Today is a flight day. We arrived at the hotel in Lima from Chiclayo at 1:00 am.
Thankfully, departure from the hotel was set for 11:00 am, one of our later departures, for a 1:45 pm flight. Early on, before we even sent in our deposit, I asked about the average flight departure times because I was afraid a trip like this could be a Death March. Flights seemed to depart at a reasonable time. Only about a week before we left, after perusing the itinerary with descriptions of some drives between the airport and the hotel, did I learn that almost all of the departures from the hotel fall between 7:00 and 8:00 am, requiring a wake-up in the 6:00+ ams. We also seem to leave Easter Island on the late side, largely, it appears, because of the time warp of the International Date Line, which we cross later that "day." One significant exception is our extra-early departure from the hotel in Lhasa at 6:30 am to catch the flight from China to India.
I respect you early-birds, but this idea was a struggle for me. I am hoping to win that struggle with a positive attitude recognizing that, after a couple of flights, we really won’t have any idea what time it is because we are gaining hours with every flight.
One great benefit of our “separate” trip to Northern Peru was that we became better acquainted with the four other “couples," and they appear to be among the most international: one British couple, one Canadian couple, one Texan couple (actually, she grew up in Mexico City and later lived in Guadalajara, and he was born in Canada), and two retired school administrators from Brooklyn, who seem to have been traveled just about everywhere. Indeed, there are a remarkable number of former school teachers/staff amongst the spouses here. All of the Northern Peru travelers had been to Machu Picchu before; all agreed that the “alternate” tour of the Moche coast was very special. For me, it was great to be able to focus on eight people whom I now recognize and know. Even better, Aili seems to have worked her magic on everyone, so that she now has a popular reputation amongst the women, which should benefit her when we get back together with the “big” group.
Today's late start is off to a slow start because, despite our arriving at the airport on time, the Machu Picchu party is arriving at least three hours late. We were scheduled to arrive at Easter Island at 7:15 pm; will have to let you know if we make up time. I thought we might be flying out of a separate jetport, but instead, we are waiting in the international terminal of the main Lima Airport. We were scheduled to have lunch on the plane, but it's looking as though it will be an early dinner. Good thing we have Teriyaki chicken in my backpack! I'd show you a photo of us all killing time on our i-devices, but you can just imagine your own family killing three hours at an airport.
It will be good to reconnect with Anna today. She had expressed that the altitude was really tiring her out (or was it the altitude medication?), but she said she was doing better than others in Cusco.