Well, after having been in Ecuador since the end of April, my time here has finally ended. I’m a little sad to be going. The country treated me very well. And, unlike Argentina and Chile, I am probably not returning so this really is goodbye.
The toe saga continued. It wasn’t looking very good and was a bit swollen. Plus, I was exhausted from my Galapagos trip. So, by the time I got to my hotel in Guayaquil, I just chilled in the room. I resolved myself to finding a doc in Cuzco just to make sure everything was OK, get the toe cleaned up so I can be ready to go hiking around Machu Picchu.
I took a quick nap which helped, but I was still worn out. It was Sunday, Father’s Day, and my parents called the hotel. It was great talking to them. With my crazy travel schedule in June, I haven’t had a chance to really keep up with them weekly like I did at the beginning. But, I got to wish dad a happy father’s day and get the update from back home.
On Monday afternoon, I headed to the airport to catch my flight to Lima. When I arrived in Lima and cleared customs, it was about 8PM. I wasn’t quite prepared for the madhouse I found at the airport. There were people everywhere and taxistas hitting me up every 5 seconds. I tried to find a travel agency at the airport to help me plan my trip but everything was closed at this point. I did find a counter open for Star Peru airlines so I could at least buy my ticket to Cuzco for the next day.
I found a taxi and headed off to my hostel. I had a beer, a shower and headed off to bed. I flew early to Cuzco and arrived around 10:30AM. I got a cab to my hostel and was joined in the cab by an agent trying to sell me all kinds of packages. And, they tried to get me to go to a different hostel. But, I held firm and was glad I did.
My hostel is a bit far from the center of Cuzco. The hostel is really more like a homestay. I was greeted by the owner, Carola. And, she served me a cup of coca tea which was quite tasty and is said to be good for dealing with the altitude – Cuzco sits at over 3500m/11,600 ft. And, after a week at sea level in the Galapagos, I felt it. I told Carola I needed help with two things – laundry (everything I owned had a 2 day musty ocean water scent) and a doctor. We first went to the lavanderia. And then, Carola took me to the local clinic.
I was seen immediately by a trauma specialist. The experience was quite impressive actually. He cleaned up the toe, gave me a script for and antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory and I was on my way. His name was Dr. Bueno. So, how could I go wrong? For the consult and drugs, I was charged 84 soles or about $26USD. He told me to stay off my foot for a couple of days, I wouldn’t lose the nail and all was good with the world again. What really impressed me was that Carola stayed with me the entire time. Nice service! And, to think I’m only paying $10 a day for lodging and breakfast. I had a check up on Wednesday which went well. And, I’ll have one more on Friday.
So, with having been laid up for a couple of days unable to see much of Cuzco, I’m having to replan my two weeks here. I’ll have to cut out everything else I was planning. That means no Nazca lines and no sandboarding on the dunes. But, with the solstice in June, Cuzco has a month-long festival and Sunday, the 24th, is supposed to be the big day. I’ll go to Machu Picchu next Tuesday/Wednesday. And, then head back to Lima after that before going out to Brazil on the 1st.
Today I’m finally going out to see Cuzco a bit. I’m meeting up with my friend Matt who I met on my biking tour in Ecuador. And, my friend, Freya, from the Galapagos should be arriving soon. So, I’ll have some folks to hang out with while in Cuzco. OK, off to explore.
Originally Published June 21, 2007