First, Lizzy was expecting her best friend, Sheila, to arrive very early in the morning and join her in her room. Instead, a total stranger walks into her room. This stranger was Lisa who was joining us on the tour. Lisa was supposed to have her own room but there had been a mix up somewhere. Since there was no sorting this out at 1:00 in the morning she crashed in Lizzy’s room to get a few hours of sleep.
Next, Sheila arrived at the hotel and was given a room key. In what I have been told is typical Sheila style she entered the room as loud as possible expecting to wake her friend Lizzy. When Daniel poked his head out from under the covers she slowly backed out of the room. She learned from the front desk about the room mix ups. Since there were separate beds, and Sheila and Daniel are family, they decided to just make the best of it and try and get some sleep.
DAY 2 OF OUR INCA TRAIL ADVENTURE – CUSCO
Heather and I arrived at breakfast to a lot of excited discussion. We were quickly caught up on the night’s excitement, and enjoyed a laugh with everyone. Thankfully everyone was a great sport about the situation and decided to just make the best of it. Our entire tour party was now all together for the first time. In addition to Heather and I we had:
- Dave & Maria from Atlanta, GA — our adventure-seeking friends
- Daniel – Dave & Maria’s oldest son from Denver, CO
- Sheila (pronounced Shay-la in Peru) – Daniel’s cousin and Lizzy’s best friend from San Antonio, TX
- Lizzy – Sheila’s best friend from Omaha, NE
- Lisa – A complete stranger (not for long) from Ontario, Canada
- Lucy – Another soon-to-be new friend from Portsmouth, England
At 6:30 sharp we were loaded onto a G Adventures van and taken to the Lima airport. A short flight later we were in Cusco. We gathered our luggage and located our G Adventures van for the trip to Prisma Hotel. On the way to the hotel our tour guide for the next several days introduced himself. His name was Jesus (pronounced hey-zeus), but we were welcome to call him hey-zeus, Jesus, or Jay Z.
Our Hotel Room at Prisma Hotel In Cusco
When we arrived at the hotel, Jesus seated us at a table to do our check-in paperwork. For the occupation question Dave put down “Superhero”. Thanks to this, Jesus called us “His Superheros” for the rest of the trip. Jesus gave us a few minutes to check into our room before getting us all back together to head to lunch.
Lunch With Our Group in Cusco
For most of us, lunch was alpaca. Yes, the adorable fluffy animal is also tasty! After lunch Jesus took us on a walking tour of the city. The stay in Cusco, and the walking tour are all part of the altitude acclimation process. At the end of the tour Jesus left us to explore a bit on our own. We would meet again later to head to the G Adventure office for our tour briefing.
Panoramics of Cusco City (click for full size)
Being left to our own devices it did not take long for us to locate a pub! It turned out to be the highest, 100% Irish owned pub on the planet. Not only could we get a beer, but we could still be touristy while doing it. After a few brews we walked back to the hotel to get ready for our briefing.
The G Adventures office is just a few blocks up from the hotel. Jesus starts the briefing by showing us a sample camp setup. We then head to the briefing room for a short Powerpoint about our trip. Here we meet the guide for the other G Adventures tour leaving the same day as us. His name was Rambo. We’d learn a lot about Rambo over the next several days. For now I’ll just say he’s a serious guy and did not appreciate our group’s tendency to crack up through the presentation.
Heather & Shane in Cusco, Peru
After the briefing we were taken to the lobby to rent any equipment we needed. Heather and I both opted for the poles, sleeping bag, and extra thick pad combo. It was S.110 each, and worth every penny. We were given our duffel bag that our porter would carry for us. The poles, sleeping bag, and pad would be waiting for us when we met up with the porters at the Inca Trail trail head.
It had been a busy day so after grabbing a quick dinner we headed back to the hotel to prep for tomorrow. Heather and I did the final packing of our packs and then headed to bed.