I’m fairly convinced that “Machu Picchu” is Incan for “stay the hell away.”
I say this because honestly, I don’t think they could make this place any more difficult to get to.
(OK, fine, I will acknowledge that Machu Picchu actually means “Old Peak,” which is kinda funny when you think about it since we were there to celebrate my 41st birthday, and my super supportive travel organizer and concierge XFE loves to point out all the time just how old I’m getting.)
But back to remoteness: Machu Picchu is a plane, a train, a car and a bus away from the capital city of Lima.
In a complete departure from my usual blogging style, this post is going to be light on text and heavy on visuals. This is because I’m currently in the ongoing throws of a “food bourne illness” to put it delicately. Day seven of the ancient Incan stomach bacteria that I’m lovingly calling WuaynaKihlPhoe (sound it out).
So….yeah. I have an appointment tomorrow morning with le doctor.
BUT, even with all that, Peru was amazing. It’s beautiful, diverse and enigmatic. You’ll hear all about it in additional posts, I promise. In the meantime, here’s a taste:
The marital status question on the incoming customs form. We, of course, filled in the “other” bubble.
While on our way down to Paracas on the Panamerican Sur highway, we got caught in a protest involving 200 fishermen. We were stuck for two hours and according to this story, the line of cars stretched back 5 miles. Listen, I’m all about civil unrest and all that jazz, but it seriously cut into my pool time and I was not amused.
One of the most popular forms of transportation are these super flashy little three-wheeled cabs. I totally want one. I’m looking into it. I plan to decorate it pretty obnoxiously, of course. Lots of fringe and stickers.
In Paracas, we stayed at this super fancy resort full of overpriced beer and snacks. So, we walked 5 minutes down the road to the small seaside town of El Chaco, where even with gringo prices, we paid a lot less for beer, sodas and snacks. Here’s me on the way back with my Cusquenos (Listen, it was hot and I was thirsty after watching all those protestors.)
Back in Lima before we traveled to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, we swung by the Surgillo Food Market. Not pictured: the innocent looking and 0h-so-tasty coconut palleta that started all of my stomach problems.
Last night in Lima. This was the sunset from our room at the JW Marriott in Miraflores. Pretty stunning. The calm before the stomach storm.
Birthday cake number one (oh yes, there were two) from the wonderfully nice people at Tambo del Inka resort in Urubamba. Amazing, amazing resort. (the cake, ironically, was coconut, but no hard feelings. Can’t hate on a cake).
The slowest train in the whole damn world. That’s because everybody — people, cows, sheep, backpackers — use the railroad tracks as a road for walking on and blocking.
What’s that? Oh, yeah, no biggie, just a freaking LLAMA hanging out at Machu Picchu. There were like, 5 of them up there. CRAY-CRAY.
Not to be outdone: Poe at Machu Picchu. I look like a giant looming over the ruins in this picture. Hilarious. Machu Picchu looks like a tiny little board game that I’m about to smash with my giant-ness.
I’m not sure what this was. As we were driving back to Cusco for the start of our very long flight home (about 24 hours of travel, including a looooong layover in Lima), we came upon this procession. I thought it was some sort of parade for like, a saint’s day or something, but it actually might have been a funeral. Yikes. Awkward. I would never knowingly photograph a funeral. But all of these guys seemed so happy! I was confused.