Happy new year, friends! We hope your 2019 is off to a strong, solid start.
We are thrilled to share that our Machu Picchu shot from our trip 3 years ago has been featured, in print, in February’s issue of Harpers Bazaar UK. Go grab a copy and admire all the beautiful work that went into this stunning issue.
The 26 mile Inca Trail is a beast of a journey that physically taxed my body to its limit all while completely rejuvenating my spirit. Our Ketchuan guide was god sent, giving us a very unfiltered experience of the trail in all of its original glory. I found myself falling in love with Pachamama and the promise of brief rainbows that connects the earth to the spiritual realm.
All pride aside, the Inca Trail was extremely difficult. I went in obliviously confident that I did not need an additional porter and choose to strap 19 pounds of god forsaken weight onto my body. I won’t go into too much detail about the lingering altitude sickness, the unrelenting rain, or the fact that my period started on the first day of the trail (one that I wasn’t prepared for); these events do not paint a glorious, new world wonder image in anyone’s mind.
I dropped off my many demons on the trail as well- like the fresh heaps of steaming burro turds that lined the pathways. They became too heavy to carry. It was here where I decided to stop being such an angry person and to let go of things beyond my control. Every step I took was a testament to the fact that my will has finally matured to surpass my physical limitations.
So, you see? Physically and mentally taxing but spiritually renewed. And there wasn’t even a choir or a preacher necessary. Just me and Pachamama.
alongside the south bank of the Urubamba River
pass the Incan ruins of Llactapata
alongside the Cusichaca river
elevation gain of 4,000 feet
climbed Dead Woman’s pass
total altitude of 13,776 feet
alongside the Llullucha river
2 mountainous passes
total altitudes of 12,470 feet & 11,742 feet
pass the Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, and Winay Wayna ruins
through the sun gate into Machu Picchu
We had 2 extended layovers in Lima that sandwiched our time in Cusco. Both times were sweet, brief ones with just enough time to hire a skillful private driver and hit up the main city attractions. We got to explore a handful of sights such as the Convento de San Francisco (known for their intricate tile works and catacombs), Centro De Lima (Main Square), Miraflore (city by the sea), and the Magic Water Circuit.
Above all, my favorite moment in Lima was watching market vendors open their food stalls for the day. Our first layover got us into the city at 6am, just in time to see, smell, and experience the morning rush at the market. Sights of freshly caught seafood, freshly butchered meats, and tubs of spices made me quite envious of the connection Peruvians have with their food.
While we did not get a chance to taste Peru’s infamous ceviche or try a pisco sour, we will definitely do so next time we find ourselves here!