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