Staying in the Sacred Valley has been simply magical. Our villa was so lovely, the views of the mountains were spectacular, but surely it was Margarita who stole our hearts. Every morning she came and laid a beautiful breakfast table, cooked us eggs, made super strong coffee, fresh bread with delicious jams and the best juices you can imagine… not to mention taking care of Derek when he had to miss out on a couple of our excursions and also coming to build a fire for us each evening. She is so very caring and kind and when it was time to leave I translated to our group that she told us to travel safely, to go with God and that we had her heart. Instant tears and hugs. A very special woman.
After waving everyone good bye from our van, we made our way back up to Cusco to catch our flight back to Lima. Thankfully we had all adjusted to the altitude so there were no major setbacks this time. The flight took us over the Andes and it’s amazing how closely they hug the coast. Upon our arrival in Lima, just an hour flight from Cusco, we were greeted by a HUGE bus, one that could fit about 40 people….good thing really as our luggage has increased by about 50% and being in such a big vehicule makes us a lot less vulnerable amongst the crazy traffic in Lima!
It seemed fitting somehow that we stayed in a very modern Courtyard Marriott in Miraflores for our last night, a good way to transition back to US life? Except, happily, they made the BEST Pisco Sours! While DJ, Lance and Lucas caught up with the Saints game, we girls sipped on the aforementioned delicious drinks while our luggage was taken up to our rooms. Cindy was super excited because a former employee of her company, Appomattox Tile Art, who had moved back to Lima six years ago, was coming to spend the evening with us. MORE tears!!!! A very emotional reunion with lots of chatter catching up and gifts, a joy to watch as outsiders. It was great also to have local tour guides for the evening. We followed their lead for dinner which took us to the big cliff top shopping complex overlooking the water, specifically to the restaurant Tanto, a chain that serves typical Peruvian food. With a round of Pisco Sours and beers, we perused the menu and I finally ordered beef heart. It was a good place to do so, they were delicious, served with roasted potatoes and a great sauce. I picked a fabulous seafood stew for my main course and was one happy diner. Other dishes included beef stew, paella, past with steak and lomo saltado.
We were grateful for the 1o+ minute walk back to the hotel through the streets of Lima, a city that was nowhere near ready for bed, with the exception of all of us.