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"AROUND THE WORLD BY PRIVATE JET"

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LIMA AND CUSCO

The flight from Dulles to Lima on December 29 was 7 ½ actually comfortable hours. Our 757, which is virtually brand new, was configured to 100% business class seats. Since we only fly during the day (beds at night are the rule on this Expedition), this type of seating works beautifully-there's room to stretch out, the seats have a good recline, and there are elevated footrests. In addition to the pilots, engineers and flight attendants, we also have a chef on board! He's a real character: Irish, extremely friendly and, even though we get printed menus, Liam insists on getting on the intercom to tell us about the menu anyway. He must have a huge galley area in the belly of the plane because he is certainly not assembling 80+ meals anywhere in the cabin.

After landing in Lima, we went directly to a small museum (it was formerly a monastery) with an extensive collection of Peruvian pottery and other artifacts. We then had dinner in the museum's garden, complete with Peruvian music and dancing. This was the extent of our sightseeing in Lima because the plane to Cusco left very early the next morning. Having been told in cuscoWashington that we would not meet up with our large suitcase until we got to Easter Island four days later (the large bags stayed on the jet), all we had for the three Peru days was whatever we could put in our little blue Expedition-issued mini-suitcases. Even though the blue bags should have fit in any airlines' overhead space, the staff checked our bags on the commercial flight we took to Cusco (the runway there wouldn't accommodate the jet). In Cusco, our hotel was a converted monastery called El Monasterio, clever and comfortable --- and complete with a "chapel" that looked more like a gilded, ornate church. (It's interesting that churches were built on top of Inca temples and that some church-related sites in turn have become museums and hotels.) Although there was a business office with 3 computers at the hotel, the Internet connection was all but non-existent.

Cusco (CC editorial note: Peter tends to pronounce the name of this city as if it were spelled "couscous") is a considered a metropolitan city in Peru. We cuscodidn't spend more than a day there but that was enough. The City is poor. Interestingly, the natives are proud of the fact that there are more Catholic churches per capita in Cusco than anywhere else in South America. A number of these churches were built by the Spaniards on the sites of old Inca temples. The major cathedral in the Town Square was three cuscodistinct churches but you could go from one to another without going outside. We also visited several Incan fortresses just outside Cusco. The Incans were extraordinary stone masons: in Sacsayhuaman (which our Peruvian guide said is nicknamed "sexy woman") the huge shaped stones fit so closely together that the blade of a knife cannot be inserted between the stones.

Bedtime was early this evening because the next day was to begin at 4 am.



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So We Begin  |  Cusco  |  Machupicchu  |  Easter Island  |  Somoa  |  Port Douglas  |  Cambodia
China-Tibet  |  India  |   Serengeti  |  Egypt  |  Marrakech 2009  |  Impressions


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC