Friday, July 07, 2006

It is a very good thing that our trek was delayed a day because of more strikes -- it meant that we could sleep in a bed instead of a bus, and that we could rest up for what we found out will be 3 grueling days and 2 relatively easy ones on our climb to Machu Picchu. (And that we could buy the necessary batteries, sunglasses, and souvenirs.)

But it is a not even close to a good thing that we found out about our delay at 5:30am this morning -- after waking up at 3:30am to wait outside the colossal colonial front door of our hostal beginning at 4:00am. The early hour would not have been so bad had it not been that bedtime was a scant 2 hours before wake-up time.

But we persevere -- and after an all-morning snooze and an avocado-laden lunch, we felt great. And then we felt even better after a stunning ostensibly-light dinner at a brand new restaurant here in Cusco, Incanto.
We were indeed charmed by it -- as evidenced by our pisco-sour-enhanced smiles in this photo from Mike's camera. You might also spot glasses of Malbec, the remnants of some bruscetta, spinach florentine, pasta with mushrooms and something tasty I can't remember, and the edge of my arugula salad with pear, goat cheese, and candied pecans. For the record, we treated ourselves to this (and the chocolate cake, passion fruit custard, and truffles we had for dessert) because we will definitely not be eating like this on the trek. But we will be toasting Margaret's birthday under the stars Sunday night -- and there are rumors the carnivores among us may be supping on cuy -- better known as partially-domesticated guinea pig.

Against my better judgment, I am uploading this photo Margaret took of Mike and me after walking across the Bolivia-Peru border with our Serious Faces -- the major reason nobody checked our bags for smuggled coffee, coca leaves, or SmartWool socks. (The only benefit of this photo's publication is proof in perpetuity that I am significantly taller than our friend Mr. MacHarg here.)

(If you ever see in this space a photo of me shaking hands with a gold-toothed mannequin, you can take it as evidence that either Mike or Margaret stole my laptop or guessed my password. Consider yourself warned.)


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