Nov 22/23 Tuesday – Travel: Cusco-Lima-Mexico City-SFO

Alli’s journal:

Kyu’s ponderings:

Tetsu’s jibber jabber:

We got up early and headed back to Cusco airport. It was a windy and chilly morning waiting outside the airport.

Latam opened their doors first, then Viva. But Sky’s agents were running late (or naturally started late, not sure). We were finally let in out of the cold, and waited around for the agents to start work while staring jealously at the other two airlines that had already staffed the checkin counter.

It was all good though, our spirits were high as we finally got in queue. Lines were short and fast.

We had to queue, of course.

We bought so much stuff in the Pisac and Cusco markets that we had two giant duffel bags to check in, lol.

A lot of folks were in good spirits today. And it turns out, many had, like us, been stuck in Cusco for the last several days. We met Alex who really took advantage of his delays in Cusco by doing the day trip by train out to Machu Picchu.

Other than that, our flight was smooth sailing.

We landed in Lima early in the morning, and as we had a solid 8 hours or so before our next flight, we dropped off our luggage at the airport storage facility and headed into town.

Kyu had found a seafood restaurant chain called Embarcadero41 that was really well reviewed.

It was along the coastline, so the taxi hit the coast and headed southward. The drive was a little eerie as the public beaches were all closed due to Covid. The cab dropped us off just inland from the coast in a business district, busy for the mid-morning hour. We found our restaurant, but it hadn’t opened yet. Luckily, the coffee shop next door, The Coffee Road, was open next door and we headed in. It was rather typical, but when we went to the back, we found a rear courtyard area with tables and grabbed a seat.

The coffee shop and restaurant both linked to the rear courtyard so we were able to stay at our table and order food when the restaurant opened.

Lovely coffee mugs.

We ate some good food,

and the staff were super friendly, so we grabbed a quick selfie.

Antonio, Alber, Daniella, and in the rear, Andre the chef

Once back at the airport, we were able to grab our luggage and get to our flight.
Upon leaving Mexico, we found some really long lines but it wasn’t too bad. We did make a show of the delay, though, hahaha.

The flight itself was uneventful, though the attendant changed my seat from an aisle to middle, which was mildly irritating, but alternating between reading and sleeping, I made do.

We arrived at night into Mexico city, but luckily, Kyu was able to find a capsule hotel and had booked it for us.

The airport had a 7/11, an enclosed bus station area next to the capsule hotel where you could grab a smoke, a Carl’s Jr. and other amenities. Burgers and sodas helped give us a boost and we headed off to shower and sleep. If you’re ever in Mexico city with a lot of hours to spare, the capsule hotel is great. Somewhat similar to the one at Haneda airport in Japan where my wife and I always stay except the Mexico City version has only a tiny area in front of the checkin desk as a communal area, and doesn’t have a second communal area near the showers.

As travel days go, not too bad.

November 23rd

Our final leg, from Mexico City to SFO, was quite a relief.

We had typical highs and lows, but the realization that we were leaving Latin America behind, soon to arrive onto US soil and the humdrum of our regular lives was both a joy and a little bit sad.

Ever the jokester, our old friend “fate” had a few more bits of mischeif in store for us.

First, getting through security was a bit fun, we all had some trouble, though some more than others.

And then, just to give us a wee bit of a scare, heavy fog delayed all flights, so we had a lot of waiting to do.

What was stranger, the gates were undecided, so we had to wait in one of the gateless hallway junctions.

After a couple of hours, we started to see various flights get cancelled. Mostly Latin American destinations. But once we saw the Dallas flight get cancelled, we started to worry a bit.

In the end, we worried for nought as our gate was assigned and announced and we grabbed our gear and headed over.

While waiting though, we met a number of SF 49ers fans as there was an international regular season game the night before. That was fun.

After boarding, our flight was trouble free and we were able to get to SFO just a little bit later than expected.

Being pretty exhausted, I decided to take a fairly expensive Lyft home, rather than BART it.

And what a strange coincidence! My driver was Peruvian! Originally from Lima, and had worked in Cusco as well! A small world, or total fluke?!

And thus ends an adventure of a lifetime.

Hope you enjoyed this journey with me.

and with that, what’s left to say, except…

I wonder when the next fun adventure will be, perhaps years away.

But hey, it’s never to early to plan, right?

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