My feelings about returning home from South America were quite complicated, a strange mix of sadness and anticipation, of struggle and apprehension. I expected to stay with the group for four months but came back home after three. I was clear about this decision and yet apprehensive about re-adjusting to my previous life. My trip so completely consumed me, I was so immersed in day-to-day challenges that home now seemed distant and even strange. This is how it all fell out.
On our second day in Cusco, now in possession of all our luggage, getting acclimated to the altitude and with one 1/2 day tour under our belt, we were ready for our 2-day overnight excursion to the Sacred Valley and the iconic Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu sign in Aguas Calientes
I first visited Lima, Peru in 2008 for an AMCIS conference and afterward took a short, 2-day trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu. I might not have gone again in March but my son Eric was interested and it was a way for us to celebrate his upcoming birthday together. I must say, it was all “lovelier the second time around”!
Pachamama smiling down on the Earth
What? An ancient pyramid in the center of town?
Yup, Lima has one right in Miraflores district. On my first visit to Lima in 2010, I stayed across the street from this marvel; this time we were a few miles away. Built in terraces, the adobe and clay structure dates from the fifth century. It now serves as an archeological museum and one of the top restaurants in Lima. Nope, I didn’t eat there, but I did enjoy other culinary delights.
Peru has it all — modern cities, rich history, ancient ruins, beautiful topography, geographic wonders, diverse ecosystems, and renown gastronomy. It boasts ocean beaches, desert, mountains, lush valleys, and a piece of the Amazon jungle. My first visit in 2008 was for a business conference and much too brief. This time I stayed an entire month, able fully enjoy the city and go on some awe-inspiring excursions.