Wow. I can’t believe my time here in Peru is winding down. I am almost 2/3 of the way done. A little more than 6 weeks to go.  That fact evokes a mixture of emotions–as ready as I am to come home, I still feel I have a lot more to accomplish here in Lima. There are still things to be seen, and I would love for my Spanish to get a little better. It has definitely become better, but not quite as much as I would’ve hoped for at this point.

Jon arrived in Lima at 2 am last Friday morning–delayed in Houston.  I took a safe taxi Taxi San Borja to and from the airport. You have to call this company well in advance to get a taxi, but late at night–especially since I was alone, it was definitely worth it.  The taxista was nice and showed me where to go to pick him up and then waited (for an hour due to customs and baggage claim) for me to return with Jon.  He took us to my host stay. We got about 3 hours of sleep and then the same taxista picked us up and took us back to the airport for our flight to Cusco.

Here’s the logistics of our trip:

Friday--Flight to Cusco left around 10, in Cusco around 11. We took Taca airlines.  Checked into our hostel, Wasichay in Cusco. It was a great location-and ok room for the price.

Saturday– Our travel agency Andina Travel picked us up at Wasichay at 6:50 am. We took a Perurail bus from Cusco to Piscacucho and then the Peru Rail train from Piscacucho to Aguas Calientes. We arrived in Aguas Calientes around 12:30 in the afternoon, and our hostel Pirwa Hostel (highly recommended by a friend of mine, and I loved it too) picked us up from the train station. Everything in Aguas Calientes is basically within walking distance so we walked to our hostel, left our backpacks, and then walked to the bus station. We took a 20 min bus up to Machu Picchu! and spent the afternoon there (about 3 1/2 hours). We didn’t use a guide–just walked around by ourself. I had a tour book especially for MP, but decided not to use it about 3o min in and just soaked up the beauty instead of figuring out what each rock was haha.

Sunday– We took the 10 am Peru Rail train and were back in Piscacucho at 11:30. Then we took a Peru Rail bus to Ollantambo. Then our travel agency sent a taxi to pick us up from Ollantambo and bring us back to Cusco. We didn’t get back until a little after 3 pm because the towns of Ollantambo and Urubamaba were celebrating a religious festival and the traffic near Urubamba was backed up.

Monday– We took a flight to Lima from Cusco at noon!

This was definitely a whirlwind go-go-go type of trip, but Jon only had 6 days in Peru-so it was necessary. And quite honestly, I felt like we got what we wanted out of the trip–great food, relaxation, and MACHU PICCHU!  There was probably a lot in Cusco to see that we didn’t, but I really don’t feel too bad about it……

I would defintely definitely recommend using Andina Travel. And ask for Erick! He speaks English, which is nice when planning a complicated schedule, and he was very quick to respond by email!  I booked our flights to Cusco, our Peru Rail train tickets, and our hostel in Aguas Calientes all on my own. Then I sent this information to Erick, and he handled coordinated transit bus/taxi pick ups, our entrances to Machu Picchu, the bus to Machu Picchu, and our hotel in Cusco.  As far as I could tell, I payed no extra than what I would’ve for these services had I done it all on my own–agency must get a discount. And it saved us a montón of time and stress. When the agency picked us up from our hostel in Cusco on Saturday morning, the lady had our train tickets, MP bus tickets, and MP entrance tickets all stapled together for each one of us and in a nice brown envelope. Also the only reason we had to do taxi and buses to and from Piscacucho was because of the January mudslide. Normally Peru Rail would take you straight from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, you would take the same bus from AC to MP and be done with it.  Apparently Peru Rail has been changing ticket details last minute frequently and having an agency who was used to this and adjusted according was awesome. Plus having the bus and entrance tickets to MP in hand was soooo convenient. No standing in long lines, figuring out where to the ticket offices are, etc.

When back from Cusco/Machu Picchu Jon and I rested/went to a movie– ROBIN HOOD!!!with Russell Crow and Cate Blanchett–so good! Then the next day, we went to Miraflores–Park of Love, beach, another movie DATE NIGHT with Steve Carell and Tina Fey–also good! and dinner at the Rosa Nautica. Then Wed (day he left) just rested and showed him around my neighborhood and took him to the 4 estaciones jugeria for dinner and banana milk (my new fav drink).

All in all it was a successful trip. It was hard to say goodbye again, but I’ll be back in 6 weeks!!!  Also the things he brought from home (my sister packed them) are really gonna make my time in Lima better–assorted teas from the candy basket, cinnamon disks, trail mix (goldfish, dried cranberries, mnms, and peanuts), warmer shoes, extra workout shirts, moisturizer, hot chocolate mix, new OU scholars tee, and LuLu (my stuffed bunny)!! My sister is amazing. I love and miss her so much.

I’m going to do a separate post about the food we ate while traveling and in Lima! The food was definitely Jon’s favorite part!!!! And I don’t blame him–we happened upon some great places with great dishes!!!!!


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