After standing and waiting for two hours to get inside of Peru, then around 15 more hours inside a bus, we finally arrived to Cusco. But already outside of the border between Bolivia and Peru, the feeling changed completely - we knew Peru had a lot more to offer us, we were excited and our muscles finally could relax, also because we were staying at a lower altitude of 2,972 meters above sea level, that's about 800 meters less than where we were before and that's a huge difference!
Arriving Cusco, we took a taxi with a driver that tried to hustle us at first, but he was just too nice and we were already experienced; there was no way we were going to get hustled again. We were determined to win every hustling experience that we encountered. The taxi drove us to a region outside of Cusco city, a more or less 40 minutes drive from there, to the Sacred Valley. Yes, it's as cool as it sounds. Here, we staid at a beautiful cabin for about one week. After so many bus trips here and there, we were tired and just wanted to stay at a nice place for more than 3 nights before we felt ready to pack our bags again. So we found it, the perfect spot. Really, it was the best place in town; everyone wanted to stay there. We made new friends that happened to also be couples. Since the cabin was suppose to be for two couples, we divided it between them, the first couple sharing with us the first four nights, later the others. Everything just fitted perfectly.
It would be too simple to say that we ate well; Peruvians know about good food and they take great advantage of their fertile lands. Here we could find all these awesome ingredients that in the west are becoming very popular and are super expensive too, like: Maca, Lucuma, Cacao bean, Yacon syrup, many other delicious tropical and desert fruits, and needless to mention the medicinal plants. Paradise for raw foodies, also every other food aficionado!
And we walked, we walked a lot. One day a cute dog followed us, we called her Puma. Poor thing, she did't know what she was getting into. We tried telling her she shouldn't follow us the whole way, but she did, because she's a dog.
The whole place was magical! Maybe it had to do with all the sacred medicinal plants around, and the people taking them, maybe.
Most compassionate: Vegetarian and vegan restaurants, vegetarian menus, local fruits and veggie market, friendly people, spiritual and alternative vibe.
Less compassionate: Still some hustling, "original" handmade clothes and souvenirs which all really come from the same factory. Exhibiting Guinea Pigs for eating at some restaurants.
After Sacred Valley we made a quick stop to Lima by plane, it was the easiest way for us to get to our final destination, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. So we didn't really get much of an impression by the Capital. We did eat a lot of food though, as usual. All we can say is that it was beautiful and there were lots of fancy plant based restaurants.