Head Over Heels for Peru on Valentine's Day
I flew Business Class on LAN Airlines from L.A. to Lima, Peru then onto Cusco. Business Class rocks. One push of a button and your seat turns into a bed, like in "Transformers." It can't make "Two and a Half Men" watchable, however.
Flying into the mountainous Cusco is magical. You don't feel like you're landing; you feel like the earth is coming up to meet you.
I'm here for the IGLTA's Cusco and Machu Picchu Symposium. First on the agenda was a bus ride into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, during which I got up close and personal with my first Llama. We shared something special but I'm not expecting him to call.
Next was the bustling Pisac Market. With only 25 minutes to shop, I ripped through that place like a contestant on "Supermarket Sweep," leaving with a vibrant rug and an alpaca sweater that I hope wasn't made from a relative of my Llama friend.
Lunch was a Pachamanca-style (traditional, hot stone-baked Peruvian dish) buffet at the enchanting Sol & Luna Lodge, where we saw a marinera dance presentation that reminded me of that J.Lo video where she's a gypsy.
Then it was off to walk among our first Incan ruins at the Ollantaytambo Fortress. The panoramic views and the scope of the Inca's undertaking take your breath away, literally, because breathing at this altitude is tricky already.
Tomorrow is Machu Picchu. I'm already high.