Archive for December, 2011

Lima, Peru – Walking and City Bus Tour, Coming Home

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Pacific Ocean & Boats Off Coast of Lima

Brenda & Clare in Lima at Plaza Armas
On the way back to the states, Brenda and I had a long layover in Lima. Rather than staying in the airport, we hired a taxi and walked around Lima. From the airport concierge, we got some beta from a young gal about the Mirabus Tour company which would, for a reasonable fee, take us around Lima. She also told us that it was a free musuem day, how cool! It sounded intriguing. (more…)

Day 11 – Mountain Biking – Cusco, Peru

Friday, December 16th, 2011

In the morning, we said goodbye to the tour folks and donated a few things to the porters. We then set out to meet the Reserv Cusco folks for our half day mountain bike excursion. We were really excited to go biking.

In the video above, you can get a feel for our ride.

It started up on a hill, above Cusco, near the Pukapukara Ruins. We rode along a two lane road for a little while, passing some construction. Brenda had some trouble with her brakes and I had a flat tire…but we fixed those problems and were able to finish the ride. At one point we stopped for a breather (riding at over 12,000 ft is a challenge!). The view was amazing.

We veered off the concrete onto a muddy downhill road. This was where the fun really started. It was steep, full of puddles, and did I mention…Muddy!

William, our guide is a very profficient mountain biker, so he usually rode ahead of us a little. He’d stop on occasion and let us catch up. At one time, I asked him to take video of us riding and he caught some awesome footage of us negotiating the turns of the road. (more…)

Day 10 – Rest Day in Cusco

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

San Blas Square, Cusco
San Blas Square

Brenda woke up at 6am and I was up an hour later, so we could enjoy the last group breakfast with everybody. The next morning, a lot of folks were heading out…so we weren’t sure we’d be seeing them again. At breakfast, we all talked about activities for the day. Brenda, Lawrence, Alex, Fiona, and decided to take a rest day while the others were going rafting down the Urubumba.

After breakfast, Brenda and I stopped off at an internet cafe to find a company who would take us mountain biking the following day. We located a place, called Reserv Cusco near the Plaza De Armas and walked over there.

Manager Arturo Medina met us and went over a potential itinerary which was in line with our expectations and ability. We explained we were looking for something moderate with nice views and nothing too strenuous. He claimed to have just the right thing for us and was very excited to give us the details. We gave him a small deposit and agreed to come back at 9am the next morning. (more…)

Day 9 – Inca Trail Day 5, Machu Picchu

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Our wake up call came at 5:30am while Rumwaldo and Julian were busy cooking up our last breakfast of the Inca Trail Tour. After 4 days of hiking, I really felt like sleeping extra. I passed on the early morning tea, offered at 5am, and went straight for the coffee an hour later. I made it to the mess tent just in time to grab 2 slices of french toast Alex had set aside for me. How nice! Boy, was it ever delicious!

Everybody was very excited to be seeing the Machu Picchu ruins. I was too, but I couldn’t believe the big trek was over! On the one hand, I was sad to be leaving the Sacred Valley. However, on the other hand, I was looking forward to a hot shower and a bed back in Cusco. (more…)

Day 8 – Inca Trail, Day 4, Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

We woke up at some unsavory hour…maybe 5:30am? Breakfast was at 6am.

When I arrived at the mess tent, folks were talking about politics. Egads! And, not British politics, US politics. Normally, I wouldn’t mind a little banter, but at this time in the morning and with our current political environment it was just not cool. I posed the question, “Would you talk about your Grandma’s funeral at this time of the day?”. To me, it just seemed inappropriate to start the day off with such seriousness. Especially considering the amazing place we were…the Inca Trail, in Peru! Why not talk about the Inca?

Thankfully, the group indulged me and switched topics. (It didn’t help that I was cranky from not sleeping all night. Our tent was not flat at all, there was an 8 inch difference between one side and the other, so I kept rolling one direction.)

After breakfast, we had a big ceremony to say farewell to the porters. We also gave them their tips. It was rainy and foggy as we left our beautiful campsite. Sigh! I said goodbye to the mountains and headed down the 2,500+ steps towards Machu Picchu. (more…)