19 February 2008

First Day in Cusco

Cusco, Peru :: Villa Hermosa Hotel

We took our 9 hour bus ride to Cusco, which was probably the worst, or at least, one of the worst trips in my adult life. Erika and I couldn't really sleep with all the wild curves and deep potholes the autobus kept blazing through. Another thing that kinda freaked me out (besides high speeds on blind curves, that is): somehow, and I have no idea how exactly, but somehow I blacked out in my sleep. Does that even make sense? Of course it doesn't, but it's true. I fucking fainted in my sleep, or half-sleep, whatever the hell it was. So there I was, freaked out, but I just sat there in my eon flux, until I calmed down a bit, I mean, I didn't wanna scare Erika since she has kinda a small threshold for drama. Eventually I dozed off and on for the next 7 hours, trying to pry the headache out of my left lobe. Eventually I realized I had altitude sickness, and I had it bad. It was kinda funny: by the time we got to the terminal in Cusco, Cruz Del Sur blasted this really peppy Andean pipe music inside the bus, which was so mismatched with the way my head felt, the tightness in my chest, and my near cerebral edema meltdown the night before. I mean, they couldn't have picked a worse soundtrack for my fear and trembling.

Still, after two 2-hour naps in the space of 10 hours, some maté de coca, and some vegetable soufflé and veggie chaufa arroz, I feel pretty good. Cusco is a beautiful city into itself, sort of like spending the day with Penelope Cruz when tomorrow you were going to meet Monica Belluci. As Erika and I walked through tiny streets, we felt like we were in Tuscany, even with the irritating campesina girls that kept following us around asking for more money. God, is it required by the State board that all campesino girls have to carry sleepy puppies in a sling? Flower and I got rid of them by ducking into a nearby convent.

The buildings were charming and picturesque, Andean pipes and Alpaca Chullos peppered artisan stalls, blue balconies hovered above fractured cobblestone alleys. Finally we walked to Plaza de Armas, sat on the cathedral steps, walked through narrow streets and enjoyed a beautiful day where the air is thin and crisp. Tomorrow = Machu Picchu!

No comments: