The first few hours on the coach to Cusco were extremely pleasant. The seating situation was much better than expected (basically the chairs reclined) and there was a steady stream of Spanish dubbed Mel Gibson movies being shown on the screen in front. As we left Lima, the terrain around us merged from mountainous ranges of desert, to flat barren plains of desert, to grass spotted hills of desert. I guess that was to be expected of a city built in one. The sand persisted for at least another 6 hours until the sun dropped down behind the dunes. And then we started to climb. Through mountain passes and tight winding roads, sliding round lonesome ridges and steep ascents. The route certainly proved the malleability of Peruvian coaches, although it didn’t do much to prove the malleability of Joe and myself. Each sharp turn slid us across the seat and into the window, a reflective one sliding us back along to clatter into the armrests. This continued quite consistently for the next 4 or so hours, not leaving much time for sleep. By the 16th hour on the coach, we were struggling to stay sane, sleep deprived and starting to struggle with the ever increasing altitude. Our spirits were low. But as the sun rose and we approached our destination it all became undoubtedly worth it. Stunning vistas of cloud topped mountains held every direction, their peaks nowhere in site and their valleys too far below. They weren’t just far off landscapes, we were part of them. Shacks and small mud houses occasionally separated us on the road from the extremely sheer drop. We were sitting on the clouds. Taking our first and only break of the journey at the side of the road approaching 7:30am, we were offered tea and food by the locals. The food seemed to be lamb hearts so we thought we’d give it a miss considering we hadn’t eaten in over 15 hours, probably not the best place to start. We caught up with a fellow German traveller that we had met before setting off the previous day and we took in our amazing surroundings. The driver corralled us all back onto the coach and we drove the final hours to Cusco. The 23 hour journey is over and first impressions of the city are good, much smaller and outsider friendly than Lima, if a little harder to breathe. Joe bought a foot long sandwich from Subway and it seemed to fill him up.
You can read more about Loz’s travels on his personal blog: https://loztheblog.wordpress.com/