Love Me, Don't Eat Me

Cusco Travel Blog

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Flying into Cusco

1AM Trying to sleep in the Lima Airport.

4AM. Still trying to sleep in the airport. The LAN sales desk was marked to open. It didn't. I try to sleep with my lower body on the luggage cart and my head on a chair. It doesn't quite work, but some dude a few chairs down starts copying me.

4:45AM. LAN Sales finally opens. We purchase the next tickets to Cusco

5:45AM. We pay our first airport tax.

7:00AM We're flying down over Cusco, and its beautiful. Some sort of snow-capped Andean peak rises up from the valley floor right outside my window, bathed in the pale blues and purples of the morning. The light is perfect as we get into high valley where Cusco is, all brilliant and rosy over Cusco's trademark orange roofs.

7:30AM I'm a fucking zombie.

I haven't slept in god knows how long. And that's bad in a place that causes people to collapse from altitude sickness. I look, that man has a triple for $50. We quickly bargain him down to $40, and off we go to finally get some sleep.

Hotel Qusqo turns out to be a really good deal. The room we got was actually a quad, but we got it for the price of a triple (the bargained-down price, too). The room was pretty sweet and had two little balconies looking into the street less than half a block from the Plaza des Armas, the main square. There was breakfast and coca tea for free, a private bathroom, a TV, and this awesome doorman name Lenon who I think was totally drunk all the time.

8AM: We sleep. And sleep and sleep.

12PM: What the hell is that music? It's like that music from the Godfather, when Michael is in Sicily, and there's parading down the streets and it's all sad but festive at the same time.

The army
Old country music. And it's coming from right outside the window. I get up, go to the balcony and look out the window.

Good lord, the whole army is out there, right across the street, lined up, doing excercises. And the military band is blasting away with the Old Country music. Welcome to Peru. Before long, JP gets up and joins me and we watch the army parade around for a little bit. It's surreal. And Atousa sleeps through all of it.

4PM: We finally get up and go out into the square. It's crowded and touristy, but pretty. There's a giant rainbow flag flying, just like the one in our home town of San Francisco, but I don't think it means the same thing.

That's when I see it. The most adorable thing I have ever seen in my life. A tiny, furry white little baby alpaca hanging out of the arms of a little girl in traditional dress.

Love me, don't eat me!
She sees me. The girl, not the alpaca. I know I've been caught in the crosshairs of a tourist trap, but I don't care. I stand there like a deer in headlights as she plops the gangly little animal into my arms. It's like a fuzzy baby lamb, but with dangly little legs that look too long for it. Good god, it's so warm. I can hear it's hearbeat against mine. Good god, it's... smiling at me.

I'm in love. But soon I have to tear away because it's time for dinner. The little girl rips me off, or maybe I rip her off. Either way, she asked for an absorbanent amount of money after we took pictures , and I paid her some of it. True love isn't worth that much.

We get dinner at Victor/Victoria, a place serving traditional food recommended by Loneley Planet.

Cathedral and Plaza des Armas

So... I have this weird thing that I do. I have a habit of eating animals that I find incredibly adorable immediately after cooing over baby versions of that animal when I travel. It's like in the Everglades, when I saw these adooorrable baby alligators just relaxing in the grass looking up at me with their big heads and angry little alligator eyes. Soooooo cute. 1 hour later, I'm chomping down on gator nuggets. It's like an epic battle between my love of cute little animals and my love of eating bizzare foods that I haven't tasted before.

My stomach seems to be winning out, because the next thing I knew, I was chowing down on a plate of Alpaca Cordon Bleu. It was really tasty. Almost as tasty as it was cute.

sharl001 says:
Tough love I guess. ;-)
Posted on: Jul 01, 2008
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Flying into Cusco
Flying into Cusco
The army
The army
Love me, dont eat me!
Love me, don't eat me!
Cathedral and Plaza des Armas
Cathedral and Plaza des Armas
Narrow streets of Cusco
Narrow streets of Cusco
rainbow flag and cathedral in Plaz…
rainbow flag and cathedral in Pla…
Cusco Hotels & Accommodations review
Our stay in Hotel Qusqo was an excellent deal. $40US between three people for a large room with four beds, cable TV, a private bathroom, free breakfas… read entire review
Cusco
photo by: Vlindeke