This is the latest of my posts about my trip to Peru. It’s also the trip I’ve blogged about the most. I suppose it’s safe to say it was one of the deepest journeys I have ever been on. To see the rest of the posts (in case you’re new to the blog), click here. If you want to check out the vlog first, that also works :).
The previous post chronicles the first 2 days of the trip but in order not to fall into the trap I fell into last time, this post is going to be mostly my selection of pictures and, hopefully not too wordy, captions.
Day 3 finds me in Cusco, acclimatizing to the high altitude in preparation for my hike.
This is everyday life in Cusco. Market in the background.
Plaza de Armas; Not as crowded as the day before but it was still early morning
The largest Cathedral I could find- why are the doors so huge?
A glimpse of Cusco street life …
I joined a free walking tour I had found out about starting in downtown Cusco and the guide took us into the crooks and crannies of the little town. Below, he is demonstrating how to play some local instruments at one of the houses/shops in Cusco.
Then it was time to meet the Llamas and Alpacas. I was brave enough to ‘pet’ the head of one of them while I asked another of the tourists to take a picture and make sure he got me touching because it was only going to be a fraction of a second. He could NOT miss!
Someone referred to them as the Rastafarian llamas because their coats hadn’t been shaved.
Standing by the 12 sided stone. It is a big deal and quite famous in Cusco. Can you count the 12 sides? Also, the sun radiation game was very strong- and take a look at the size of my water bottle!
A great place to get a view of Cusco
The tour ended at this restaurant where we were given samples of Pisco Sour. It was my first time having one and I was prepared for the worst but it wasn’t that bad- probably because it was watered down? lol
Hike ‘orientation’. Basically, I paid my balance, they asked if I was having headache or dizziness, low long I had had to acclimatize, and if I wanted to buy any equipment from them. I was handed the map and they said “see you bright and early” 🙂
Day 4- Preparing to start the hike. I was super excited but very nervous. I knew it was going to be challenging but at what level? Nothing to do but wait and find out- no going back now.
Looking at the mountains in front of me, all I could think of was “Wow- I am going to climb that? Little ol’ me? How? For 4 days? Jesus be some strength!”
The dream team! 2 couples and a 5th wheel 😉 Spent the next 4 days with these folks I had never met before and it was a great experience.
First set of ruins — when I still wanted to take pictures of everything and be in every picture. The time quickly came when pictures were the least of my concern. lol
Lunch is served! Don’t worry- chairs were added eventually. ALL of the meals were delicious- no disappointments there.
Short siesta- How often do you get to have siestas with views like this?? Also, this may have been when I lay on my sunglasses and broke them 😦
Bright and early on hike day 2!
Right after getting to Dead Woman’s Pass- the highest point in the hike and the steepest uphill climb (or second steepest- can’t decide which because day 4 morning was brutal- but maybe only because I was already beyond sore). Trying to get here is where most people give up and turn back. I thought I was going to (almost) die. It was so hard and I shed a few tears before getting here. In fact, I was in such a bad mood, I didn’t want to talk to anyone or have my picture taken.
With the help and encouragement of my team mates and tour guide, I fought for JOY and was able to celebrate this milestone and accomplishment!
Day 3 of hike. It rained pretty much all day and we hiked through the rain forest. This was taken at a time the rain had let up for some time. Rio Urubamba below me.
Marveling at the earth’s beauty and God’s creation
Extra optional hike at the end of day 3 to see more ruins. I did not climb down. lol
Day 4 of hike- About to get unto the main path to Machu Picchu. We got here at zero dark thirty and had to wait in line. Most people still half asleep- it was kind of a ‘race’ to be the first to get to Machu Pichhu hence the line. By that time, I wasn’t even interested in racing. I just wanted to finish alive!
Sun gate. The end was in sight. Can you point out Machu Picchu behind us? Those squiggly lines in the mountain? Yes, we hiked down those- they are called switchbacks. Learned that word when I hiked at the Grand Canyon.
I am so SO PROUD of this shot. I did it! I hiked for 4 days all for this view. It was a great view that day at that time because from what I read on the internet, it can be very foggy and you come out with meh pictures- but isn’t God good to me? What an accomplishment!!!! Oh and one of my team members did an extra hike up to the nose of the ‘face’- you had to pay extra for it too. I didn’t- I was completely done with hiking. If you are having difficulty seeing the face, maybe turn your screen sideways counterclockwise?
Well deserved alcoholic beverage post hike 😉
Train I boarded as part of my journey back to Cusco
When I got to Cusco, first thing I did was take a long hot shower (didn’t have any on the hike) and tend to my numerous mosquito bites. I was several shades darker and the skin on my face was peeling badly. Battle scars that I wore proudly :). The next day was Sunday and I was heading back to Lima, and then to the US.
Day 8- Cusco on Sunday. Every Sunday, they have a parade in Plaza de Armas so I went to witness it before rushing to the airport back to Lima. It was a very interesting parade, showcasing their culture and the different groups and societies in Cusco.
Once back in Lima, I took a taxi from the airport to the Larco Museum. It’s a famous museum and I went to see what it was all about- google it and you may be surprised (shocked even?) at what you find 😉
Next, I took a taxi to Magic Water Circuit. It is basically a park with several water fountains in different shapes, sizes, and formations. Very beautiful. Most ‘perform’ to music and light shows.
One of the cool water fountain exhibits. I highly recommend visiting here, and I recommend towards the evening if possible.
From the Magic Water Circuit, I took a taxi to the airport- had to find my luggage that arrived from Cusco late and then check in for my flight back to the US- while navigating through the language barrier. Imagine the chaos of MMIA (for my fellow Nigerians) and then add not understanding/ speaking the language very well and the hands of the clock ticking super fast. Different airlines of course and I was cutting it close (what else is new? ;))
Visiting Peru was a great experience and I am glad I can say I have been to Machu Picchu- one of the wonders of the world. I wonder which will be next?
Inka Corn!!! The corn of the Inka people who graciously hosted me for 8 days in their beautiful land 🙂
p.s. hiking to Machu Picchu is one of several options to getting there- there is a bus that will take you there. I just had to be a ‘little’ extra 😛