Today is the beginning of a dream trip I’ve wanted to experienced since my 20’s. I will be traveling with 35 people I did not know before the beginning of training 4 months ago. In this group we range in age from the twenties to the sixties. But somehow age is not important only your state of mind. I flew Lan airlines first class-direct flight to Lima . It was only a 8.5 hour flight at 1.00 am this morning. I was fortunate enough to sleep 7 hours with Diomox ( altitude sickness meds) and sleeping aid. I arrived in Cusco at 2.00 pm and a driver from Alpaca Adventure tours picked me up- I was the last one arriving in our group. The airport is quite close from our hotel – Rumi Punku. It’s a beautiful rustic little lodge. A guide was waiting for me at the hotel. I put my luggage in the room and we raced out and walked together to meet one of our groups at Plaza de Armas. On the way I met these two Peruvian women dressed in their traditional costumes with an adult and a baby llama; such beautiful animals. We proceeded to visit the San Pedro market, a bit like our open air market but enclosed in a huge old warehouse with a very high rooftop What’s interesting is that each aisle is dedicated to a specific type of food, such the fruits, the bakery, the chicken, the Alpaca, the medic animal herbs aisles. The Peruvians selling all the different types of food are dressed in their traditional clothing with very tall hats and colorful clothing. Cusco is quite high in altitude and therefore quite cold- it is after all their winter. The architecture is Spanish colonial sprinkled with some original Inca buildings and most of the streets are paved in stones. The city is in a valley surrounded by mountains at an altitude of over 11,000 feet. We will stay here a few days to acclimate our bodies for the Inca Trail. Gilda, Ursula and Jody and I decided to walk to San Blas; a small artisan district. We had a delicious diner at Pacha Pappa, we tasted Alpaca meat, which I found to be dry and gamy. We got to know each other and had a great time sharing stories. We all close in age Eduardo, our leader was also there with some of our group members. A few of us decided to go dancing at African Mama. We had a few drinks, started letting loose and danced up a storm to electronica music. What a greet first night! We went back to the hotel, my roommate Francesca was already sleeping. Oh my my! I didn’t count on the snoring! Thank God for ear plugs, a pillow over my head and the help of sleeping pills! Tomorrow I will ask for a private room!