We arrived in Lima just in time for breakfast at McDonald's. Ah, those universal golden arches. But you know what's not so universal? That peaches and coconut parfait. So tasty!
Another quick flight and we finally reached our destination of Cusco. We walked off the plane and stretched our arms open wide, basking in the sun and the joy of finally arriving.
Talk about service, Raul, from our trek company, was waiting to receive us. Yes, he even had our names printed out on a sign. He loaded our bags into the van and introduced us to our driver, Jesus. They were the best. Since we had arrived a day late and our group had started hiking at 6 that morning, they were going to drive us to the lunch site. They were the friendliest people. As we started our drive, Raul pointed across to the snowy mountain way in the distance and said, "That's where we were going." We had so much fun on our drive, chatting and listening to a mixture of 90s American tunes and every type of salsa. They promised to take us to the discoteque after our long hike.
Jesus and Raul
We drove for nearly 3 hours, through windy and bumpy roads. But, I was in awe at the beauty of the mountains. Every so often we'd drive through small little towns with so much to see. Peruvian men and women with loads larger than their whole bodies on their back, hiking to the market. Little children doing the same. We stopped to pick up bottled water and use the bathroom.
Our first bathroom
Then a little while later stopped to pick up coca leaves, which is a supposed cure for altitude sickness. You can chew them or drink them in tea. (Actually, I saw the leaves in most everything including chocolate). S was the first one to dive in. She was also one of the few that did not get altitude sickness when we reached the highest peak. And that's when I became a believer of the coca.