Tag Archives: altitude

First Impressions: Cusco

29 Feb

First impressions from Cusco, Peru. In one word:
Nancy: winded
Mike: rainy
Jerry: headache
Jeannie: alpaca

We arrived in Cusco yesterday morning and immediately felt the effects of going from sea level (Lima) to 11000 feet in an hour. That is, everyone except Jeannie who happens to be immune to the affects of high altitude. We slept and rested for most of the day and didn’t do much. We were also advised to drink lots of coca tea and to chew on the leaves to offset the high altitude effects.

Our hostel, El Triunfo, provided us with tea. So soothing!

An hour’s flight from Lima, the city of Cusco is what we envisioned Lima to be (we will talk more about Lima in a new post). Cusco’s main square Plaza de Armas is the central point where all things converge: cobblestone streets, restaurants, souvenir shops, tourism outfitters, old-world churches, stray dogs, local citizenry, and an alpaca or two. It’s a great place to sit on the steps and take in the whole scene. A half hour walk into the hill brings beautiful lush vegetation and outstanding views of the city. The weather in March is best described as rainy. You can pretty much count on rain every day, although it comes in spurts throughout the day and night. We’ve found the best hiking weather is before noon.

Plaza de Armas

Cobblestone streets

Local kids up in the hill own some of these animals. The white llama is a random llama that came over to eat their greenery. The kid in the yellow actually threw rocks and did a flying karate jump-kick to the side of the llama to get it to move on somewhere else. He had textbook form on his kick — it looked like something out of a Bruce Lee movie. We would have captured it on camera, but we were too shocked and could only watch!



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