Traveling to La Paz and meeting Alma at our hostel sounded great in theory. Taking a taxi in the dark from the airport for 30 minutes into a gaint, dirty city of 3 million people to find a hotel the size of a postage stamp left me in the back seat of the tiny old car praying my guts out. I have no idea how many “Our Fathers¬¥¬¥ it took, but thankfully the taxista was honest and I arrived safely. Alma was waiting. The hostel was clean. All was great.
We left yesterday morning first thing for Peru. We traveled 14 hours by bus and arrived in Cusco late last night, exhausted and cursing the size of South American bus seats. Again, I am not Amazonian in size. My height is very much American and I have bruises on my shins from the seat in front of me for proof. But the drive was incredible, with amazing views of the teal Lake Titicaca, snowcapped Andean mountains, hearders tending to their animals on the mountainsides, etc. Once the stars came out, it was like our bus was being guided into the city of Cusco, where we were greeted by cobblestone streets, giant looming Cathedrals on every corner and warm, friendly people. I am so cautious when I travel that I am just not used to having people tell me the truth and not take advantage of the fact that I usually have no idea of where I am or where I am going. This has not been the case on this trip. So far, Bolivians and Peruvians are some of the sweetest, most hospitable people I¬¥ve ever met. To the point that I tried to pay dollars for our first hostel when the bill was in Bolivianos. The clerk handed me back more than $80. Love that.
Thank God for honesty and the golden rule.
I have a train ticket in hand for Machu Picchu. We are leaving this morning and will return tomorrow night. The idea is to see the sunrise from the Sacred Valley tomorrow. I feel like I¬¥m living a current day “Motorcycle Diaries¬¥¬¥ of sorts, minus the communism.
I can¬¥t wait to return one day to Cusco, by plane, and spend weeks here. Considering I arrived less than 10 hours ago, that tells you something about the charm of this Incan capital.