19 July 2008

Peru: Days 5 & 6

We had to get up at 4:30am to get on the road by 5:15 on our last full day in Peru, and it quickly became evident why. Our driver had to dodge boulders, tree stumps, huge agave plants, and many other kinds of debris that the strikers placed in the road the day before. The photo shows just an example - we dodged conditions like this for a full 90 minutes before arriving at the train station just in time to board the train to Macchu Picchu.

Along the way the vegetation changed from "high desert dry" to "rainforesty." It was another 30 minute bus ride up perfect switchbacks before we got to the site, and it was a "take your breath away moment."

We toured the site and marveled at the sophistication of the engineering that made it possible. Hikes to see the Inca Drawbridge and the Sun Gate featured natural begonias and bromeliads along with great views of both the site and the surrounding mountain scenery.

That night I had a quiet dinner with my dad at the Monasterio hotel in Cusco (the hotel was actually a former monastery complete with its own chapel, which is now adjacent to the business center) and sampled my last serving of ceviche. Although it was good, the stuff at Sol y Luna in the Sacred Valley won the trip prize for all-time best.

Our last day included a day tour of Lima and what I remember most is the fact that it doesn't rain there. Apparently ever. I also finally learned some new features on my camera that allowed me to take better photos in dark situations. It's the little things, sometimes...

The trip home was uneventful and included flights that took off and arrived on time. It was a mere 24 hours at home to do last minute shopping and packing for the Angola adventure, which began the following day with travel to DC for a week of training.

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