Cusco, Cuzco, and even Q’usqo

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.

Tight squeeze getting the beast into her parking space near the apartment

The giant stones of Sacsayhuamán were carved to fit together exactly without mortar

Connie's Fortune: Seeing art is not understanding, understanding is to see it for what it is

Who can resist an adorable baby lamb?

Enormous rocks at the Sacsayhuamán ruins

A fabulous dinner at Ciccioliona

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.

Overland Heaven

Our first day at Quinta Lala and familiar faces abound

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.

Afternoons and evenings were reserved for BBQ bonfires and intercultural exchange.  As if we weren’t even in Peru, we learned about the Swiss’ black Santa (who will beat you with a stick!), the proper etiquette at an Argentinean asado, and why genuine German schnapps isn’t to be taken lightly.

Just grillin up some alpaca and llama this lovely Saturday afternoon

Evening bonfire paired with genuine German Schnapps

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.

The scene at Quinta Lala