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5th July 2006 - Peru Trip - Day 2 - Lima to Cusco

Another taxi back to Lima airport for my next flight to Cusco - LAN are a very nice airline with new Airbus aircraft and pleasant service with plenty of room, This was a stark contrast to the old dirty American Airlines aircraft and old faded cabin crew.

I was definitely on an upward spiral!

On departure we taxied alongside the Peruvian Air Force and Army ramps. Not too many aircraft looked in service, many were obviously stored or just abandoned - An-32, An-26, DC-8, C-130 and Mil helicopters scattered all over the place.

The approach to Cusco is great - sweeping down alongside the valleys in a spiral to reach the airport, you get a great overall view of the area.

On arrival at Cusco airport we parked close to an Air Force An-32, but I was unable to safely take any photos - wasn't keen of having a gun in my back.

Another taxi to my pre-booked room at the Hostel Corihuasi - this would be the same place the whole group would be staying at later in the week. It was a nice basic hotel away from the noise of the main square below.

It was here that I was to have my fist taste of mate de coca (coca tea) - simply coca leaves put in hot water - a very refreshing drink - shame you ca't get it here back home!

views of Cusco

Next I needed to buy my train ticket to Aguas Calientes which is the nearest town to Machu Picchu. So it was another hair raising taxi journey to the main train station of Wanchac where their central reservations agents are based. I secured a train for the next morning at 6AM.

I now had a bit of time to spare, so I decided to visit the Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman just outside of the town.

The ruins here are very large and imposing with some single stones weighing hundreds of tones. Unfortunately many of the stones and towers were carted away for the building of the modern Cusco by the Spanish, so the huge building project here is somewhat diminished. In fact there is now only 20% of it left!

I decided to walk back to town as it was all downhill to take in the sights.

Next up was dinner. I found a small restaurant just off the main square and decided on one of the typical Peruvian dishes. Now I can't remember what it was called, but was a kind of round ham, surrounded by bacon and filled with a mushroom type sauce.

It's really cold here at night too - in fact it was colder in the hotel than outside!