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Nick and Laina's Adventures

The Begining of the End: The Sacred Valley, Cusco, and Macchu Picchu

PERU | Wednesday, 22 April 2009 | Views [1950] | Comments [2]

Macchu Picchu!

Macchu Picchu!

The rest of our time in Lima flew by, not to mention the arrival of Mom, Holly and Uncle Don! We spent the last few days befor ethey showed up investigating the catacombs underneath Cathedral San Fransisco, exploring the Lima gold museam, and walking around the beautiful streets of Lima. We also did some serious bathing suit Shopping as well as other cheap clothes (getting ready for the move to St. Croix) Mom, Holly and Uncle Don showed up on our last night in town, and we all went out to a nice restaurant, Huacapullana, a archeological dig-turned restaurant. The food was delicious, I got Cuy, the Guinea pig! It was served in cultlet form, not the tradicional smooshed animal, I have seen in so many pictures. We strolled around parque Kennedy, on our way home to the Lima Decopolis Radisson, the nicest hotel laina and I have stayed in our whole trip.

The next morning, we headed into the center of lima to see the plaza de armas, and other beautiful buildings, before we head to Cusco, and the mountainous region of the old Inca empire. We return to hotel, and after a delicious breakfast,we pack up all our stuff, and head to the airport, to begin our Sacred Valley adventure. Flying to Cusco was beautiful, there are knife sharp mountain peaks, that are covered in snow, and they stab through the clouds like upsidedown icicles. Circleing around the valley, we see how green and fertile the land is and unlife the dry desert that lima is in, the people have cultivated nearly every square inch of it, even if the land is at a 60 degree angle on the steep cliffside. Landing in the airport, we are greeted by Gustavo, the guide that will be taking care of us on and off during the week. Laina starts to feel sick, not from altitude, but from the altitude pills, we find out later that week. We all pile into the van that gustavo has chosen to take us to our home for the week, Urumbamba. Driving down into the valley from cusco, is a sight to see, mountains in every direction, covered in snow, green fertile farmlands, and shaggy wolly donkeys walking alongside the road. Arriving to our house, we meet the caretakers, a charismatic peruvian family, with a daughter, Madeline, who just wants to teach Uncle Don fluent spanish. The house is very nice, sort of lacks in the lighting depàrtment, but has lots of cultural decorations, and a very open spacious feel.

Our first day in the valley, we take the bus to the Pisac Market. Between this ride and the one to Cusco I dont think that bus travel is for Mom, holly and Uncle don. The pisac market was filled with lots of food, souviners, and spices. There are all the people from the valley who come to sell their goods at a higher price that they would get in their home towns. Mom and holly are able to find many things they like, and Uncle Don is starting to get the hang of bargaining, even if he isnt trying to. There are so many colorful decorations, and shirts as well as handicrafts and jewlery to be seen here. It seems the food is all grown within 50 miles of the market, and is delicious. we buy enough avocados for abotu 3 kilos of guacamole, for a total of less then 3$.

Back at the house, we all lounge around, and make a little wire jewlery, and then head to a recommended restaurant, Embrujo. The atmosphere was great, and our host was alot of fun. Mom and I split the cheese stuffed chicken covered in elderberry vinegrette, and it was delicious. Uncle don got the Spicy alpaca steak over pasta, and Holly got the curried chicken. All the food was awesome.

The next day in Urumbamba there was a road strike, a protest against the governments beginings to privitize water distributution (an idea the locals find absurd because of their farms). and they blocked all highways, railways, and any way to move about the sacred valley and cusco. so we hung about town, Holly got sick, and Laina I and Uncle Don walked around and got ice cream and such, We had a lazy day in town.

After the big water strike was over, we headed into Cusco, for a day in town and some more delicious food. The plaza de armas in Cusco is a sight to see, with two huge cathedrals, backset by the huge mountains that make up this area, it is quite beautiful. During the day we got delicious assortment of food at Ciccalinas, walked in the market area, Laina and I got massages, and turned up late at the meeting point(sorry!) and got a good feel of cusco. Heading home, we drop Laina off at the Loki hostel, since she didnt want to go to Macchu Picchu.

Ou next day we head to the Infamous Macchu Picchu! We woke up early to catch the Vistadome train from Ollataytambo, to Aqua calientes (macchu piccu town) The train ride was beautiful, we saw tall mountain peaks, steamy tropical jungle, and a huge raging river. Arriving into Aguas Calientes, we scramble about to get our tickets into the Park, and bus tickets to the entrance. It was surprising how difficult it was, considering it is the number one sight seeing event in south america. The place to buy the entry tickets was barely marked, and on the other side of town as the train station. I was surprised.

The ride up to Macchu Picchu was not as terrifying as I imagined. We were seriously off with our calculations as to the high of macchu picchu. We thought it was 1000ft lower then Cusco. It is 1000 meters lower. You do the math. Macchu Picchu is going to be a hard one to describe. I do a little, but you´ll have to do the rest by visiting it!

Up on top of this small mountain peak, there is a beautiful set of ruins, that were never found/hence never destroyed by the spaniards. They whole park has a mystical cloudy sense to it that may be because it was drizziling and foggy. However, the weather just added to the coolness of the place. Old stones placed together without mortar, and with exreme precision mark this location as very important to the Incan culture. There are graineries, Temples and Sundials, and the overall feel is that this place is an important location high in the mountains of the Sacred valley. I´m not good at the desctription part, so you will just have to look at the pictures, and maybe go see it for yourself, to get a real feel of what macchu picchu is.

Heading home, we met up with laina and Gustavo, went out to dinner with another group of travellers, and had a fantastic time. At one point I think I was lecturing about couchsurfing for 15 minutes. not good. We head home, stop by our favorite bar for a few homemade Pisco Sours, by a very peruvian waitress, and then get back fo a few hands of Gin rummy.

Having already reached the pinnicle of the trip, our last day did not have much to speak of, besides the laundry, and occasional jewlery making session. Everyone was exausted by the altitude and rigor of the last few days. HEading to the airport, we all say our sad goodbyes, and Mommy, Holly and Uncle Don head on their long journey back to New England. Laina and I begin our even longer journey(timewise) to Taganga, Colombia, on the Caribbean coast.

We had such a fantastic time with mom, Holly and, Uncle Don, and We want to say a big thank you! because you guys gave us such a great time with awesome opportunities!! Ok, so keep your eye on the blog, because I promise to write the next one a little sooner, and I already have good feelings about it. Colombia!

Try this link to see all my Peru pictures:




Hi Nick and Laina,

I loved your descriptions and some were so specific. I love your writing too. I am actually feeling much better, went to the dr. today and got some meds,but I'm sure I will be ok in a few days. I will be highlighting your earrings to Jeanette and she can pick a pair. I have purchased for you some Birthday gifts via the internet per your requests. I will send them to St.Croix We are having Osso Bucco tonight for dinner with some Zucchini..mmm.
We are looking into visiting in July, not sure where yet.
We wish you the best, and we love you, you both are very special to us,
Love, Holly

  Holly Apr 22, 2009 9:46 AM


hi nick and laina....just got caught up again....how fun to have your family with you...must have been nice to be in a hotel....with clean sheets.....hope you are both feeling ok....we will certainly miss you this summer. we just got back from ellensburg, wash. went to uncle terrys sister 50th anniversary...had a great time. we are finally getting some nice spring weather...talked to grandma two days ago..she is at aunt marys. she sounded so good. having a good time. have a great time with your dad. he should be th;er by now. thanks again for this wonderful tour...aunt susan xxxxxoooooo

  susan anderson Apr 23, 2009 11:57 PM



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