After a 30hr round trip we have finally arrived in Cuzco!
The flights were long and the connections were short. In fact at Lima the group had to; pass through immigration, security, collect bags, security, run round to the departures, recheck in, security and onto the plane in 45 minutes. Only for the plane to then sit on the tarmac for a further 45 minutes, presumably loading our bags that had arrived 5 minutes before. Though after that everyone seemed much more excited once on the third and final flight.
On first inspection of Cuzco is it certainly very different to most places I’ve ever been, the closest I can think of is Kathmandu, Nepal. Cuzco has a very wealthy and very poor population colliding into one large mountainside city, which must rely heavily on the tourism generated through the Inca history and Machu Picchu. From what we have seen of the city so far, it has a certain charm due to its unique and vibrant culture.
As you would know if you have read any previous blogs Cuzco sits at 3200-3400m depending on where you’re staying. At this altitude there a very good chance of altitude illness, 40% of lowlanders are likely to suffer with mild to moderate AMS. Hopefully the group will acclimatize well.
The hostel we are staying at certainly fits in with its surroundings being quite run down and very basic, although the WIFI connection seems to be better than Eastbourne?? The hostel is located next door to the main plaza and churches of Cuzco, very easy to get around, so as a group we all went out and purchased for to cook in the hostel kitchen. Sadly it turns out the hostel kitchen is very tiny and basic, so we may need to reconsider dinners for the other few days. Due to the time difference and jet lag everyone had had enough by 7.30pm, however I am now wide awake at 4am writing this blog and by the sounds of it so are many others in the group.
As for the research, that starts at 7am with daily diaries, hydration and fluid compartments measures. Then we are off to Huarcapay School for the first time, which after speaking with Aaron our local organizer, it sounds as though it will be a really worthwhile project.
Stay tuned for some slightly more exciting posts.