Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hola from Lima Peru!

Hola amigos. We are having a wonderful time on our vacay. We have completed the Incan trek to Machu Picchu and are back in Lima for a day before heading back to Ecuador. It was truly an amazing hike. We had a personalized tour for just us four with a guide, a cook, and thee young porters to carry our stuff. We found out that we are all super fast hikers especially at the high altitude stuff as we would pass all the other groups on the trail each day and arrive at our camp site first. For whatever reason, altitude was not a problem even at 14k feet. We sometimes even passed the porters on the uphill but then they would run past us on the wet rocky downhill and beat us to camp. It was a truly tough hike with a ton of stairs made of rock (original trail created by the Incans used the peasants who pilgrimaged to the holy Machu Picchu) and straight ups and downs. You pass over 10 amazing incan ruins on the trail before arriving at Machu Picchu and which is great because you have them to yourself versus the crowds at Machu Picchu. We had great weather with only a little rain at night. The views along the way were breathtaking and beautiful, I have taken many pictures.
Overall, Peru is one of the most interesting places I have been. The bus ride to start the trek took us through many little farming communitites where it looked like time had stopped. Their houses are made out of dirt from the ground they live on and they plow or plant by hand. Our porters were all young men from these communities. They speak Kechewn and are the indigenous people of the Andes. Our guide was a young guy from Cusco who we all loved. He was very knowledgable about the Incans and really gave us the real experience of hiking the trail. We taught him to play Eucre (cards) and he spoke very good English so we were able to question him the whole time about Peruvian history, culture, etc.

Today we flew to Lima and expored El Museo de Natcianal. There was a photographic essay on the history of the internal conflict between the Shining Path rebel group and the military that occurred inside of Peru from 1985 to 2000 where 69,000 people died. Very powerful stuff that somehow I had never heard about. Lima is very huge and metropolitan (10 million people) but we have found it very interesting people watching. Tomorrow we head to the beach in Ecuador for a little R&R. We have hiked a lot and all of our pants are feeling loose.


Gary Robbins said...

Sounds awesome so far!!
I spent a year in Central America and it is startling how much 'we don't hear about' in our Northern sheltered lands, even when a lot of times, our own governments are at hand!


Are you back yet?