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Adventures Past: Cusco and Machu Picchu

August 2, 2012

After three years in a row of Western Europe vacations, John and I decided to try a little something different last year. We wanted to venture to a part of the world that we had never seen. I don’t know if it was an ad in Smithsonian magazine that spurred my husband’s interest, or if Mache Picchu was a destination he had always kept in mind. Honestly, I think he just looked at the world map we keep in the guest bedroom and pointed to the place with the fewest Been-There-Done-That Dots.

And so we left our little Michigan apartment for South America.

The first question most people ask is, “So did you walk the Inca Trail?” The answer, unfortunately, is no. If you read my blog post “Adventure 9 : The P90X Ass Kicking,” you’ll know I’m not in the best of shape. My shape is round. Round + Inca Trail just doesn’t compute. In fact, I head a splitting headache from the altitude (3,500 meters) almost the entire time we were in Cusco — like a screwdriver was jammed into the base of my skull. The Tylenol, of course, was forgotten in Michigan.

Rule #1
for high altitude vacations: Bring Tylenol. The hotel concierge highly recommend Coca tea for easing altitude sickness.
Interesting Fact: It takes 30 kilos of coca leaves to produce one gram of cocaine.

The view from our hotel in Cusco, near the Urubamba Valley in the Andes mountains.

Despite the altitude headaches, the trip was absolutely wonderful. Some of the mountains and terrain are too beautiful to be real. I can’t believe a place so breathtaking exists. I would recommend the trip to anyone willing to go. The people were wonderful, living very colorful but very hard lives. The only regret I have from this vacation (aside from forgetting the Tylenol) was not buying something made of genuine llama or alpaca fur. It would have been the perfect souvenir, but I talked myself out of spending the money. Souvenirs are tricky business. I suppose pictures are usually the best souvenirs a person could ask for.

It took us 36 hours to get home. Lots of layovers with Scrabble and chess best-out-of-elevens. But I won. So the trip closed on a high note.

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2 Comments leave one →
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