Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley

18th April

Well, after an 11 hour night and having slept right through we were back to normal; boy did we need it!!!  Down for breakfast for 0600 hrs, fantastic spread again, completed and out of the restaurant by 0640 where our guide was waiting to take us to the airport.  Again another “interesting” drive.  Driving here in Lima is between being in Cairo and a Banger race track, mad or what?  And the noise from horns is constant, yet no one takes a blind bit of notice! Our guide also gave us advice about living in the high altitude in Cusco etc., only eat easily digested foods as it takes twice as long to digest and have lots of energy drinks.  Cusco is a little under 4,000 meters, fairly high.

We arrived at the airport and our guide chaperoned us through and deposited us at security, now we were on our own.  An excellent flight and though only 1 hour 20 mins unlike Ryanair or Easy Jet, not only did we have massive leg room, we were given a soft drink and a box containing several types of biscuit, there’s a novelty!  The flight followed the Andes, this reminded me of the flight I took along the tops of the Himalayas, These snow capped mountains are just as rugged but not quite so high.  I felt sorry for the pilot as he had a tortuous route in around the mountains before dropping down to find the runway, still he did, and it was  a fine landing, better than the one arriving into Lima.  As soon as they opened the plane’s door, we could feel the thinner air, the guide was right.

After collecting our bags we met our new guide as we walked out of the airport and into our own private bus.  Here we were briefed on the next few days of our adventure.  We were then left to the mercies of our driver, a very nice chap but with little English, but with our little Spanish, we all did very well.

This was a very interesting drive, up mountains and down dales, with numerous stops along the way to take ‘photos.  Beautiful scenery, very green, yet with a fabulous back drop of the rugged Andes mountains.

Finally we dropped down into the Sacred Valley and then found our hotel, the Sol y Luna. Wow, this is an amazing hotel, no normal bedrooms here, just 28 individual chalets called Casitas set in the most amazing gardens that neither of us have experienced before.

Before we could go exploring or have lunch, we had to re-organise our cases as we can only take one piece of small hand luggage on the train up to Machu Picchu yet have sufficient for two nights, still task completed and off went our main cases with our guide, hopefully to be repatriated in a couple of days time, keeping our fingers crossed.

Bags away and into the restaurant where we ate “local’, I had Crispy Guinea pig legs and Christine had Alpaca Steak as starters followed by local farmed Trout, everything was excellent.

Following lunch we wandered around these beautiful gardens and sat in the sun, yes hot sun, wonderful, then back to our chalet for showers before dinner.

Well we didn’t actually make “dinner” as we’re were still bloated from lunch however, as we didn’t have desert with lunch we did indulge with a desert as our evening dinner with a Piña Collada for me and a fruit (no alcohol) punch for Christine.

A nice stroll through the gardens at night, equally magnificent, then back to our chalet for another early night as we have to be up by 0630 hrs tomorrow morning to catch the train to Machu Picchu

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