Round One: We arrived in Cusco after three days in the desert. From the desert to the fertile valley, it’s easy to see why they call this place “sacred“. The sprawling, tourist-ready town was just what we needed. Jeff and Connie in tow, we arrived at our apartment and attacked all the town had to offer.
We dropped the overland façade and joined the legions of tourists haggling for fake Ray Bans in the plaza. We were handing over a sole for an opportunistic photo with a campesino and her strategically placed baby lamb. We took tour buses everywhere and even walked into a restaurant without looking at the prices first.
Noontime would bring us to the plaza for ice cold Cusquenas in the sunshine. Sunset brought us sundowners and heated games of Apples to Apples.
It was glorious.
Round Two: Catching a glimpse of a large, out of place, 4×4 monstrosity, with foreign plates on the horizon results in an immediate acknowledgement. You can’t help but wave like a lunatic and grin from ear to ear as you pass each other on the highway.
Cusco, or more specifically Camping Quinta Lala is where we all meet up.
We spent a week catching up with old friends and making new ones. Each day started with good intentions of errands to be run and laundry to be cleaned. Each following day was our supposed departure. Instead the mornings were filled with coffee talk, the exchange of camping spots, mechanics with reputations to be sworn by, and GPS maps.
Round Three: After a trip through the Sacred Valley and the Amazon Jungle we show up with the intentions to stay for only a hot shower and the night. New old friends and old new friends were just arriving. On repeat, we leave almost a week later.