A few years ago we decided that our family Christmas tradition was going to be travelling to someplace in the world and having our 28 year old son meet us there. We don’t get to see Parker that often, he lives in Dawson Creek, British Columbia (mile zero of the Alaskan Highway) and we live in Nashville, TN. The last time we saw him was last year when we went to Turkey for Christmas.
The plan this year is three days in Cusco, two days in Agua Calientes (near Macchu Pichu), and then 8 days in Lima.
Parker flew Dawson Creek to Vancouver to Toronto to Lima. We flew Nashville to Atlanta to Lima. We arrived Sunday morning within an hour of each other 1AM and 2AM. Althoughwe arrived only about 12 hours before our flight to Cusco, I did get a hotel room at the Wyndham hotel right across the street from the Lima airport, a two minute walk. We got a few hours of sleep at least.
As we entered the airport again in the morning, there was a throng of excited people with cameras and signs as soon as we walked in. “How did they know we were coming?” I thought, “And why is everyone dressed in black?” It turns out they were not waiting for us after all, they were waiting for the arrival of Lacrimosa, a German, goth, heavy metal band. The crowds appeared to be completely uninterested in getting our autograph, so we watched the festivities for a few minutes and then headed into the airport.
I guess I have determined that all airports are pretty much the same around the world. Wherever you are I think it must be in the “International Airport Regulatory Committee
Rulebook” that every airport must include at least one McDonalds and/or one Starbucks and at least three shops to buy souvenirs at inflated prices for the person you forgot to buy something for. Lima had both a McDonalds AND a Starbucks, so I guess they rank right up there according to the International Airport Regulatory Committee.
The flight to Cusco on Peruvian Airlines was about one hour any yet they still managed to serve a snack of a sandwich and muffin. That was impressive! On the flight from Na
shville to Atlanta, which is about the same duration, on the same equipment, Boeing 737, they tell you, “Due to short duration of this flight there will be no beverage service.” And yet the Peruvians serve you a beverage and a snack! I think some training for USA based airlines is in order.
The approach into Cusco was exciting in and of itself. It was kind of like a mild thrill ride at an amusement park. Cusco is nestled in the mountains at 11,000 feet. On the approach you descend down into the valley with the mountains close by your side. I remember thinking, “Are we really supposed to be this close to the mountain?” The plane gave a final hard banking turn and landed smoothly.
A pleasant efficient taxi ride took us to our hotel for our three nights in Cusco, La Casona de Rimacpampa. We are very pleased with the hotel. Centrally located in the historical district. There are a total of about 16 rooms total in the hotel. The staff is very helpful and friendly. We got a room that has a queen bed downstairs and two double beds in a loft upstairs. For about $80 per night we have a great room for the three of us including breakfast.
We arrived at about 5 in the afternoon and had time to walk around the historic district and grab dinner. More about our adventures and observations in the next post.