Our flight from the US landed in Lima very late at night, and after crashing at the hotel we were back at the airport the next morning for the short flight to Cusco. We had planned to spend 2 days in Cusco to get acclimated to the altitude before starting our hike. We would both need that time, as we both ended up sucking in air from an oxygen tank our first night there. We probably should have been more prepared with medications to handle the altitude sickness, but I think that most hotels carry oxygen since it’s common for people to feel sick. We even had to wait in line for a couple people before us to finish up before getting our fix.
Since we had a couple days to explore Cusco before starting the hike, we planned a day trip to Ollantaytambo (try saying that 5 times fast). It was a good way to see some of the sites, although would pale in comparison to the stuff we would end up seeing on the Inca Trail.
We also explored the town square a bit and decided that this would be as good as place as ever to try guinea pig. The place we went actually butchered it for you (rather than serving it whole on a platter) and we found it pretty tasty. It did remind me of crawfish in the sense that there is a lot of work needed for a minimal meaty payoff.
In general, we took these couple days pretty easy since we wanted to rest up before the hike. Unfortunately for one of our friends that would be joining us on the hike, he had been mugged not once, but twice in the same night and ended up in the hospital with a broken arm.