Sacred Valley and Lares Trek: Mary and Gordon Make it to Cusco!

> Hi Folks,
>
> This is Mary, Guide Operations Manager, checking in from beautiful Cusco Peru where we are getting ready to embark on the Sacred Valley and Lares tour. This trek is a new offering we are looking to add to our repertoire and we wanted to experience it firsthand. Along with our Director of Programs, Gordon Janow, I’ll be sharing our grand adventure with you! >
> After flying overnight from Seattle and watching one too many in-flight movies, we finally arrived in Cusco and checked in at the beautiful El Retablo Hotel. As we are coming from sea level, we opted to arrive in Cusco (11,200′) a day early to acclimate. The El Retablo is a small boutique hotel with amazing views and a fun, colorful vibe. The picture below was taken from my balcony!

>
> After grabbing sandwiches, coffee (so necessary), and a slice of carrot cake (so unnecessary) at DeliPub by Monasterio a mere five minute walk from the hotel, Gordon opted for a nap and I went exploring.

>
> On the way to Plaza de Armes, the heart of old Cusco, I met a baby alpaca with a little hat. It took all my willpower not to abscond with the little creature.

>
> Next, I strolled the Mercado de San Pedro which was brimming with local food and crafts. I grabbed a bag of maca, sampled some local honey, and marveled at all the types of fruit. On the way out, I even found a stand selling craft beer on tap! It wasn’t half bad.

>
> On the way back to the hotel, I stumbled across a cute dog that reminded me of my pup back home.

>
> It was a jam-packed first day in Peru! Stay tuned for more adventures and photos. While I was writing this entry, the hotel staff knocked on my door with complimentary dark chocolate. I’m never leaving… >
> Best,
> Mary

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