Hit and Run in Cusco (well sort of)

There is a shuddering thud from the left hand side of the bus. Our bus glides to a stop on the shoulder of the road. The bus driver throws open the door, and he and the guide disappear down the road behind us. There are no words. We cast cautionary looks at each other, nobody moves. Did we just hit something? An object in the road? An animal? [Continue reading…]

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Exploring the Sacred Valley

Reasonably priced for a ten hour adventure, the bus shuttles us around the mountains stopping in Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero. I am a bit put off when a tourist market is the first stop instead of the promised ruins; however, the stop is brief and I find solace in chatting with two other folks from China and Slovenia who are equally anxious to see the ruins. [Continue reading…]

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Waiting in the Clouds: Tips for Visiting Machu Picchu

Muffled boot steps ascend stony stone steps. Darkness stretches out around me, broken only by a string of lights from the torches of hikers. The air is both cool and stuffy, crowded with an energy that begs not to be quelled until we reach the top. I can’t stop. I feel the person behind me; I hear his steady footsteps and his haggard breaths. Talk is muted and infrequent; even the jungle stays hushed. We all gasp for more air as the steps continue to wind through to the coming dawn. We keep climbing towards machupicchu sitting in the clouds waiting for us. [Continue reading…]

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Going it Alone: Volunteering in Peru

Traveling alone is a bit like riding a Ferris wheel. You savor the ride knowing that the views from the top will be worth it but there is always that lingering doubt that you could fall out of the carriage at any moment. A thin piece of metal is all the separates you from certain death. Aside from short occasional solo trips, I’ve mostly traveled in small to exceptionally large groups. My family enjoys exploring the world but we venture out in packs, taking on the unfamiliar in safe numbers. [Continue reading…]

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