Peru 4: Amazement.

Peru Day 1: Lima airport and Cusco Traveling to Cusco, Peru was quite an arduous experience. I flew from San Francisco to Houston, then Houston to Lima where I would end my trip with a final flight to Cusco. The flights were ordinary and very manageable, except for the last. I landed in Lima at 10pm where I would wait and wait.... and wait. My flight out of Lima to Cusco was not until 12 hours later (because my originally flight at 5am had been canceled). I made the most of my time eating a tasty salad, playing words with friends and buying/reading a book, Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell.  In my twelve hours at the Lima Airport, I snapped a good number of pictures......

Obliviously, there were many people sleeping in the airport at these wee hours of the morning.

My first alpaca (or llama) sighting... well, kind of.

When we finally arrived in Cuzco, a man from our hostel came to welcome us. As he drove us to the "city center" where our hostel was, I was amazed. I couldn't believe I was finally there! Modest homes covered the hillsides. Cars sped past us. The rain sprinkled down. Cusco welcomed us with it's unsuspecting charm. Every time I travel, I am amazed with how similar and different these mysterious places are with what I call home. Cuzo and Peru, by far, offered the most different experience than I've had with any other place I've visited. (Perhaps because this is the first time I've ever visited South America or anywhere Latin.)  Below is a narrow street our taxi driver maneuvered through on our way to the hostel.  His driving skills greatly impressed me.  He was a whiz!

Here our packs welcome us!

One of the girls booked our hostel, and we unknowingly stumbled upon a jewel. We stayed at the AMARU 1 Hostal. The hostel was named for Tupac Amaru, a great leader of one of the cities in the outskirts of the Cusco in what is known as the Sacred Valley.  For a hostel, it was amazing... for a hotel is was GORGEOUS.  I felt like I was staying at the cozy guesthouse of one the locals.  The staff greeted us each and every day, and our room was equipped with an outdoor sink area and study and positioned next to a semi-private garden.  Later on, I found this hostel in my guidebooks with very high reviews.  The room for the four of us was only $65.  What a steal!

Needless to say, our room was very, very charming and cozy.

Our view from our hostel. Can you say gorgeous???