Day 1 HOME
Monday August 25, 2008
Took a cab at 10:00 AM from my front door to Union Station ($8.00). Took Flyaway bus from Union Station direct to LAX ($8.00 roundtrip). Downtown to LAX is two freeways, 110 to the 105, both have dual car pool lanes, arrived LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal at 11:00 AM. Check in with no delay at LAN, no lines. Headed straight for One World Lounge, free snacks and drinks. At 1 PM, headed down to gate for boarding, separate Business class boarding area, no waiting.Seat 1L on the plane, two class flight, front was empty, only 25% seats were taken. I had no one next to me, lots of room in front. Flight is a 767. Smooth, comfortable flight, although daylight for most, so a little hard to sleep. Big 19″ displays, lots of movies and tv shows and very private with no one next to me, or even in the other two seats across the aisle. Arrived Lima Peru at 12:30 AM Tuesday morning, Cusco flight was not until 5:30 AM. Had read up on sleeping in the airport, which was recommended by guidebooks.
Found a dark corner, at the opening of a hallway, slept on my backpack, with my eye shields for darkness. By the time I got off the plane from LAX and made it into the airport, had a snack, it was 2 AM
Departs LIMA 5:40 AM, arrives Cusco 6:55 AM
Tuesday August 26, 2008
Short hour long flight, above brown mountain range. Pilot pointed out Machu Picchu to the left of the plane, I was on the right. Later read to always try for a seat on the left side on this flight to get that view. Flights are only in the early morning due to heavy winds and difficult landing in Cusco. Mountain valley, 12,000 feet, pilots must fly in manually, no autopilot. They fly straight towards a mountain, that is higher than the plane’s altitude, then make a hard left to catch the approach. Overall it was very smooth. Upon landing and stepping out of the plane, Cusco is like Burbank airport as they have the air stairs from the plane right to the tarmac. Immediately upon exiting, I began to breath to see if I had any altitude effects. Nothing. I’ve spent time in Denver and Boulder, with no real problems, just get tired real fast when outside doing anything physical. Secured an official cab, per the guidebooks, and got in for the $3.00 ride into town. I reserved a room at a nice place, but did not have time to prepay and confirm. Loved the ride into town, one of my favorite things about travelling is observing everyday life. How are the buildings constructed, what do the signs look like, are the people on the streets happy, etc. First thing that struck me was all the dogs on the streets. Several running around on every block we passed. Outskirts were rough, like slums of tj and other places. Central city is very Spanish influenced, but no modern buildings anywhere. Also, the whole time in cusco i saw no mbz or any new cars, newest was a honda accord or small toyota 4×4.
Arrived at Hotel Marqueses 8 AM or so after researching on web and books. Hotel offered basic rooms for $47 and deluxe for $80 with marble bathroom and bathtub. Knew this would be essential after what was almost 24 hours of travelling since leaving home monday morning. Had reserved the room by email but had not paid in advance. They welcomed me, and took me to the room. Room was big with 20’+ ceiling and balcony overlooking the street. big nice bathroom, minibar fridge and oil heater. perfect. had a small issue with bathtub stopper, which was quickly addressed and fixed. unpacked and took off to explore the city.