A Travellerspoint blog

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Drive to Los Angeles


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What a fabulous day! It started with a beautiful 7 hour drive from Carson City to LA. The drive down the East Slope of the Sierras was spectacular. There has been so much snow this year and it was covering the mountains in a deep blanket. We got to the airport, turned in the car and caught the shuttle to the hotel. We got there just in time to see the start of the Patriots/Falcons Super Bowl. We called Anthony and Sandy and they showed up just after at halftime. The game was at the point where I just hoped the Pats would not be embarrassed. As soon as they got there, Anthony and Sandy brought good luck to the Pats and the game started to turn around. The rest is history. We all went out to get some dinner and I was a happy man.

Posted by mreasy 11:40 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Fly to Lima, Peru


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We had a long but surprisingly easy day flying to Lima. We caught the 6:00 AM shuttle to LAX for our 9:15 7 hour flight to Bogota. This was the 1st time we have flown on Avancia and were quite impressed. It was on one of the new Boeing 787's which has a 3 by 3 by 3 configuration. We has seats in the middle 3. The plane was only about 2/3 full and we had the row to ourselves. We had a choice of entrees (the beef lasagna was quite good) and all the wine we wanted. They came by later with ham and cheese sandwiches and more drinks. We had over a two hour layover in Bogota. The terminal was quite large so we got in some good walking. The flight from Bogota was about 3 hours and they fed us hot meals again. We landed about 1:00 AM and proceeded to immigration. To say it was not well organized is an understatement. We got in huge line and it seemed like it would take well over an hour. We saw some people just walking in, bypassing the long line, and joining a much smaller line. We got out of the one we were in, joined the other line and got through in 5 minutes. People who were in the original line had hardly moved. We have no idea of what the "system" is. We quickly passed through customs and the driver. Louis, from the tour company (Journeyou) was waiting for us with a sign with our name. After a 30 minute drive to the hotel we checked in, went to the room and crashed about 3:00 AM.

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Off to Lima

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Leaving the Lima Airport
Bonnie Loves Coke

Posted by mreasy 06:23 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

A Day in Lima


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Lima has been a pleasant surprise. It is a city of over 10 million - the traffic is incredible and this is their vacation season. We were able to sleep in to about 9:00 so we did get about 6 hours sleep. We might have slept longer but the din from the construction just next door did get in the way. We ate a large buffet breakfast (included) and then went for a walk. We are in the Miraflores district which is their tourist/shopping area an very near the coast. We walked down to the coast, walked along it for a while and then walked up to the nearby Kennedy Park. It was about a 2 hour walk. We rested for about an hour before we had to meet our included city tour. We had expected a group tour but it was a private tour with just us, the guide and driver. The highlight was going to indigenous pyramids that date back almost 2,000 years They are right in the middle of the city. We then went to the historic center of the city. We saw several impressive building and, of course, a couple of churches (ABC). Those that have done tours know what that means. One of the churches was actually quite interesting - we went through the catacombs when we saw thousands of bones of the deceased. It was a little disturbing when we saw some of the bones arranged in designs. Our guide, Giancarlo, was excellent and the tour lasted about 4 hours. We went back to rest before heading out to dinner.

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Lima waterfront

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Pyramids

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Bonnie and Giancarlo

Restaurants here do not open until about 7:30. Our driver from yesterday had recommended a seafood restaurant nearby named the Punta Azul and Giancarlo confirmed it . We hit it just after it opened and their recommendation was excellent. Lima is known for it's seafood and our meals confirmed that reputation. We shared a cold seafood appetizer Bonnie had a shrimp and rice dish and I had a dish with white fish, calamari, scallops and shrimp with rice drenched in squid ink - one of my best meals ever. The local drink specialty is a pisco sour. We each had one and shared another - delicious. It is now late and we are headed to bed.

Posted by mreasy 06:31 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Travel to the Sacred Valley


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The driver, Louis, who drove us from the Lima airport drove us back today. The traffic here is incredible. People create their own lanes and cut others off all the time. The amazing thing is that we have not seen a single accident or even a dent in a car. Louis took us into the airport, helped us check in and walked us all the way to security - great service. It was only about an hour flight to Cuzco. We were greeted as we were waiting for our bags. We went to the van, expecting a group, but yet again it was a private transfer. The drive to the Sacred Valley and the town of Urubamba took about an hour and a half. The scenery was gorgeous with green terraced hillsides and high snow capped mountains. We got to the Hotel San Agustin about 2:00 PM. We rested for a while and then walked into town. It was just as you would expect in rural Peru. Dusty streets, small shops, and markets. It is obviously very poor but we were very safe. We explored the town for a while, went thru a huge fresh food market and stopped to pick up a bottle of wine and some waters. The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink so we have been using bottled water. It started to rain so we caught a small motorcycle powered "taxi" back to the hotel. It cost all of 2 Sols - about 65 cents.

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Peruvian countryside

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Local taxi

The best restaurant we saw on our walk was right here in the hotel. No problem getting a table - there were only three tables occupied. It is the off season in this area, being summer and the rainy season. The hotel has over 100 rooms and it seems that less than ten are occupied. Bonnie had some delicious trout. I wanted something different so I tried the grilled Alpaca (sorry PETA). It was good - a bit on the dry side and reminded me a little of liver.

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Alpaca

Posted by mreasy 08:30 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Sacred Valley Tour


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After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, we were picked up at around 8:00 for a full day tour of the Sacred Valley. We were joined by two other couples who were staying at different hotels. Our 1st visit was to Urpi, a textile center where they have preserved traditional Andean weaving techniques. We saw some weaving and then went on to our next stop which was Cinchero, It is an important Incan archaeological site at about 11,000 feet in elevation. We toured the archaeological site and the surprisingly impressive church that the Spanish built over an Incan temple. Our next stop was to Oilantaytambo which is like Machu Picchu but on a smaller scale. It is also the only place where the Incas were able to defeat the Spaniards. Our guide, Marisela, was knowledgeable and fun. After climbing up and down what seemed like thousands of stone steps, we were able to enjoy a relaxing buffet late lunch. We were exhausted and were glad to head back to the hotel to rest.

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Weaving

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We made it to the top

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View from the top

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A well deserved rest at the hotel

Posted by mreasy 09:18 Comments (0)

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