A real computer, but still slow, and a pc to boot! We have checked in to a motel at the Lima airport to make sure that we don’t miss a connection tomorrow morning when we fly to SFO.
How to catch up? Highlights: Machupicchu on Friday. Quite a machine with some glitches: a rock slide which blocks the bus ride up so visitors have to get out of the bus and climb a flight of wooden stairs, up to the road, avoiding the rocks at the hairpin turn. The buses on the uphill side have been there for 2 weeks, the fuel is hand carried. The Peruvian Bus Drivers are amazing: they can turn around on a one lane mountain road! When they pass each other it is a ballet in slow motion. Didn’t see any dented buses but I don’t know why. Yesterday, visited sites close in Cusco: Sexy Woman which is the actual pronunciation but not the spelling. Amazing building with huge rocks, carefully carved (they don’t really know how they moved or carved them).
Then 2 cathedrals, showing how the conquistadors took over the sacred spaces of the Inka’s and made them their own. Followed by a somewhat impromptu lunch with an anthropologist. I think it happened because the guide told the boss that we asked too many questions.
We were in the Sacred Valley for 4 nights before Cusco, visiting Ollantaytambo (may or may not be spelled correctly). Higher than Machupicchu (the spelling on buildings in the small town of the same name). Walking the terraced hills (cliffs?), learning of the storage facilities (they kept 11 years of food to be prepared for bad years). The steps were surprisingly easy to climb, though we stopped regularly to hear the guide (Edith) tell us more. The Sacred Valley is higher than Machupiccu but lower than the City of Cusco, so we were there 4 days to acclimate to the altitude. ( We used the Rx drug for 2 days, then just coca tea).
The very first day of arrival we visited a sort of collective of care/feeding of llamas, vicunas and alpacas. Displays of the weaving and dying with natural ingredients. And a Big Sales Room that was too overwhelming for the first day.
The hotel was a former monastery but did have private bath and hair dryer. We were picked up mornings by Victor (bus driver) and Edith to see another wonder.
The best shopping was when someone asked for a bathroom break, which turned out to be at a shop where someone found just what she was looking for.
More later, maybe some of the amazing pictures when we get home. So sorry for the lack of contact for so long, we are so spoiled with our expectation of fast internet!
Other random thoughts: For both weeks Stew was the lone male, and he got tired of it. The group the first week (Galapagos) spanned the generations: 15 to 85! The food restrictions provided endless challenges. The 2nd week, we were 6, including Stew. For excitement, our leader got caught in airline mishandling and didn’t get an immigration form so she was a fugitive for the whole week. We hope she is getting it solved as I write so she can fly to Easter Island tomorrow where she will check the options for another trip. Two people got sick and missed a day . The food continued to be entertaining at each meal.
enough for now!
Thanks for reading! Linda