off to cuzco and yucay

Friday, May 22: We’ll be transferred sometime in the late morning back to the airport for a 12:40 p.m. flight to Cuzco. After an early afternoon reception upon our arrival, we’ll be transported to our hotel, the Sonesta Posadas del Inca in the village of Yucay (a little over 9,000 feet , which sounds like a very sensible plan since Cuzco is more than 11,000 feet above sea level. We will have come from an elevation of around 800 feet in Lima and slightly lower in the jungle we just left. I must say our tour guides have planned the trip extremely well in considering timely adjustments to the extremes in altitudes.

In spite of the backup (altitude sickness pills prescribed by the country health facility in SLC, we’ve been told it’s best to acclimate slowly, so the rest of the afternoon has been left free for this purpose. I’m not sure what to expect food wise during the reception, snacks of some sort I suppose since we’ll not have eaten since breakfast. Apparently it’s best to eat lightly, and no alcoholic beverages today. That Pisco sour might just have to wait a day or two.

As I researched the accommodations for the tour in advance, Hubby wsonesta-posadas-del-inca-yucay-hotelarned me about setting my expectations too high, but if the pictures I came across from the hotel website are any indication, this place is quite the place for a luxurious experience. The main building is an ancient colonial, big rambling house, built in the middle of the XVI century by the nuns of the Santa Cataline de Siena Order.

I think it worth mentioning, however, an observation a former visitor had this to say about the place:

The outside of this hotel provides no clue whatsoever into the marvelous accommodations awaiting the traveler. Absolutely first class facilities, including a marvelous restaurant, and a relaxing bar where one listens to Andean music performers. Highly recommended. An absolute surprise to find this gem in the middle of nowhere.

There’s a full service spa and fitness center where one can have mud facials and massages; hubby can enjoy a sauna and yoga sessions, and I can enjoy the jacuzzi located outdoors surrounded by majestic mountains.

The hotel is located 34 miles from the Cuzco airport, Machu Picchu–sort of the highlight of the trip for most our group and where we’ll be on Monday–is 19 miles away. Historic sites such as the village of Pisac and its market and ruins–where we’ll have our first real shopping experience tomorrow (yea!)–are all between 10 and 20 miles from here.

The electronic English/Spanish translator should come in handy for shopping. It can help me ask “How much?” but I doubt that it will helpful at all in making that amazing sound my Indian sisters-in-law say to indicate that something is priced atrociously too high. That sound may work in any country if only I can learn to make that sound myself, something like SSSSSuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…and followed rapidly by English “too much, too much!”

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