Monday, May 26, 2014

Bucket List Checked: Peru (p.1)

Go to the Black Sea, meet new people, see beautiful places,
get killed by a mutant, carnivorous kangaroo goat.
One item off my bucket list.
~ Ilona Andrews

I'm sorry I've been neglecting my blog for a while - life got a bit overwhelming while I was preparing for last week...  

"Oh, what was last week?", you ask.  

(Unless, of course, you read the title of this blog post, in which case you already know the answer...)

Yes, last week was our once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list trip to see Machu Picchu, in Peru.  I have wanted to see Machu Picchu for about 30 years - ever since I first heard of it and saw some pictures.  

For the longest time, I couldn't imagine myself going - it seemed too far away, too foreign...  Out of reach for a Midwestern girl whose Ohio-based family considered a visit to Missouri to see the grandparents to be a summer vacation.  

But my husband and I have been traveling every summer, getting more and more adventurous with age (isn't that backwards?) - starting with driving and photographing our way through National Parks within the US and expanding to other modes of transportation (a houseboat!) and other activities (mountain climbing!) and other countries...  First, there were countries where they spoke English - like England, Wales, Iceland, etc.  

Now, as my ability to speak Spanish improves, countries like Mexico (2013) and, in 2014 - Peru.  

It was weird - I spent most of the trip in complete awe - not able to believe that I was actually IN PERU!  Me - nobody special - just some middle-aged, middle-class U.S. citizen...  

And yet, on the other hand, I was surrounded by hundreds of tourists - many from the U.S. and plenty of them middle-aged, greying hair, a bit pot-bellied - just like me - making it clear that, indeed, of course I could be there.  ;)

I'm pretty sure there's some deep lesson in there somewhere - about how we limit ourselves in life, unintentionally...

But, that's enough philosophizing - let's get to the good stuff.  The pictures!  

I'll start with pictures from the markets - I was overwhelmed by the colors and patterns to be seen everywhere - for a person interested in textiles and colors, it was the epitome of a feast for the eyes and the soul!  :)

There is no way to capture it in a few pictures, but here are some of my attempts.  Enjoy!  :)

Try to imagine aisles and aisles of booths and displays like this (above) and this (below)... 

Yes, this is my husband, about to try chewing on some coca leaves to "help reduce altitude sickness"...   Yeah, right...  ;)

Actually, we both chewed coca leaves and drank coca tea and neither of us had any serious issues with the altitude.  (Although, those data are only correlational, and causality should not be inferred!)    

We were lucky to have been there on a Sunday, when there was also a food market going on:  

Take a look at all those fresh fruits!  

My favorite picture of all - can you imagine running your fingers up and down all these bright, beautiful, hand-woven fabrics?  Joann Fabric's has NOTHING on this place:  

I've got at least a week's worth of pictures and I'll try to get some up every day - as a teaser, some themes will be: Machu Picchu (duh!), the short Inca Trail, mountain climbing, animals, weaving and the children.  :)


  1. These photos are awesome! Can't wait to hear/ see the rest of your trip.

    1. Thanks, Jenny! I hope you enjoy the rest of them - the photos of the weaving and the children are my favorite... :)

  2. Sounds like a fun trip! So did you buy any of those pretty fabrics? :)

    1. Hey Becky! Well, maaaaaybe I did... ;)