We arrived at the Lima International Airport late in the evening on April 21 at about 11 PM. Flying into Lima in the evening certainly made us aware of how large a city Lima is. Apparently, it is close to 9 million people. The airport was very modern, well kept and very clean. Since we were getting in so late, we felt it was not worthwhile to stay at the airport hotel as our next day’s flight to Cusco was leaving so early.
It had been recommended to simply spend the time at the food court on the second level of the airport terminal. At this point we had been up for about 19 hours. The chairs were not very comfortable and after about 90 minutes we decided this would simply not work. We decided to go back to the main level and checked our bags even though they could not assign a gate. We went through the check-in gate and security very efficiently. We were thrilled to find consecutive padded seated benches on the other side and proceeded to rest our weary eyeballs in fitful short stretches of “sleep”. I cannot believe how long the evening seemed to stretch.
We finally “got up” at 3:30 AM and proceeded to our departure gate. About 30 minutes before we were supposed to depart, one of the stewardesses came up and talked to us in Spanish about a very important announcement that we couldn’t understand. We paid rapt and confused attention. 15 minutes later, in broken English, she stated that Cusco had bad weather and the flight might be canceled. With our fatigue weighing upon us we felt worried. However, the flight board did not state that the flight was canceled. Our hopes lifted. Thankfully about 15 minutes later than our intended boarding time, they announced the flight was proceeding forward. Yes!
We were thrilled that the flight to Cusco was aboard a very clean, well operated and large Airbus 320. We were expecting a small turbo prop plane. The flight was only one hour and 20 minutes but with our fatigue felt like 3 hours.
We landed at the Cusco Airport expecting to have our tour company provide us with a driver to get us to our hotel as we desperately needed sleep. Unfortunately, no one seemed to be there. A very helpful local cab driver who spoke remarkably good English offered to take us to our hotel for a good price. What a great introduction to the warmth of the people of Cusco! He was very informative and chatty on the drive and told us of his earlier life as a guide and his travels to the United States. This probably accounted for his very good English accent.
We finally arrived at our boutique hotel-the El Mercado- which was absolutely beautiful. Small, quaint with very friendly people. We were wanting to check in but the very nice woman at the front check-in desk insisted we set in front of the fireplace and provided us with a nice hot cup of local coca tea. Heaven!
We had a quick breakfast in the “Happy Room” with very healthy offerings and were also provided with a local herbal drink that apparently would cure all ills. It actually worked for everything except for our profound fatigue.
We were shown to our room which was stunning. I then proceeded to plug in our power bar and completely blew the electrical fuses in the room! The staff were very understanding and found us an AC converter.
Fatigue overcame us and we fell into the most blissful slumber for the next 4 hours. It was 930 AM. We knew that this would disrupt our sleep wake cycles, however, we didn’t care- at this point we had been up for about 24 hours.