Cusco, Peru and the Camino Inka to Machu Picchu (A)

After escaping the Amazon, we flew to Cusco, Peru via Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru.  Truly the most baffling airport experience of my life.  After arriving at the airport on a domestic flight from Iquitos, Peru we were directed out of security to baggage claim.  We asked around a bit to make sure we couldn’t just continue into the terminal like every other airport on earth, but nope, we had to exit the airport entirely and re-enter.  After navigating out of the airport and then back in we made it to the security screening.  When the security agent saw that we were transfer passengers, he called over what appeared to be a supervisor.  She then escorted us out of that security screening area, and through a side door that felt very much like an employee entrance that spit us out right back in the exact same security line; truly baffling.  After that debacle, I went down to the gate area alone to check to see if they had a gate and plane for us (the screens didn’t have any useful info).  I did find our gate but there was a literal mob trying to attack the agents at the next gate because that airline had canceled a flight.  I didn’t see anyone actually take a punch, but hay-makers were flying and it was all quite violent.  Welcome to Lima!

Speaking of canceled flights, my mom was supposed to be flying in to join us in Cusco from La Paz, Bolivia but her flight was also canceled.  But not to worry, a stressful 30 hours later, she finally made it to Cusco just in time for the Inca Trail.

Once in Cusco, we settled into our lovely accommodations at the Palacio del Inka.  Built in a pair of renovated adjacent Incan/colonial era homes, it offers a lot of history and some fantastic rooms.  We lucked into one of their seventeen “Colonial Suites” in the Casona de los Cuatro Bustos, the home of the Marquises Salas Valdez built in the early 1600s.  Many of the outer walls of the hotel are original dry stone Incan construction.  The hotel bar offers nightly lessons on how to make the official cocktail of Peru: the Pisco Sour.