Made it!

Trip Start Sep 08, 2012
Trip End Nov 27, 2012

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Monday, September 10, 2012

Hello from Peru!

After an 18 hour delay, a night in LA, an extensive wait at the Lima Airport, a plane ride to Cusco, and a long van ride to Ollantaytambo, we made it! We did not have much time to rest as Amber and I were in catch up mode. Luckily, the day was fairly open for the rest of the Mazama group. We arrived mid-morning, settled into the hostal and rested before venturing out into the town. We met up with the group around lunch at which point my head and gut were beginning the battle with the altitude. I did not make for good company BUT I would rather have my head feeling like it was going to explode in one of the most beautiful spots in the world than the alternative I just gave up-- that thought alone immediately reset my perspective.

After lunch and another power nap, our guide Antonio took us over to the Ollyantaytambo ruins (the rest of our four person group went off on another ruins adventura). I was very grateful for the coca tea, limon candies, and ibuprofeno which allowed me to make the journey. We heard many stores of the Inka/Quechua people (Inca is spelled Inka here). We were told that not all Quechua people have Inka blood. Inka refers to the ruling class. Ollyantaytambo was one the last inhabited Inka cities. At the conclusion of our tour, we found a really fantastic dinner spot called Hearts Cafe (really neat place, check out link!) then headed back to the hostal.

The next morning we woke up to a special treat brought in from a local woman named Adora. Adora brought us a super power quinoa smoothie drink simpled called quinoa maca. It had a delicious blend of peaches and other fruits. After breakfast and some pretty great cafe con leche, we set out to vist Moray and the Salinas de Maras. Moray was spectacular and also happened to be the site of my first Southern Hemisphere freedom cartwheel (SHFC)! There is so much more to write but my time/internet is limited.  

In the meantime here are some highlights/lowlights of the last few days

**Dunkin Donuts (next to Papa Johns) at the Lima Airport

**The quiet chapel at the Lima Airport - a great spot to hang out as you transition

**The view of the Southern Hemisphere at night (seeing the Southern Cross is on my life list and I hope to see on the trek)

**The heartbreaking poverty of the people of Ollyantaytambo. We saw a child playing with a plastic bag over her/his head while the mother cooked over a stove. Their home was a stone, windowless hut. There were chirping guinea pigs -most of which will be fried up for food at some point- running all around the feces laden floor. Their home also served as a shop full of very beautiful hand made goods. What I witnessed is really difficult to put into words... please take a moment to appreciate what you have.

To end on a happy note my last two:

**Coca leaves! Thank you!

**DONKEYS! They are everywhere and very ah-dorable!

 I am back in Cusco now and will have a bit more to write soon. Thanks for reading! 


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Karen des on

I am so proud of you tackling this adventure head on! Thanks for becoming a 'blogger' and sharing your experiences along the way.
Love you,

mc1rvariant on

Kd! Thanks for all the love and support over the years. I heart you. Lots!

MacK on

Yea!, You made it, and you're in a magical place right now! Ah, the water lined streets, the ruins, the heights. Yesss..... Take it in bebe!

Kimbo on

Where are MY donkey pictures? It's not real until you post a picture of it!

solstone on

Have I mentioned that you are made of awesome? =)

Despite the seemingly obligatory travel delays, it sounds (and looks) like you are off to a great start.

mc1rvariant on

MacK - I haven't ventured to the big market in Cusco yet, but I'm working up to it!

Solstone - You are awesomeness. Thanks to you I have much music to listen to on this trip. ;)

Kimbo- see latest post for proof!

Tamara on

I'm glad to see you'll be writing and posting for real -- and great photos!!! Takes me back to Peru in heart, which I deeply appreciate. I'll enjoy taking an arm-chair ride-along on what inevitably will be a fantastical photographer's journey. Many good tidings to you as you explore one of the most historically and ethnically complex areas of the planet. As those photos of the terracing reminded me, be prepared for your head to be blown off about just how much we seem to have "forgotten" -- or just never got in the first place because the colonialists ignored the ancient wisdoms in the Americas -- in modern civilization. Hold onto that wisdom and bring it back with you, Kellie. Safe, profound and coca-inspired journeys to you!

LO3 on

Love it Kelli!

If you are still in Cusco make your way to the Catholic church at the corner of the plaza and ask the locals about the 'angels' that visit them regularly.

Go girl!

mc1rvariant on

Thanks LO3! I didn't make to the church but I am curious about the angels.

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