S: Lee Ann & RaeAnn's Excellent Adventure................Peru 2012
FC: Peru 2 0 1 2
1: Lee Ann & RaeAnn's Peruvian adventure began in the beautiful Miraflores district of Lima.
2: The natural BEAUTY of coastal Peru was stunning.
3: Beautiful poinsettia plants grew everywhere!
4: Once the center of the New World, Lima is now a bustling metropolis and home to many of South America's finest museums, shops and restaurants.
5: The Plaza de Armas, is the center of government for the country. This is the Presidential Palace, the equivalent of our White House.
6: The famous Church of SanFrancisco houses a museum of fine religious art and books. Most people go to San Francisco, however, for its catacombs. The catacombs were actually part of Lima's original cemeteries, which were built under churches. Tour guides say an estimated 75,000 bodies are buried under San Francisco alone, and many of the remains are exposed, stacked in strange patterns in circular stone pits. A catacomb tour is not for the squeamish or the claustrophobic!
7: This is the beautiful | The beautiful Cathedral in Plaza de Armas.
8: The food and drink in Peru were sensational! Ceviche, fish cooked in lime juice, was invented here. They do wonderful things with potatoes as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The national drink, pisco sour, packs a wallop!
9: We enjoyed a lunch of various types of ceviche with new friends Mary Linda Cragar from Houston and Neal & Louise Tarr from Utah.
10: The Archaeological Complex "Huaca Pucllana" was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD.
11: Located in today's district of Miraflores the "Huaca Pucllana" was built around 500 AD. "Pucllana" is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima.
12: From Lima, we flew to Cuzco, the center of the Incan culture. At 12,000 feet, it took us a few days to get acclimated to the altitude.
13: Cuzco, the capital of ancient Peru, is a living museum. It still contains walls and roads originally built by the Incas. When the Spanish conquered Cuzco in the 16th century, they were so impressed with the architecture that they built upon and around it.
15: Balcon del Inka, overlooking the village of Chinchero, is a cooperative of families who sell hand-woven textiles. The demonstration of how they dye the wool using minerals , plant materials, and insects was very interesting. These ladies were fun!
16: We visited four separate Incan archaeological sites, including this fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the location of the historic battle that forever changed Peruvian life...this was where the Spanish defeated the Incas. Other sites visited included Kenko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay.
18: Near Cuzco is the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Rich in ruins, it is in many ways more historically significant than Machu Picchu. We visited the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo and visited a market town.
19: The Sacred Valley is nestled below and between Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the surrounding Andes Mountain Range.
21: SWALLOW CAVES BY MAYA BAY | November 14 | Thus far, our adventure in Peru had been a dream come true. The people are wonderful, the food delicious, the scenery amazing... but the highlight of our tour was yet to come!
22: From our hotel in Cuzco, we took a train up Picchu mountain to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. Surrounded by the emerald green Andes Mountains and shrouded in mist, it is totally hidden from ground level. Machu Picchu is truly one of the world's most spectacular sights!
23: Entering Machu Picchu is something we will never forget. It is so magnificent that RaeAnn was moved to tears. This is the group we toured with...a very enjoyable group of men and women from all over the U.S.A. This represents half of our total traveling group. We had 39 in all.
26: When we returned to our beautiful hotel, exhausted but in awe of what we had just experienced, our bartender (who looked like John Belushi) was waiting for us with pisco sours!
27: Walt Whitman | Beautiful plants and flowers are found throughout Peru. Here are just a few examples.
28: After a free morning to sightsee in Machu Picchu Pueblo, we boarded our train back to Cuzco, where we saw some unusual sights, participated in a dinner and Peruvian folk show, and then flew back to Lima...where we said goodbye to many of our group.
29: Back in Lima, we visited the Larco Museum, where we traced the history of Peru's Pre-Columbian art and culture, and visited an extensive exhibit of erotic pottery, which was quite interesting!
30: After saying goodbye to many new friends, we boarded a plane which took us to Iquitos. We traveled down the Amazon River to our resort, Ceiba Tops. A hike in the rain forest preceded dinner in the lodge.
31: Fishing for piranha, a tarantula hunt, and swinging on vines like Tarzan were highlights. | We enjoyed the flora and fauna, abundant in the tropical rain forest. Many are shown on the back cover.
32: We went by boat to a neighboring village, Indiana. There we took a walking tour and purchased school supplies, snacks and shoes. The schools in the villages have very little in the way of instructional materials or supplies. The students and teachers were very appreciative and sang for us. | The children were always excited to see us, shouting, "Gringos! Gringos!" | The children were always excited to see us, shouting, "Gringos! Gringos!"
33: We visited the Yagua Indian village, where we visited with citizens of the community, danced with them, admired their crafts, and participated in a blowgun demonstration. We had a great time there!
34: Girls demonstrated making chicha, a drink using spit and chewed corn. We did not try it! | We were treated to a show one evening after dinner. The music was great! | Teens from Indiana demonstrated a variety of dances, including this one...using a live anaconda! | The group of 13 who stayed for the Amazon extension, enjoying dinner in the lodge.
35: Our trip came to an end all too soon. We had a wonderful time meeting new friends and experiencing the wonder that is Peru. Beautiful memories! | Edwin Agreda, our tour guide. | Celso, our guide in the Amazon. | Lee Ann holding a lamb in Cuzco. | RaeAnn enjoying the hammock room. | Lover's Park in Lima. | Graffiti on the agave in Lima.