NOTE – This was written on the drive in my journal so it´s in present tense. Whoops!
It´s 530 in the morning right now. I guess my sleeping pill has worn off and the sun is rising. I may have went to sleep around 10 or 11… not sure. Not a great sleep though. These big ¨semi cama¨ (partially reclining) seats seemed s much bigger when we first got on. I remember waking up and feeling very sick to my stomach at some point. Okay no though. More than ok (except that my mouth is in desperate need of a toothbrush). I woke up this morning and pulled open the blinds to see and we were driving through The Sacred Valley. Intense and sooooooooooooooo beautiful. So beautiful. We were driving right along a cliff and the valley lay below.
My next thought was naturally to reach for my camera. Needed to share that moment and capture that image. Camera battery dead. I´ve been using Savannah´s to get the best shots possible but the condensation on the window and low shutter speed is proving to be a challenge. Man I want an SLR and a photography course. So far that is the one thing I would´ve done differently.
Rolling stream below me and Peru´s version of the Rockies on either side. The grass looks like green felt from a pool table… it´s SO green. I can´t help but feel a little… taken aback. So mad about my camera!!! How can I be missing this!
So we´ll be arriving in Cusco at 11am (which actually turned out to be 2pm). Then we need to find a hostel. I have a note from Erin in the guide book with the one she stayed at so we may start there. We ahve met a few people on our bus. There are 2 guys – maybe 50 – traveling together. Didn´t quite catch where they were from – Southern USA maybe. One is Ken. He was offering everyone sweet bananas and oranges and would NOT take no for an answer. Then proceeded to chat our EAR off! The other I didn´t meet but he has a massive snoring problem! My god! Thank goodness for the sleeping pills. There are a few young couples it looks like, a Peruvian family and an Australian guy in his 20s. Talked to him briefly. He´s traveling alone (has spent the last 7 months in Europe and South America) and his friends all just went home so he may hang with us in Cusco.
All I can think of as we drive is how much I want to photograph this!!! Haha — just passed two random cows. (In the end, we saw dogs, warthogs, cows, horses, pigs and sheep.) The cows are soooooooo skinny.
So it´s a 2 storey luxury bus. We are up on the 2nd level. DVD´s playing constantly… Con Air, The Aviator, Emporer´s New Groove. We all just played a game of Bingo as well. It was great practice for our numbers.
It´s so foggy up here right now–we must be driving through a cloud. Everything is so green! Animals roaming freel. Groups of children walking alongside the roads–they must live in the poor little homes scattered along the countryside. These homes look more like really amazing forts. Mom–the height right now is breathtaking, but I know if you were here looking down into the valley, your stomach would be absolutely weak.
Listening to Ants Marching, dreaming of my soon to be Peruvian hat and thinking of John Thompson. Hehe!
We are nearly there now. Nearly complete our 22 hour bus ride across Peru! TEAM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC… (we shared a taxi in Miami with this pilot who joked that we must work for National Geographic if we were taking that bus ride as opposed to flying). So worth it for the views though.
In some areas, there is just garbage EVERYWHERE! I don´t know where it all comes from! The most colorful clothing hanging out to dry. Children picking something from fields. House windows filled in with stones. We are truly in another world. All structures seem to be build from stone. A deep red, brick like stone. But it doesn´t look the same as we have back home. (Turns out the brick like stone was actually blocks of earth packed together. Not stone at all.)
Driving through Cusco suburbia for a sheltered North American such as myself, the scene is something resembling a World Vision infomercial or a documentary on the Discovery channel that you flip past while channel surfing.
We curb a bend of a motnain and the vast city of Cusco is revieled–laying wide through the valley below. It is so much bigger than I imagined. It´s safe to say I have never seen or visited a place like this before.
Here we are… off to explore the city.