Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | August 21, 2018

Peruving Myself A Traveler Again: Entry #7

Well, I’m back at home sweet home, which feels especially sweeter because it took three long days of airports and airplanes to get here. Northern Canada and South America are very far away from another!

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The charming little courtyard at the Esplendor Hotel.

My last full day in Cusco was lovely, and I achieved all three goals – I found chocolate, got an Inca massage at the Kantu Massage place I’d checked out, and I ate at Pucharas.  The last one was just a salad because the menu was less inspiring than I’d hoped- it was perfectly fine, just not as interesting as, say, Incanto, my favourite of all the eateries I visited. I purchased chocolate at Choco Museo, at the recommendation of a family friend who’d recently visited (and also had me bring her some back. She trained as a chocolatier, so she knows chocolate, and Peru apparently has some of the best because they use different cocoa beans. She wrote about it here better than I could explain: feel free to check it out!

I made my way back to my hotel, wishing I could take advantage of the hot tub again but knowing I didn’t want to pack a wet swim suit. Instead, I got my things in order, then made my way to Organika, a recommendation of another visitor at the hotel, for dinner. They grow their produce in the Sacred Valley and use fresh and organic ingredients, and it was delicious! They make their own pasta, so I had the sweet potato-stuffed ravioli with tomato sauce and one last Pisco Sour. It was great!  Then it was back to my hotel through the Plaza Des Armas. Some sort of parade was going one, but it was late and dark and crowded, three things that I’m not great with on my own, so I watched a little then went back to my hotel.

The next three days were a whirl of airports and airplanes, as previously mentioned. My stress and anxiety was high preparing for it, but I managed to calm myself enough to sleep. I was a little worried I wouldn’t get out of Cusco – it began to rain cats and dogs and there was thunder – but Latam Airline was good to go, so with my bag checked to Cancun, I got all the way to Lima, where I stayed at the Costa Del Sol again. It’s a nice hotel, if expensive, but you pay for the convenience.  I got a good six and a half hours of sleep this time – not bad for me on a travel day! – and I’d requested a quiet room and was definitely rewarded, as the constant horns of the airport were less heard on the fifth floor.

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I will miss these magnificent creatures.

Lima to Cancun also went fairly smoothly, though I was nervous my bag wouldn’t make it after all. It was borrowing trouble, as it came through just fine. In fact, I was much more prepared for the airport this time. I “noped” several pushy taxi drivers (and got confirmation that I was definitely had on the airport taxi before), confidently making my way onto the shuttle. I checked into my airline and found a place to eat a light, late lunch while waiting on my plane. The leg to Calgary wasn’t too bad either, for all that I wasn’t able to get an upgrade seat. I sometimes find Air Canada seats a bit more crowded than other airlines, but this plane seemed as fine as any other, perhaps because I sprang for extra legroom so the seat in front wasn’t so in my face.

In Calgary, I made my way through customs and then found my way to my hotel, the Applause by Clique Hotel. It was actually pretty fantastic. It was the best of all the hotel beds I slept in for comfort, and not just because it had some fancy LED light underneath than fortunately can be turned off to sleep. The room was big and well-decorated, and the shower was one with several different kind of sprays. I will definitely look to stay there again. It also came with complimentary breakfast and a complimentary drink at the bar, though it was too early for me to indulge in the latter since a mimosa didn’t count for the coupon and I wasn’t going to have a highball at 11 a.m., holiday or no.

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A happy Starfish in her own bed. ❤

The last leg to Calgary also went smoothly, though I went to the airport early for lack of anything better to do, and found there wasn’t much to do in the Calgary Airport domestic terminal either. I had hoped for more stores to poke about in or one of those Express Spa places, but it is mostly just Hudson News type places. Still, I managed to entertain myself until my plane to Edmonton, then onward to Yellowknife, where I got to crawl into the most comfortable bed of all: my own. I’ve had a great adventure but am certainly glad to be back in my own space, with all my clothes and books and near my people. Peru was wonderful – I definitely recommend going at least once in your life – but after all, there’s no place like home!

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