Driven South from Ecuador to Peru by a desire to explore different regions in the Andes Mountains, and to continue my education in the Spanish language I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Two friends and I spent endless hours aboard many buses to span the distance between Ecuador and Cusco, Peru. And let me tell you that after about 50 hours on a bus you start to slip into a numbing state-of–mind where time ceases to exist and sunrises and sunsets all blur together. Speaking with locals on the bus, reading books, and watching movies help to pass the time, the only true cure for this bus induced zombie state-of-mind is arriving at your final destination.

Cusco was the epicenter of the Inca Empire, and still a thriving, culturally rich city perched high in the Andes Mountains. I spent 3 weeks in Cusco hiking, exploring, and practicing my Spanish on anyone patient enough to listen.

TASTE: Go to the San Pedro Market and grab a fresh juice. They typically cost about 1USD, and are oh so fresh! My favourite blend was the carrot and ginger juice.

BE WARNED: If you plan on hiking in the local mountains go prepared with a few rocks in hand. This is to protect yourself from feral dogs that travel in packs and have been know to attack people. I had some close calls, but was lucky enough to not get bitten.