Monday, 18 August 2014

Machu Picchu - Here we come!

While we were staying in Argentina I had wanted to go on a side trip to Machu Picchu but somehow it never worked out with our schedule.  We decided that after spending our March Break in 2013 relaxing on the beach in Costa Rica in a state of near perpetual relaxation that we would go to Machu Picchu for March Break 2014.  What a very different holiday this was to be - six flights, four bus rides, two train rides, three different hotels....  it was a trip not a holiday!

As we left home early in the morning  on March 8th to head to Detroit airport the streets were covered with a thin layer of ice.  We had an uneventful flight from Detroit to Atlanta and then four hours to kill in the Delta Sky Lounge while waiting for our flight to Lima. They had a nice outdoor patio so we sat outside and enjoyed the warmth and sunshine, as well as the free drinks, snacks and wifi.  After such an incredibly cold and long winter, any chance to sit out on a patio in the sunshine was too good to miss.

When we went to board our flight to Lima, both John and I as well as two other guys were pulled aside and not allowed to board.  We like to take advantage of our Sky Miles Priority status and board early so we can get our bags into the overhead compartments before they run out of room.  After a few minutes, the staff gave me the go ahead to board, so I took both of our carry on bags and got on the plane while John waited, not so patiently, at the gate.  But when I got to my seat, another girl was there with the same seat assignment.

Unbeknownst to me, as soon as I had boarded the plane, the staff at the gate told John to "get her back."  (Meaning me). He tried texting me, but, to no avail.  Meanwhile, the girl and I flagged down a flight attendant to help us figure out what to do about our seat situation.  Then the another flight attendant came to get me, and as we started walking off the plane, John was walking onto the plane.  Even though we had booked our seats with his SkyMiles frequent flyer points and John was sure that we wouldn't be upgraded, we had been moved up to Business Class.  Hurray! After some negotiation with other passengers, we were able to get two seats together and finally settled in for our flight to Lima.

As we were relaxing with champagne and orange juice, the pilot came on to announce that there was an error message with the left engine and we had to roll back to the gate for the mechanics to check it out.

A little while later they announced that the light wasn't coming on any more so we could depart - almost an hour late.  I was a bit leery - why was the light coming on in the first place?  Did the light stop coming on or did they fix what was causing the light to come on? But soon we were airborne so I tried not to think about it. The seats folded down flat into beds, so after dinner and a movie (Nebraska), I laid down and had a nice long nap.

We landed in Lima around 12:40 am, quickly moved through customs and immigration, grabbed our luggage and then got a cab to our hotel, the Sheraton, which I had booked using my SPG bonus points.  Our cab driver, Reynaldo, was from Lima but had lived in Virginia for four years.  He told us all about Lima - 11 million people of the 29 million people in Peru live in Lima.
The interior of the Sheraton Convention Centre in Lima - hope you don't have vertigo!

When we checked in at the Sheraton they had upgraded us to the Club Level.  It seems our theory about not being upgraded when booking on points had been proven wrong twice in one day!  We had a quick shower in our lovely room and then went downstairs for our complimentary pisco sour.  Both Chile and Peru claim to be the origin of the this drink and I had been looking forward to trying the Peruvian version.  They tasted similar to me, although the Chilean version uses lemon juice and the Peruvian recipe calls for lime juice. It would be interesting to have a side by side taste test, but not at this late hour.  By 2:30 am, we were finally headed to bed.

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