after an overnight stay in quito and a second one in lima, we arrived in cuzco bright and early on tuesday morning. i was so happy to be done with flying for a few days. but, even more happy to have landed in a city that would be the launch-pad for places i have dreamed about seeing since i first became interested in world travel. it’s kind of hard to believe that i’m really here! cuzco itself has been surprising so far. we expected a tourist city, overrun with foreigners with overpriced everything. yes, there are tons of foreigners, but they seem to co-exist just fine with the locals and the city is so old and beautiful that it’s quickly obvious why so many people make it a destination (along with the obvious reason of heading to machu picchu from here).
we got into cuzco a few days before bob’s family flew in. we thought it’d be nice to tool around by ourselves before the whirlwind of touring and catching up began. matt was already here so we also got a nice reunion with him and have been checking out the local restaurant options and hearing about his adventures since leaving us in bogota. our first full day here was about acclimating to the altitude and meandering through the streets to see what cuzco has to offer. it’s a nice change of pace from bogota for many reasons. there are new food options, there are indigenous folks strolling around in traditional dress (which is stunningly colorful) and there is a new excitement about the city because most people are here to have large adventures. here’s a taste of what we’ve seen so far…
we also decided to go all out and try the $7/hour massages that were being offered all over the tourist area. we didn’t have high expectations for the cost, but both were feeling a little stiff from travel/months on the bike. so, we dove in and got one this morning. what a hilarious experience, but i will warn you, this is not for the timid or shy out there! they definitely made us feel looser, but also kind of beat us up in the process. i could only think it had to resemble a turkish massage, just not quite so violent. the ladies got up on the table to straddle us at certain points (which did help them get in a better position). but, i had to laugh when i had mine sitting on my butt at one point! the best part were the hot stones that they used and then put in my hands to warm them, as it’s pretty chilly here. i can’t say that we’ll jump to get another one, but we didn’t get hurt in the process and i do feel a little less tight. so, it was worth it to find out exactly what a $7 massage will get you.
so far cuzco has been a wonderful change of pace for us. and we are pretty excited to see bob’s dad and grandma tomorrow morning! we haven’t even started the crazy part of our adventure here. but, i think it’s a really good sign that we are enjoying every minute of it. we head to lake titicaca next and can’t wait to see what the next few days hold for us.