The first leg of our Peruvian adventure has begun! We arrived in Cusco early this morning and are currently in awe of this place. Culture is rich here, where women still dress in the traditional mountain garb. Babies are carried on the back, swaddled in wraps painted in the rich Peruvian pattern of colors. It feels like we have travelled back in time to ancient Incan custom. The streets are lined with hectic markets chock full of meats, fruits, and citizens working hard to make a living. For many of us, it is the first time travelling to a poverty stricken country, and it is quite the spectacle. However, the poverty here is not what catches the eye. It is the unconditional kindness of the Peruvian people, and all five of us have experienced it already in one way or another. Peruvians are never afraid to pass along a smile to a stranger, which can raise the spirit of any weary traveler. They have even been patient with my broken Spanish, which is slowly, but surely getting better.
My tripmates and I are sojourning in a local hostel, close to Cusco's Plaza De Armas. Tomorrow morning we will scale Machu Picchu, the great world wonder. I am hoping to see a llama tomorrow, and I will certainly post a picture if I should be so lucky! Stay tuned, the adventure has just begun!