by Jake Boeson
I was so nervous. But, at the same time, I was super excited.
Peru, and Machu Picchu in particular, have always been on my bucket list. The major issue: I have never really enjoyed flying because I hate turbulence. The last time I flew, I was coming back from Arizona and we hit some bad turbulence over St. Louis. I was gripping my seat in total fear! My mom helped me get over that fear by teaching me some breathing techniques and it definitely came in handy in the flights today.
We hit some sketchy turbulence on both the first flight out of Washington and the second out of San Salvador. Instead of freaking out and holding on to the seat for dear life like I usually do, I just sat there and calmly did my breathing exercises— it helped tremendously. I had never been so calm on a flight before.
It was hilarious how they showed Star Wars: The Force Awakens on every flight. Don’t get me wrong, I love Star Wars more than any movie series I’ve ever seen, but the same movie twice in a 10-hour span is a bit excessive.
The funniest part of the travel adventures was Michael and Andrew looking for food in the San Salvador airport. They went searching for food, knowing we didn’t have much time to lollygag, and actually managed to find a subway. K-Pop (Mr. Koplowitz) joined them and as they were about to order he said they had to get back because we were about to board. So they left their spot in line and started walking back to the gate when they ran into me. We get back and sit down and THEN someone decided to tell us there was a Subway next to the gate. I think they’ll view that as a learning experience from now on.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. It was amazing watching us fly in to Cusco, through the valleys and mountains and seeing the buildings built into the cliffs. That’s for sure something I’ll never forget. Honestly I was a little afraid of flying into Cusco because I thought it was all in the mountains and I assumed it would be a very small airport—I didn’t realize how busy of a city it actually was! I imagined a quaint mountain town where the people don’t get to meet visitors that often. Need less to say, I was surprised when we landed and got off the plane and saw a bustling city (Koplowitz may or may not have mentioned before the last flight how busy of a town Cusco was but I was tired and cranky and hungry so I just zoned him out.)
From what I’ve seen so far, this city is amazing! It reminds me a bit of the south of France but with much more of a Spanish influence. Both places have the tiny alleyways and crazy drivers who really have no regard for human life other than their own.
By the end of the night, we managed to find ourselves in what I can only assume is the only vegetarian restaurant in the entirety on Cusco, and, not going to lie, I was pretty bummed when I saw that. Thought I was pleasantly surprised when I saw alpaca meat on the menu. Along with the Guinea pig we already had I was super pumped to try alpaca meat, and after dinner I’m glad I can say I will have crossed both off of my food across the world list.