S: PERU 2012
BC: DEPARTED | PERU | 14 September 2012
1: PERU | PERU | ARRIVED August 28, 2012 | Intriguing and diverse, Peru is a collage of cultures, topography, flora and fauna — from the desert coastline of Lima, to Cusco, high in the Andean Mountains, to the Amazon rain forest. A country where shaman and medicine men still practice their healing arts, guinea pigs are considered dinner not pets and homes may not have running water but they do have satellite TV and wifi.
2: Machua Picchu | Majestic and mysterious. is the lost city of the Incas. Who lived here and why here, 7710 ft up on the rocky saddle of a mountain? How long did it take to build and how many people were involved in the construction? Without the wheel and metal tools, how did they bring stones from the quarry miles away, and cut the stones so precisely, build canals to bring water from 6 miles away and haul soil up from the valley to farm the terraces? No one knows. Our guide, Marco believes it was used as a university.
4: No amount of photos or videos can prepare you for your first sight of Machu Picchu, spread out in front of you and behind you. The fine craftsmanship of the Incas is demonstrated in the many sided stone blocks flawlessly fitted together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.
6: Amazon Rain Forest | Yaqua Indians
7: The canopy walk | View from the tree tops | LUNCH! Good eating — mild and sweet | Luis, Charles and Diana
10: Local Market | Mazan
11: Laundry Day on the Amazon | A local drink of whipped egg whites and sugar
12: I can't believe it!! I am finally going to a place I have dreamed of ever since I was a child...a place where kangaroos roam, where I will get to hold the cutest sleepy bears in the world and a place where the ocean is full of amazing world renowned reefs and sea life. Australia Here I Come! | Ollantaytambo
14: Sacred Valley Our lodge in Urubamba was a beautiful oasis. The home hosted meal nearby is where we were served guinea pig. Pablo Seminario's studio was full of wonderful clay creations
15: We meet Pablo Seminario in his studio | Sacred Valley
17: The trip has been amazing!! The Sacred Valley is as wonderful as the Amazon (and much cooler). We've been able to visit all of the places on my list Sacsayhuaman : The meticulous positioning of giant granite blocks exemplifies the Incas precise masonry skills. Some of the stones are 17 ft high and weigh 350 tons. Most believe it was built as a fortress. Marco speculates it is a monument to the Inca's greatness. Old Cusco is laid out in the shape of a puma and Sacsayhuaman is the head in perfect proportion to the body.
18: Pisaq | Our first stop in the Sacred Valley was the Pisaq Ruins -- a site of terraced farming with a temple and homes at the top. | Lima | A coastal desert also known as the green coast because of the greenery planted on the cliffs to prevent erosion. We visited a stage 1 section of Villa El Salvador crowding the boundary of the pre-Inca ruins of Pachacamac.
19: Lima, Cusco, Iquitos, Mazan, Indiana, Pisaq, Urubamba, Aqua Calientes, Ollantaytambo
20: Huaca Pucllana | LIMA
21: Courtyard of Santo Domingo built on the ruins of Coricancha-- the Inca Sun Temple. | Villa El Salvador | Villa El Salvador
22: Farewell Peru until next time....