Category Archives: adventure

miraflores.

at the nearby parque kennedy.

at the nearby parque kennedy.

while in miraflores, we stayed in a condo just 2 blocks away from parque kennedy and only a 15 minute walk to the beach. we frequented both locations quite a bit during our last leg of the trip.

the famous miraflores coastline.

the famous miraflores coastline.

 

walking along the beach.

walking along the beach.

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nye.

getting ready for our night out.

getting ready for our night out.

we arrived in lima, miraflores to be exact, on new years eve. peruvians have all sorts of traditions for new years. first of all, everyone wears yellow (we obviously dropped the ball on this one, as noted above), and that especially includes yellow underwear…stands selling the garments littered the streets. at midnight there’s a lot of fireworks and many eat 12 grapes for good luck and run around the town fountain (sometimes with suitcases) in order to bring great travels in the new year. in my site, many people had miniature dolls that they burned in the middle of the street signifying leaving the old behind in 2012 and becoming anew in 2013. having it be that we were in lima, we just stuck with the grapes and the fireworks…but it was still a lot of fun. in fact, i woke up at 5:30 am to all of lima still celebrating!

some of the crowd sporting their yellow.

some of the crowd sporting their yellow.

just after it struck midnight! i can't believe it is 2013 already.

just after it struck midnight! i can’t believe it is 2013 already.

this picture really doesn't do the fireworks justice. not only could we see fireworks along he coastline, but they were happening right behind us too. so much so, that it was hard to watch without getting debris in our eyes, but still so much fun!

this picture really doesn’t do the fireworks justice. not only could we see fireworks along he coastline, but they were happening right behind us too. so much so, that it was hard to watch without getting debris in our eyes, but still so much fun!

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cusco.

IMG_2648we spent a couple of days in cusco city. we both dealt with the ills of altitude sickness even though we were taking altitude medicine. i suppose at some point, altitude medication can only help so much when you go from sea level to 11,000 ft. as a result, we relaxed for the majority of our time in the city, but we still took time to explore as well.

life in the city.

life in the city.

i was so excited about the 12-sided stone. seriously, it was one of my top things to see while in cusco. (nerd alert).

i was so excited about the 12-sided stone. seriously, it was one of my top things to see while in cusco. (nerd alert).

 

the other highlight to the city was going to the religious art museum...not necessarily for the art, but  really just for the carved cedar wood ceilings.

the other highlight to the city was going to the religious art museum…not necessarily for the art, but really just for the carved cedar wood ceilings.

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the sun came out in the afternoon for a beautiful shot of the main plaza.

the sun came out in the afternoon for a beautiful shot of the main plaza.

 

we attended a mass in the main cathedral. the interior was quite ornate and had a last supper painting that included cuy and chica.

we attended a mass in the main cathedral. the interior was quite ornate and had a last supper painting that included cuy and chica.

this is us waiting for our delayed flight to lima. i can't say i was surprised that it was delayed considering everything in peru is always behind schedule. i am pretty sure we were the only gringos not stressed about the delay...

this is us waiting for our delayed flight to lima. i can’t say i was surprised that it was delayed considering everything in peru is always behind schedule. i am pretty sure we were the only gringos not stressed about the delay…

 

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chincheros.

chincheros.

chincheros.

we made our way to chincheros, which is well-known for its textiles and open-air market. unfortunately, we were there on a non-market day, but we still had the fabulous opportunity to visit a homestead who’s family specialized in creating natural textiles.

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nancy greeting us to her homestead.

nancy greeting us to her homestead.

all of the examples of local plants that are used to create dyes for the alpaca.

all of the examples of local plants that are used to create dyes for the alpaca.

nancy showing us how to clean the alpaca wool and then spool it into yarn.

nancy showing us how to clean the alpaca wool and then spool it into yarn.

after, she dressed us up in the finest sierran wear.

after, she dressed us up in the finest sierran wear.

moray.

IMG_2608as seen above, i was extremely excited to visit and explore moray. moray is where it is believed that the incas experimented with various crops to find the ideal growing conditions. to do this they had layered circles with various irrigation levels as well, which would test approximately how much sunlight and water was needed for the crop. it is believed that they experimented with more than 250 different types of crops.

an overhead view of moray.

an overhead view of moray.

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look at the snow capped mountain in the background!

look at the snow capped mountain in the background!

 

the extremely safe and secure steps to get from level to level.

the extremely safe and secure steps to get from level to level.

 

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salineras de maras.

IMG_2588The Salineras de Maras have been around since pre-Incan times. Fed by a natural, underwater spring in the neighboring mountain, the ponds catch the water as it makes its way down into the valley, and the locals wait for the ponds to dry. After, they harvest both natural table salt and fancy pink salt that can be used in cooking delicious items, or if you are really creative, you can carve figures out of the salt…

hundreds of salt ponds lined the narrow valley.

hundreds of salt ponds lined the narrow valley.

salt lining the sides of a pond. there were so many fascinating salt formations to be seen.

salt lining the sides of a pond. there were so many fascinating salt formations to be seen.

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huayna picchu.

IMG_2449to begin our day at machu picchu, we decided to hike huayna picchu. it is the tall, looming mountain above machu picchu. they only allow 400 hikers a day, and the ascent is only 1,000 feet. what they fail to mention is by “ascent” they mean “near vertical climb” and one uses a metal cable install only 7 years ago, to help you reach the top. and guess what! it was TOTALLY worth it! it was quite the accomplishment, and though i had altitude sickness problems, i still loved it. i highly recommend it.

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beginning our hike…and the last picture until we just about reached the top…i was too busy trying to not fall off the side of the mountain…

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there were more ruins found at the top, where the high priest and many of the virigins lived.

we made it! it was only raining a tiny bit....ha...

we made it! it was only raining a tiny bit….ha…

 

to reach the true summit, we had to crawl through a tiny cave. quite the adventure!

to reach the true summit, we had to crawl through a tiny cave. quite the adventure!

the clouds parted a bit, so you could see the road that the busses take to take visitors to machu picchu.

the clouds parted a bit, so you could see the road that the busses take to take visitors to machu picchu.

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the clouds parted for a brief second, and i snapped a picture of the view of machu picchu from above.

the clouds parted for a brief second, and i snapped a picture of the view of machu picchu from above.

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mp looking over the ledge.

mp looking over the ledge.

this was a super safe stairwell...especially when it was wet from all the rain.

this was a super safe stairwell…especially when it was wet from all the rain.

making our way back down the mountain.

making my way back down the mountain.

another quick cloud parting.

another quick cloud parting.

WE DID IT! and you know, it was difficult, but sosososososo worth it!

WE DID IT! and you know, it was difficult, but sosososososo worth it!

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machu picchu.

we awoke extra early to take a taxi at 6 am to our train station. where we took a 1 1/2 hour train ride to the town of machu picchu.

we awoke extra early to take a taxi at 6 am to our train station. where we took a 1 1/2 hour train ride to the town of machu picchu.

wide awake and enjoying our early morning commute!

wide awake and enjoying our early morning commute!

the town of machu picchu. from here we took a 15 minute bus ride up the mountain to the base of machu picchu.

the town of machu picchu. from here we took a 15 minute bus ride up the mountain to the base of machu picchu.

 

the great-grandfather of my old boss put machu picchu on the map.

the great-grandfather of my old boss put machu picchu on the map.

 

it is rainy season in cusco right now, so throughout the entire morning it was raining...but still beautiful!

it is rainy season in cusco right now, so throughout the entire morning it was raining…but still beautiful!

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a view with the clouds.

a view with the clouds.

 

in the morning we climbed huayna picchu (the tall mountain in the back)...while it was pouring rain...after our hike, i devoured the entire buffet at the lodge, and the sun kindly came out in the afternoon and proved just how incredible machu picchu really is.

in the morning we climbed huayna picchu (the tall mountain in the back)…while it was pouring rain…
after our hike, i devoured the entire buffet at the lodge, and the sun kindly came out in the afternoon and proved just how incredible machu picchu really is.

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this guy has the best view.

this guy has the best view.

 

the watch tower.

the watch tower.

the three-window temple.

the three-window temple.

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the sundial.

the sundial.

i met up with some friends in the town square.

i met up with some friends in the town square.

overall, the amount of planning and coordination that went into this portion of the trip was more than worth it. it truly was incredible. you would think with as much as we always hear people say how incredible of a place it is, it would be overrated and leave much to be wanting, but that certainly was not the case. i highly recommend taking the time to take a visit to machu picchu. it will be the most expensive thing you do in peru, but you will never regret it. it is quite mesmerizing.

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sacred valley.

IMG_2416christmas night, we took an overnight bus to lima, and then caught a flight out to cusco. our first few days in cusco, we stayed in the sacred valley, which turned out to be a great decision, not only because it’s gorgeous but because it’s located at 9,000 ft above sea level, rather than the 11,000 ft in cusco city. we stayed in a town called yucay, in an old monastery turned into convent. it was gorgeous. and a delightful, relaxing stay to get our adventures started.

our taxi stopped at this incredible view on our way to yucay.

our taxi stopped at this incredible view on our way to yucay.

some kiddos hanging out under their mom's merchandise table.

some kiddos hanging out under their mom’s merchandise table.

our hotel in yucay.

our hotel in yucay.

my dreams were coming true with these cuties!

my dreams were coming true with these cuties!

the rural life in the sierra.

the rural life in the sierra.

a mountain with...SNOW!

a mountain with…SNOW!

and so it began.

these last two weeks i have been playing host to the most anticipated visitor of 2012. it was more than worth the 6.5 month wait (but, who was keeping track?). during the two weeks i was able to share my life in site, experience one of the wonders of the world and just enjoy time with my best friend. though, to be honest, i was having too much fun to take a lot photos, though i am pretty sure mp disagrees on that point. ha. anyways, enjoy the following posts as they document our short two weeks of adventures!

trying his first chica morada. little did he know just how delicious they are...

trying his first chica morada. little did he know just how delicious they are…

i had so many little surprises throughout the first week. many of which included my favorite treats from texas...including these homemade s'mores from tillman's roadhouse!!!!!

i had so many little surprises throughout the first week. many of which included my favorite treats from texas…including these homemade s’mores from tillman’s roadhouse!!!!!

mp roasting a mallow.

mp roasting a mallow.

one of the days, we packed a picnic and hiked our way to the penguins. though we had been lathering ourselves in sunscreen, we still had pretty funny sunburns from this excursion. but the ocean was a dream and the penguins were lively!

one of the days, we packed a picnic and hiked our way to the penguins. though we had been lathering ourselves in sunscreen, we still had pretty funny sunburns from this excursion. but the ocean was a dream and the penguins were lively!

while in chiclayo, we celebrated christmas with the other peru 19er’s with a secret santa exchange! it was a blast and we all had so much fun with it!

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