S: Peru - October, 2010
BC: No words, no pictures, no videos can explain these moments, I can't even explain the gratification I have for being able to witness it...
FC: Peru October, 2010
2: Yummy breakfast treats... | Day 1 - Lima, Peru
3: Kennedy Parque | My first cup of Peruvian coffee! | Our first morning spent in Lima, we woke up at 6 a.m. & strolled the area of Miraflores. We found a great little cafe for breakfast & began to realize our trip had finally begun! | Miraflores (look at the flowers) is an upscale neigh-borhood in Lima, right off the Pacific coast. Loaded with hotels, restaurants, bars, stores and of course beautiful flowers, the area is packed with tourists & locals.
4: Hauca Pucllana was built by millions of adobe bricks & served as a pre-inca ceremonial site.
5: Our first tour in Lima was a 5 hour bike tour of the historical downtown area.
6: Our bike tour guide, Jose
10: For our first dinner we went to a place near our hotel called Tanta. Coincidentally it's one of the best in Lima & in South America!
11: Day 2 | On our way to Cusco!
13: Our second full day we flew to Cusco & at 11,000 feet high we were told to be careful about getting altitude sickness. Luckily we had first planned to stay in a small town called Yucay in the Sacred Valley We had to pick up our jaws off the ground cause the views from the drive were unbelievable.
15: Our hotel in Yucay was desolate & bundled into the Andes Mountains. Unbelievably beautiful, quaint and quiet.
16: A market nestled in the courtyard of our hotel had crafts made by local artisans. | Baby Armando being bashful, he's one of the vendors son. So adorable I couldn't resist taking his picture.
17: Day 3 We had a taxi driver for the day who took us to four different towns in the Sacred Valley, each place with something completely different to experience.
18: Known for it's sunken amphitheater, these terraces are thought to have been an agricultural research center. | The terraces were built with a complex irrigation system allowing the Incas to grow over 250 different plant species. | Moray
19: Got to snap some shots of the local cemetery | MARAS
20: Salinas - the only way to get here is by a dilapidated dirt road that we cringed coming around every corner of the mountain... it wouldn't have taken much to kick our little taxi off this path. Once arrived it was apparent that the risk was well worth it. Breathtaking! Since pre-Inca times these mines have provided salt for the entire Cusco region. The salt accumulates by evaporated salty water that trickles from a nearby subterranean stream..
23: An Andean Village where locals still where traditional clothing & homes are still made of adobe bricks. In the 17th century this colonial church was built on top of an Inca temple. This town was also a resort for one of the last Inca emperors, Tupa Inca.
27: Soup w/ quinoa & veggies Yummy vegan food in Cusco! | Pisco Sour! The country's national drink made w/ Pisco liquor, lemon juice & egg whites.
28: There is a small town between Maras & Moray called Mara, our driver kept pointing out yellow posts outside of several of the homes. Eventually we stopped at a post which signifies fresh chicha is being made inside. This woman opened her door & for 2 soles poured a glass of fresh beer that's been being made since Inca times.
29: TACU TACU Our favorite meal in Peru!
30: DAY 4 - ON OUR WAY TO MACHU PICHU...
31: Because of Machu Picchu's remote location on the edge of the Amazon & the Andes it's a minimum two hour train ride from the closest city. The train takes you to a town called Aguas Calientes & from there a bus ride to the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain to see one of the world's seven wonders, Machu Picchu. | The local's station | We seen many people hiking along the tracks, even children & elderly.
33: The one & only...
34: Machu Picchu
37: The view on our way up to Machu Picchu, you're in such awe at the landscape to be bothered by the height...
40: A sacred place built by the Incas in the 14th century. High in the cloud forests is this former place of worship and royal retreat sprawled across the landscape of the Andes Mountains. This naturally beautiful site with carved tombs and sacred temples of granite stones. Agricultural terraces surround this city once providing the supply of food needed, everything arranged for a purpose and intention, focused on their devotion in religious & astrological practices. The capability of building something so extensive as Machu Picchu at such a remote location is baffling and the fact that it's still standing makes it all the more amazing....
44: DAY 5 A hike to the Machu Picchu Museum... Although our legs were practically numb from hiking Machu Picchu we still had to experience as much as possible, On our way up to Machu Picchu we passed up a sign pointing towards the Museum of MP. It SEEMED like a reasonable distance, we were wrong but it was worth it....
46: Our hotel near Machu Picchu, Inkaterra is one of the best in South America. It's an ecological reserve with one of the largest orchid collections in the world, a tea plantation, herb garden & home to some local bird species that are on the verge of extinction. What a beautiful place!!
47: Day 6 To Cusco!!!
48: There was one stop that was absolutely mandatory in Cusco & that was to Aldea Yanapay Cafe. All the proceeds from this restaurant fund a local school for homeless children, had to show some support. After some coffee, a donation & buying a jacket they asked if we would like to visit the children at school, my eyes lit up & the excitement began but, it was Friday evening & the plan was to leave Sunday afternoon so Monday's class wasn't a possibility :o(
49: Day 7 Instead of doing the touristy city tour we decided to have our taxi driver friend take us around again & we were in for a treat!!!!!
50: Now this was another Peruvian experience I was waiting for.... we asked our driver to take us to where the locals shop & we ended up at a couple different markets with some of the freshest produce, food & flowers around. The only thing we didn't see were tourists, we were in the right spot!
52: This reptile juice was apparently good for removing "toxins and pains" from the body. Even our taxi driver suggested we try it. Tempting....
53: This day was such an incredibly raw experience of Peru... LOVED every moment of it. Our driver warned us to be cautious at one of the markets... One of us wasn't worried & one of us wanted to go...
54: Day 8 Our last day in Cusco...
55: We walked around the main square Sunday morning before our flight back to Lima & ended up witnessing a beautiful church procession... Women were walking barefoot, men were carrying a huge shrine & a band proceeded...
57: DAY 9 On our last day in Lima we spent the entire day shopping at a mall on the coast & dined at a restaurant with a deck hanging right over the ocean... We enjoyed our last pisco sour & spending the last few soles in our pockets...