After nearly 18 hours of travel, our flight landed in Lima, Peru around 2:30 am local time. Bleary eyed, we made our way through immigration and customs to gather our luggage. Then we wound our way back to the check in counter for the local flight to Cuzco that was about 3 hours later. The airport was quite brightly lit and fairly active for that time of the day.
After a short and uneventful flight to Cuzco, we headed out to baggage claim for the second time and made our way outside. Our taxi driver was waiting with Mr. JJ’s name on a placard. The owner of the lodge we were staying at had made arrangements for him to pick us up. We were soon on our way to Urubamba in the Sacred Valley. This valley is at a lower elevation than Cuzco but still high enough to cause altitude sickness for many.
The taxi ride took about two hours. It was passed quietly catching up on sleep and gazing at the countryside. I found the pastoral scenes quite endearing. There were dogs wandering the streets and houses with blooms in vivid colors. Our driver spoke no English and we spoke a few words of Spanish. We had to rely on what Missy JJ’s basic school Spanish and some of my rusty French.
As we drove down into the valley, we stopped at a couple of viewpoints to take pictures. The simple beauty of the land was enticing.
Our destination was the La Capilla Lodge, a bed and breakfast, locally owned and operated. We found them on Booking.com and with good reviews on TripAdvisor. Chris and Rhomina ran the place at the time of our visit. Chris was from France originally but had traveled quite a bit before he and his spouse converted this place belonging to Rhomina’s family into a B and B.
The lodge itself was very quaint, colorful, tranquil and reflected the local culture well. There was a central garden that was quite relaxing. The room we were given was two-storied with a bed downstairs for us and another in the top floor for the kids. It opened onto the garden.
Our plan was to shower, sleep and then take a taxi to see the ruins and the Sunday market at Pisac. Chris offered us breakfast and we settled in for a nap. Missy JJ was out in the garden by early afternoon when she suddenly became very dizzy and light-headed. The altitude made it hard for her to feel well for a while. We made her lie down and pushed fluids.
The best cure for altitude sickness is to push fluids, rest and take it easy. We had brought prescribed medicines for altitude sickness but felt her symptoms weren’t severe enough to merit using them. By late afternoon, Missy JJ felt well but by then it was too late to make the trip to Pisac.
So we explored the B and B before heading out to the local streets for a quick walk and some fresh air. By then we had worked out an arrangement with Chris. Breakfast was already included with our stay. He agreed to make us dinner as well whenever needed and add those charges to the final bill. The kids were thrilled to be eating a nice bowl of warm pasta with vegetables at the end of the evening. Thankfully, Missy JJ did not have a recurrence of her symptoms that day or the rest of the trip. It felt good to fall asleep amidst such peaceful and colorful surroundings.