Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Machu Picchu, Guinea Pigs, and Precious People

Our travel day in Peru was all carefully mapped out~plane to Cuzco from Trujillo then on the Ollantaytambo in a taxibus and finally a train to take us to Aguas Caliente and our hotel. We would sleep at the foot of Machu Picchu and spend the next day exploring there. Unfortunately, a part of our group missed the plane due to airport errors and we spent a few hours waiting on them in Cuzco while they waited for another plane in Lima. Reunited we took a later train and got to bed at midnight. 

We were all praying Natalie wouldn't get altitude sickness wrongly assuming we would all be okay since we live above 7000 feet. Our sea level girl did great however I was stricken with light headed headache and dizziness. How knows if it is the altitude, dust, emotions of this mission or just traveling but I have definitely felt better. Hoping the coka leaves will kick in soon. They are chewed and then spit out and supposed to relieve this awful feeling. 

This morning Ron went ahead of the rest of the group to hike up the Inca Face and have enough time to do calculations and explore as only his archeological mind can. The sleepyheads had breakfast before catching the bus to the top. It somehow hadn't occurred to me that being that elevators are scary for me that all the layers of these ruins would be challenging. Challenging when I feel healthy and near impossible while feeling sick. 

Natalie and I returned while the others continued exploring the ruins. They came close enough to touch llamas on the paths and Ron got to see a condor. One of the workers admired Ronnie B.'s hat and so they made a trade. Now he has an official hat that says he works at Machu Picchu. 

Tonight we all went out exploring the quaint, little town of Aquas Caliente. The people and their crafts are so colorful and beautiful. Valerie and Joe ordered alpaca and Deb courageously ordered the cuy. Carlos brought her the guinea pig with it's head still on, mouth open with a red pepper hanging out as a tongue. I was thankful Natalie had not been up to joining us. It was hard for me to watch her eat it. In the marketplace, they really do look like baby pigs. Deb said it tasted just like rabbit or did she say cat? It definitely made this meal more memorable. We were treated to incredible flute music from street musicians and Sean even bought their CDs.

This tourist portion has shown us that not all parts of Peru are enveloped in the extreme poverty that we witnessed in Trujillo. Everywhere the people are warm and approachable. We are going to begin our journey home tomorrow. We will be bringing with us photos, memories, new Facebook friends, and hearts full of love for the people of Peru. How humbled each of us is to have been allowed to share this precious trip.

In Him,

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