The First Uphill

Today started on a good note. One of the best possible in fact— I rolled over and went back to sleep. After this most restful of sleeps, we ate breakfast at our hostel. It was simple; I had bread with a delicious jam on it. I was unsure what type of jam it actually was. Star Wars was playing in the common room of the hostel. A strange coincidence seeing as that was also the movie series that was showing on the airplane yesterday.

But I digress.

Today we journeyed to the ancient Incan ruins of Saqsaywaman. The trip was an uphill one and today was the first day I really noticed the altitude. There were couple moments, especially on the step steps at the onset that the altitude hit me, but I pushed through. At the end of these stairs was a small church accompanied by a breathtaking view. From the church courtyards, you could view much of the city of Cusco as well as the mountain slopes surrounding the city.

From there, we continued upwards along the side of the road towards the ruins. The orad was not nearly as steep as the earlier stairs (which were similar to the exorcist steps back home in Georgetown) and was much easier to walk up. When we finally reached the top, however, we were confronted by a minor issue. The ruins required a ticket to access and the ticket counter did not accept credit cards. Therefore, a collection was required to obtain the necessary money to buy them in which I shelled out almost all of my cash. This did not turn out to be much of an issue I was reimbursed very quickly.

The small drama was worth it. The ruins were majorly awesome. For me, the view was 5 times that which it had been at the church. The entire valley was visible. The ruins themselves were extremely cool. I am still amazed by the rocks that the Incas pieced together for their structures. We were lucky to have such beautiful weather for our excursion and the experience was my favorite of the trip so far.

One more thing: the food. In Peru, I have had the best, and I must repeat, the best chicken I have ever tasted (and I have had some good chicken). The quality of the cooking was phenomenal to say the least. It is that perfect level of cook where the meat is roasted thoroughly but still juicy and with just the right amount char on the outside. It’s the kind of perfect that requires neither sauce nor additive. Maybe a pinch of salt and pepper and even that is a stretch. Peruvians know their chicken.

Unfortunately Michael got sick today. He seems to be better though, but there’s definitely a fear that he may not be able to go on the hike. Hopefully he will be all set to head out with us at the bright and early hour of 5:00 AM


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