Category: Peru

Salkantay Trek Days 2 & 3: Trekking From the High Andean Mountains to the High Jungle

Excerpt: “Our day and a half spent getting down from the lofty heigths of the Salkantay Mountain, through the cloud forest and into the high rainforest were beautiful and enlightening. Representing about 30km of our overall trek, the days were long, but we experienced some spectacular terrain came away with a new understanding of ‘farming.'”
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Salkantay Trek Day 2: The 4630m Pass

Excerpt: “We were going to be experiencing a landscape unlike anything we’d experienced before in our lives. It was a landscape that dominated unlike any other: with an exceptionally tall, snow-peaked mountain that positively soared over you and the trail; a harsh, rocky environment with little plant and animal life; and a walk through a boulder field where the rough rock chunks scattered about the landscape towered over us, and yet were pebbles when compared to the rocky cliff from which they’d fallen. It was going to be an incredible day.”
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Salkantay Trek Day 1- Getting into the High Andean Mountains

Excerpt: “The lip of the moraine was like a razor’s edge: incredibly dramatic, sharpened by the wind over time, it launched itself into the sky as a sharp, jagged, sawtoothed, peaked ridge. Whatever the colours are there, we just don’t have them in our mountains: there are combinations of black, gold, green and brown, combined with the haze of the altitude and the brightness and intensity of the light, it was like nothing we’ve seen before.”
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An Overview of the Salkantay Trek

Excerpt: “There isn’t just one Inca Trail. The entire country of Peru is crisscrossed with 40,000 to 60,000 km of Inca trails (the number depends on what guide you are talking to) that were built throughout the country in the time of the Incas. These roads lead from Cusco, the centre of the Incan Empire, to the 4 corners of the realm. The Incans were, in this respect, the Romans of South America.”
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So you think you know potatoes? Think again!

Excerpt: “Our storyteller (our culinary experiences guide, the awesome Chef José Luis, pictured with Bill above) summed it up this way, with a devilish glint in his eye: this is ‘a reminder that women save men at the worst moments of their lives!'”
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Cusco City Tour’s Qorikancha

Excerpt: “The message we’re receiving loud and clear, over and over again here, is that the Peruvian (Quechua) and the Incan culture was never completely obliterated, despite the best attempts of the Spaniards to do so. This site is a perfect symbol for that attempt by the “conquerors” (that’s what they are constantly referred to here, not “the Spaniards”) to subjugate the Incas.”
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Exploring Cusco City’s Streets

Excerpt: “We did pass a beautiful scene on the way up, but I didn’t take a photo to respect the family’s privacy. A mother was sitting on a low stone wall outside her variety store (selling pop, water, chips, etc.) with her young (maybe 4 year old?) daughter, reading to her and getting her daughter to identify images in the book. It was clearly an alphabet book and the scene was just delightful as the two went back and forth, with the mom softly encouraging her daughter, with shy glances up at us, and the daughter learning her way through the experience. It was a beautiful moment.”
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Cusco City Tour Part One- Catedral de Cusco

Excerpt: “The overwhelming sense I got from our guide was the Peruvian pride she felt. She adamantly pointed out and repeated the ways in which Peruvian culture was, perhaps with a little guile, included in the Roman Catholicism practiced here. That might account for its popularity: Cusco and its surrounding area have 500,000 people, 91% of whom are practicing catholics. Here’s a few interesting ways in which that Peruvian culture snuck into this cross-shaped, incredibly Spanish-influenced, prominent cathedral…”
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Our 1st Day Spent at Altitude in Cusco

Excerpt: “Acclimatization is a tricky thing. The catch is, that you fly to this super high city from Lima, which is essentially at sea level. It isn’t so much the height of Cusco that gets to you, but the rapid nature with which you ascend/fling yourself there. As our hotel host here says, ‘Acclimatizing to elevation is a little like roulette. You never know who will get hit.’”
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Days One & Two Peru: Our Airline Travel to Cusco

Excerpt: “After a lovely send-off from Em at the airport, we set out on our adventure to Peru. We’d been training long and hard on this, working on our fitness, our elevation exposures, and the distance and steepness of our hikes.Many thanks to those who have helped us with their support through our training this summer, accompanying us on mountain hikes, giving us advice and encouraging us along the way! Our spirits were high as we left, knowing we’d done all we could to be ready for this “Fit at 50 Adventure” we’d planned.”
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