Former TravelPod Member: 3beansabroad

South America » Peru » Lima October 30th 2014

Geo: -12.0432, -77.0282We decided to get a tour guide for our final day. We wanted to see some of the city's major cultural sites and, for $160US we were able to hire a car and guide from Lima Cabs for the bulk of the day. Originally, Mike had wanted to make arrangements to try and go fishing for a day since this is a coastal city, but we were surprised to find very few recreational or sport fishing opportunities available here. I think the fish are here, but the travel industry hasn't expanded to fill this niche yet.Our guide, Fernando, picked us up at 9 and we headed south along the coast toward Pachacamac, some Incan and pre-Incan ruins that are currently being excavated, restored and conserved. The visit to the site started with a funny ... read more
Leg bone?
Painted temple
Mummy shroud

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores October 29th 2014

Geo: -11.5308, -77.1806On the trip over we saw an article in the airline magazine about El Pan de la Chola in Miraflores. It was listed as one of "25 Bakeries you should visit before you die." Since we are in town, this seemed the obvious place to go for breakfast. As we squinted up at the menu board and tried to decipher the options, a young man walked up to us and offered to tell us all about the offerings. We both recognized him as the owner-- kind of fun. I ordered some really robust semolina bread that was toasted and served with two salted and peppered avocado halves and olive oil. Mike got another hearty peasant bread with butter and a marmalade that was very rich in color and redolent of molasses. Before we left, ... read more
Paying for yummy bread
Parque de Amor
Paragliding in Miraflores

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Barranco October 28th 2014

Geo: -12.143, -77.0186For those of you reading this in "real time," there is a gap for the days we were out on the Inca Trail. Good news: we made it! Obviously we didn't have the time or internet connection to blog while hiking 26+ miles over and around mountains, so I'll have to go back and fill in the blanks when I return. I think the common reaction of everyone in our hiking group was that it was an epic experience, well worth doing and we never want to do it again.We got up around 7:30 this morning, still incredibly grateful for having had a shower and a night in a bed. I never really got fully acclimated to the altitude and my chest still felt a little tight so I was ... read more
Melty cheese appetizer
You can't truly appreciate how large this plate is
I used to live in Texas

South America » Peru October 27th 2014

Geo: -13.1628, -72.5158Breakfast was minimalist at 3:45am. The chasquis had to haul tail down the mountain to make their train and we had to walk about 150 yards in the dark to get in line. No one was very happy about the line part, but I'm glad we didn't walk far in the dark. Day 4 had the most narrow trail and steepest drops of the trip. That's not a great combination to pair with dark. A head lamp was a key piece of equipment for this day.From the checkpoint, we hiked mostly up to get to the Sun Gate. From there we played a bit of hide-and-seek with Machu Picchu. It was in and out behind the clouds. Whenever we saw a break in the mist, we would whip out our cameras and snap away. ... read more
Damn, we're good
Machu Picchu
There it is!

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu October 26th 2014

Geo: -12.9122, -72.6742I thought the hard part was over. Day three started with an impressive uphill climb. I think we were all a little disheartened by having to go back up again so steeply after going down for 2 hours the afternoon before. I guess that's mountain climbing. Most of the rain we got during our time on the trail came this morning. We stopped pretty early on at ruins of Runkuracay. Our assistant guide, Eddie, gave us the tour here. He was scheduled to do his first turn as lead guide the following week so David wanted him to do some of the speechmaking. Poor Eddie, it was raining pretty hard and we were all feeling a little tired and cranky after a fitful, cold night in a tent and a rapid ascent and I ... read more
Group shot

South America » Peru » Cusco » La Convención » Quillabamba October 25th 2014

Geo: -12.8167, -72.7833It's not the distance, it's the elevation.I didn't have time or facilities to blog from the trail, which is kind of a shame because I'm sure I've forgotten so much. In a way though, I'm sure it is good to forget some things like the way you feel when you are gasping for breath and staring straight up a mountain trail that looks like it has no end. The second day was the hardest for me because it has the steepest uphill climb. The two challenges of the trail are steep inclines (very cardio intensive) and steep declines (hell on the joints). I'm blessed with good knees so I found up much, much harder than down. The day started with a trip to the bathroom which was guarded by a donkey and a pig. ... read more
More ruins
Us and mountains

South America » Peru » Lima October 24th 2014

Geo: -13.52, -71.99David, our guide from Peru Treks, picked us up at our hotel at 5:30am. We then drove all around Cusco picking up the other 12 members of our group. The pair from Ireland were staying at the Wild Rover, which I thought was funny.Once we were all together we headed to Ollyntaytambo for breakfast. Since we had all been half asleep on the bus, we did a little "get acquainted " over food. This was also our last shot at a flushing toilet. I joked that there was toilet paper but no seat: amenities will disappear one by one until it is just me and a bush.Dave and Laura are from the area between Dublin and Belfast. The are near the beginning of a 6-month around-the-world adventure. Sebastien and Francois are from Paris. Brian ... read more
Working the land by hand
On the trail
The first of many views

South America » Peru » Lima October 23rd 2014

Geo: -13.52, -71.99Today was a little squandered by a second night of poor sleep. After breakfast, we went to the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. It was pretty disappointing. It's not that the artifacts or their age were not impressive, but the information provided was scant and the commentary was awkward and a little silly. In one room, for instance, an entire wall displayed dozens of the same item. Nowhere did we find an explanation of what they were, where they were found or what they were used for. I could maybe get past the lack of context at an art museum, but I can't learn history without more help.I had to go back to the room for a nap. There we exchanged birthday texts for Mike with the kids. While I slept, Mike did some shopping ... read more
Sunset view from terrace at Andenes al Cielo
The San Blas church
My reaction to the museum

South America » Peru » Lima October 22nd 2014

Geo: -13.52, -71.99Rough night.I'm not sure how altitude adjustment feels for other people, but I'm not enjoying it. We took everyone's advice and have kept the activity level low and the hydration level high. I still had to spend a good portion of the night trying to convince the reptilian part of my brain that I was getting enough oxygen. I felt like if I went to sleep I wouldn't be able to take enough breaths. I kept thinking about the oxygen tank I saw down in the lobby--when do people break down and ask for that? At any rate, my hope that I would have a nice, long sleep and wake up feeling at least close to normal was not to be. Mike seems to be doing better but he was making noises like a ... read more
Plazoleta Comandante Ladislao Espinar
Fountain in Plaza de Armas
Peruvian woman in Plaza de Armas with Andes Mtns

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Barranco October 21st 2014

Geo: -12.1428, -77.0195Our plane was scheduled for 2pm and the front desk recommended that we get a taxi at 11am so we had a little time this morning before flying to Cusco. We packed up and left our luggage at the front desk and took a taxi over to the Inca Market area in Miraflores. Both Silvias said it is a very good place to get souvenirs. We got there a little before 10 and the shops were just starting to open. A few vendors were enthusiastic about having business, others decidedly not. I wanted to buy a stack of hats from one place, but the guy there seemed to just be a place holder for the woman who owned the shop. If I wanted to negotiate, I would have to come back after 1:30. Mike ... read more
Genuine plastic crystal chandelier
View from our room
Hokie cup

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