we learned that it isn't sacred at all! It's just a name they used to get more people to visit. Haha

While we were there, we visited a Caccaccollo community that has been developing viable economic alternatives for women by letting them maintain their cultural heritage of weaving and benefit from the tourist who buy the products they make. They only spoke Quechua and were very nice women who showed us how to weave different textiles. 
This is Carlotta who told us about the different weaving patterns. 

After that, we visited the Pisac ruins which were beautiful! 
We hiked to the top of the stone building, which was slightly difficult because the altitude was higher than Cuzo. Physically, it isn't very hard. It is purely the lack of oxygen that causes you to take multiple breaks on the way up.

The last site we visited was Ollantaytambo which is actually the town we stayed in. It had huge steep terraces that we climbed up to see the entire town below. 

This is the last post I'll have until we return to Cuzco after the hike! The group is excited to start on it. :) ps. I'm the only American. Which surprises me a little bit. There's two couples from Canada, two New Zealand girls, and two guys from England. We all make fun of each other's accents. :D one of the New Zealand girls likes to say "stop it" like me. -_- haha 

Anyway! I shall post again after the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. :)


Starting off with a bang!

Well! I was suppose to be in Lima this morning, but my first flight was cancelled last night. I rescheduled my flights for about 12 hours later so that I was suppose to land in Lima at about 10 at night....when I really landed at 11:15.

This is what flying just before sunrise looks like. :) very peaceful. 

This is from the door to the outside in Chicago. The airport was pretty clear, but there was still quite a lot of snow that you could see from the plane. When we got off the plane in Chicago, we all could see our breathes up until we walked out into the actual airport. 

After Chicago I went to Miami. That airport is so stressful! There was another flight to Lima that was suppose to take off 5 minutes after mine and was just a few gates down from where I got off. However, my flight was on the complete opposite side of the airport. I was SWEATING when I finally got to my gate. And then I waited in a huge crowd of people to get on the flight....seriously. There were A LOT of people on this plane. And everyone spoke Spanish. I think this was the moment I realized that this trip might be harder than I thought since I barely know any Spanish. 

So, by the time we all boarded the plane and the crew checked a bunch of random stuff, we were off to Lima! An hour and a half after our departure time, but we were on our way. I ended up not sleeping on the plane and watched a couple of movies, which I later regret. 

The plane landed at about 11:15. I went to go get my checked bag, but after waiting an hour, I realized it wasn't coming. I filled out a report with the plane company, and that was quite a process for each of us to figure out what the other person was saying. I was coming back the next day anyway to fly to Cuzco so I just told them to keep it at the airport instead of bringing it to my hotel. 

My cab driver to my hotel was really nice and told me stories from when he sailed in Europe. I finally got my hotel at 1:30 in the morning. It was a 22 hour travel day, which was terrible for my knee. Blah. 

This is from the coast of Lima. :) I'll have more to post tomorrow! 


Well, well, well....

A lot can change in a short amount of time.  I last posted in late August and since then I have injured my leg, went to the doctor multiple times, had an MRI plus X-rays, finally found out I tore my meniscus, and have had knee arthroscopy surgery (a partial meniscectomy).  Well then!  Recovery has been difficult just because I am an independent person and asking people to do everything for me has been tough.  It's been a week since my surgery and my knee is feeling pretty good though!  I went from not being able to walk, to crutches, and then to a cane.  I actually can walk without anything right now, but keep the cane around just in case.  :]

However, this month and a half long process has started to make me nervous for my upcoming Peru trip.  I believe walking around will be fine, but the hike may be an issue.  There is an option to take a train for those who are unable to do the hike, but I just can't bring myself to be okay with taking that.  I just feel like I made it all the way to Peru for this trip, and then I can't even do the biggest highlight.  I'll keep you posted on what happens.

How about some good news?!  :D

I am in Texas right now for Thanksgiving.  We stayed with my sister last year, but this year there's more of us so we decided to rent a house about an hour away from my sister's house.  It's beautiful!  It's high up on a hill and overlooks a lake.  :]  I'll post more about it later since we just got here yesterday.  We left Illinois at 7p.m. and just drive throughout the night.....needless to say we all slept very well last night when we were in beds instead of a car packed with stuff.  haha Today we are going wine tasting, because isn't that what all families do the day before Thanksgiving?  ;)  I'll leave you with a picture from the balcony of the house.  


Three years later....

Well!  It's almost been three years since I was living in England.  I do realize I never made a few posts still, but I think we'll all survive without them!  :]  Or at least, you will have to survive because I'm not about to write them now.  haha

I haven't done much traveling, except for a few trips around the midwest area.  I'm planning on doing another pretty soon, so I'll post about that one and the others soon!

I wanted to start up my blog since I am planning a trip to South America very soon!  It's especially exciting because it's another continent that I haven't been to.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on here before or not, but I'm trying to go to every continent before I'm 40 years old.  So far, I've been on three and I'm almost 23.  I'd say I'm making good time so far.  :D

Well, this was just a quick update!  Be on the lookout for posts with pictures!