Once arriving in Lima at 4:10 am, I traipsed over to the LAN airlines terminal for my flight to Cuzco
. (Do you think I could really traipse with a 50 pound bag?!)
My hotel had arranged for a driver, Derby, to pick me up, and I was looking forward to getting to my room after the 90 minute drive to Yucay in the Sacred Valley. Not to be.
There was a coordinated protest occurring throughout the largest Peruvian cities, including Cuzco, fighting the privatization of the water supply and the poor quality of the living conditions for most of the Peruvian population. Fortunately, the hotel I booked had a sister hotel in Cuzco, so Derby took me there and said 'See you at 6:00 pm.' Terrific! I got to shower, rest and enjoy some sightseeing in Cuzco
, which was not originally in the plans.
The drive at sunset from Cuzco to Yucay
through the Andes mountains was breathtaking.
Derby kept stopping at all the 'famous' sites along the way and taking my photo. Even with ten stops along the way, we still arrived in 90 minutes, hence his nickname "Speed Racer Derby." Go speed racer go.
On the winding, two-way road with no shoulders between Cuzco and Yucay were large stones cluttering the streets. Placing rocks on the roads was the Peruvians' way of protesting. They placed the rocks on the road in the morning to block traffic; then, they cleaned up the mess starting at 4:00 pm. Crews were still cleaning up the roads in the evening, so Derby snapped a photo
. Multiply the rocks you see in the photo by twenty to represent the average pile every five miles between Cuzco and the Sacred Valley alone.