We have just arrived in Cuzco this afternoon via Lima. Had a late flight out of Santiago last night arriving in Lima at 11, so we just went to our hotel and called it a day.
The day in Santiago was great, it actually didn't rain, but was nice and sunny. We strolled through downtown, which is quite similar to Buenos Aires and ended up in the Bellavista neighborhood for lunch (our two Londoner friends recommended this place called "como aqua por Chocolate"), which was fantastic. It is just at the bottom of the cable car, which took us up to the hill overlooking (and dividing) the city. Great views along the way - it is actually a funicular for the first part, built a long time ago, then turns into something similar to the ski-lift in Colorado, which goes along the ridge line, offering excellent views of the city and the mountains in the distance - imagine a Salt Lake City-ish look. We met our Hungarian friends again up there (we met this bunch of rowdy Hungarians in Easter Island... can you believe??????)then made it back to the hotel and took a bus to the airport.
Arriving in Lima was quite a scene at the airport. Fortunately, we were able to arrange a hostel room that came with an airport pickup, so we were saved from the "hungry" crowd of taxi-drivers. The area around the airport was a bit depressing, but the hostel was all right.
We got our wake-up call at 7:30am and soon we were off to Cuzco. BTW, the Lima airport is brand new and was voted the best in South America (so we were told by the general manager who walked by when I exclaimed "they've got a PAPA JOHNS!") in truth the tourist pay for the pleasure of the airport, our departure taxes for the domestic flight was $5 US per person, and the international tax is $28! The flight was great, with snowcapped Andean peaks everywhere. The landing is quite exciting (Steve would appreciate) a sharp left turn and dive-bombing the tarmac. Our hotel is fantastic here. It's a picturesque little place, where we have our own private terrace with views. We dropped our stuff and quickly went out for a stroll. Today is some sort of religious holiday - Corpus Christi- so the main square was teeming with revelers and a row of "saints" (moving altars of some sort). Marching bands and dancers in costumes, completed the scene. Randomly walking around we went into a little resturant, which turned out to be a local hangout, complete with unknown-to-us menu... Anyway, we got a 3-course meal each (a beef-potato stew and rice with a potato-lima beans thing on the side for 4 dollars. Quite a change from the 100 dollar lobster in Easter Island.)
We are going to have our briefing for the trek now, then will try to reduce our bags to something bearable... We already know that there are no other hikers in our group, so it will be our own private MAcchu Picchu experience... Are we lucky or what?????
Ciao - more later when we return from the hike!
Megerkeztunk Cuzco-ba (Liman keresztul) Santiago nagyon jo volt, a napot laza maszkalassal toltottuk. Santiago egyik varosresze "Bell-vista" ahol sikerult megtalalnunk az ettermet amit az angol sracok javasoltak. KOzel az etteremhez van a helyi siklo allomasa (Santiagot kozepen egy 500 meteres hegy osztja kette) - ket resze van az elso olyan mint a budai siklo (kb annyi idos is) a masodik resz pedig inkabb egy sifelvonohoz hasonlit. Az elso felvisz a hegytetore, a masodik pedig egy jo kilometernyit visz a gerinc menten. A kilatas fantasztikus, hofodte hegyekkel a hatterben. A kozepso allomason ismet osszefutottunk a Husvet szigeten mar latott magyar csapattal...
Sajnos a nap hamar elszallt, es delutan mar indultunk tovabb Lima-ba (kb 3 oras repulout)
Ma reggel tovabb mentunk Cuzco-ba, ahol delutan szetneztunk egy kicsit, most pedig pakolunk a holnap indulo Inka turnera. MIndossze ketten leszunk (plusz a vezeto plusz lovak, szakacs stb) a csoportban, igy a turat teljesen hozzank igazitjak...
Cuzco nagyon szep, bar joval forgalmasabb mint gondoltam. A szallodank egy kis utcaban a foter felett van, kilatassal a varosra.
A tura vegen, egy het mulva erunk a MAcchu Picchu-hoz, utana visszajovunk ide 3 napra, mielott indulunk tovabb. Remeljuk akkor mar lesznek feltoltheto kepeink is.