Nothing Worth Doing Ever Comes Easy

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, November 3, 2008

If everyone goes this way  to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Machu Picchu then does it surprise you that my dear husband decided we should go that way?  Most everyone purchases a packaged tour that organizes everything for you along with your own guide that takes you.   But no, not us!!  We didn't have a guide and Raymond decides to go a way that even the tour agent in our building has never heard of.  After several your crazys and we are going to get lost I let Raymond figure things out.  I felt much better when our new friend Ronald (the police officer who helped us when our camera was stolen) agreed to come with us as he wanted to practise his English. 

We left Cusco on Thursday about noon for a 7 hour minivan/mini suicide ride to Santa Maria.  The next day we began our walk at 5 am!!  We walked and got eaten by bugs for about 7 km to Santa Rosa where it became clear that Monique and others were not going to make the 14 km walk yet to come.  

Monique, Sophia and I caught a ride to Santa Teresa (with all these Santas, Christmas must be right around the corner!) and the rest continued by foot.  We were so surprised that James and Sabrina completed the 22 km hike!!

The third day saw us walking another 7-10 km to Aguas Caliente (the base of Machu Picchu).  It was hard for me to feel sorry for the blisters on Raymond's feet but we were all very proud of the kids effort especially Monique!!

The journey ended up costing more than we had expected based on what we were told and the fact that foreigners have to pay up to 10 times for everything didn't help things.  Although Raymond took extra money along we realized that we were still going to be short.  I was told that there were no ATMs anywhere near so I told Raymond his bank card was useless.  However, I had to eat my words when we saw a brand new ATM right next to the place we were staying. 

Things got brighter as we all thought we could get money from the bank machine to EAT and purchase the last ticket to Machu Picchu.   We soon learned that bank machines require a bankcard of which Raymond could not find.  Things were getting really interesting now and it was clear to me that it was time to begin my deep breathing and begin doing mental puzzles to prevent me from killing Raymond.

Well, to protect the people that pulled strings and the vultures  that took advantage of our situation, lets just say that Donald Trump would have hired us as the Apprentice and we would have won the Amazing Race.  We did get the necessary funds to complete our odyssey!!

Sunday morning, Raymond, Sophia (Sabrina wanted to but was not feeling well) and Ronald and his girl friend hiked up the mountain to Machu Picchu where we met at 8 am.  We had two fabulous hours exploring and enjoying the wondrous views before it began to rain.  Raymond, Sabrina and Sophia continued on to climb Wayna Picchu the highest point that looks down on Machu Picchu.  This is a very difficult climb that only allows a limited number of people up each day but well worth the effort according to those that attempt and succeed climbing it.

By the end of the day, we were cold, wet, hungry and exhausted but we had an AMAZING TIME and will never forget this adventure.  Don'tt tell Raymond but I'm glad we went the way we did as it was worth every step, every effort and every inconvenience.

We now say bye to the Cusco area as we head to Lima.

Did you know?

Machu Picchu (Quechua: Machu Pikchu, "Old Peak"; pronounced ['mĘ╗.tʃu 'pik.tʃu]) is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,400 meters (7,875 ft) above sea level.[1] It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. The river is a partially navigable headwater of the Amazon River. Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu probably is the most familiar symbol of the Inca Empire. It is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

It was built around the year 1460, but was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although known locally, it was said to have been forgotten for centuries when the site was brought to worldwide attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian.  More info:
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lazyblueskies on

So well done
Having been there for 7 days and thinking that I was going to die I can appreciate that climbing when ill is really tough, and you guys did it. Great to see the ´THAT WAY´theory!

The photos are great, incredible and what a shot of you sitting on the railway line, beautiful. What a photo to look back on in years to come.

Hugs tpo and keep the stories coming, they are great.

Chris and Blondie

slimwille on

A Brand New Day!
I am very proud of your families achievement. It is just awesome. And as you may already know and may have already heard, America has just climbed its own mountain and reached a new summit. To all of our Canadian friends, we thank you for not judging all of us by the acts of our present and past leadership. We are on our way to a new day in a new way. 2009 will bring the hopes and dreams of most Americans to light and we will be a unified nation of proud people once again. Yes We Can!
Raymond, I am sorry if using this blog for expressing my relief and enthusiasm seems inappropriate. It's just an amazing day in my life to witness this event in our country. In particular because I grew up in the south and witnessed all that this night represents. I am so excited that we can now make effort to move past both the long ago past and the immediate past in one evening. If you find it weird or offensive please feel free to delete that post and I harbor no hard feelings. Your friend, Bill

maaske on

Re: A Brand New Day!
Are you kidding?...........I sat up late last night in Lima, Peru watching history being made!! I think the whole world has a sense of hope and that 'yes we can'. It behooves me how the current administration can go and do so much wrong while the world watches in disbelief.

I think last night represents the fact that change can happen and we (collectively) don't have to accept the 'same old same old'.

Even if America is hurting - it now has hope...................hope is the food of faith.

God bless you brother,


ndiloren on

The Fed

Wow looks like you lost a bit of weight. I really like the pictures Machu Picchu. I should of travelled along with all of you. Keep safe.


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