Right now, I am sitting in my hotel lobby in the middle of Cusco. The hotel is actually partially built on original Inca construction! Their engineering was THAT good.
I have not written in awhile because I have been pretty busy! Train and bus rides through the Sacred Valley, learning about the Inca cross, the Andean condor and the cycle of life at Ollantaytambo, stood in continued awe at Machu Picchu. I also climbed to the top of a 17,000 foot peak to look at Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountain. I will write about those adventures in more detail in later posts. Right now, I have some promises to keep. While I haven’t completed the whole “Peruvian Challenge” list, here’s my start:
1. Mistake Heather for an alpaca – Lady Trotter
I have to admit, this was an odd one! The other teachers that were on the Fulbright trip with me loved it. They all wanted to help. Laurent won the lottery.
2. Take a nice picture of Sam in front of Machu Picchu. – Emma -Ms. Gamey McGamerton
Sam is a sucker for being a model! Here he is overlooking Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world.
3. Find the secret chamber in Machu Picchu – Snickers
Wilfredo, our amazingly intelligent and articulate guide and I talked a lot about the secret chamber. A subterranean room was discovered in 2011 by Thierry Jamin , a French archaeologist. He used some pretty advanced imagining equipment to “see” the room. Apparently, all things pointed towards it being a burial chamber. It may even hold the remains of Pachacuti, the Incan emperor who is mostly responsible for the period of Inca expansion.
Two big bummers here. Jamin was not allowed to excavate the room, and currently, visitors are not allowed to walk by the entrance to the chamber. BAH!
4. Meditate at the top of Machu Picchu -Haystack
Getting to Machu Picchu is a pretty grueling experience. Bus rides, train rides, more bus rides, lots of people, a little bit of hiking at high elevation, altitude sickness. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for me to meditate once I got there. It just felt right. Usually my mind wanders and is filled with a lot of different thoughts when I meditate. Not at Machu Picchu. I was very focused and content.
5. Take a picture of Sam in front of Lima Cathedral if you go there. – (Anarregal)
Good news/ bad news on this one Anarregal! The good news is that I got to go to see the Lima Cathedral on one of our walking tours. The bad news is that Sam was with spending a few days with a Peruvian classroom when I saw the Cathedral. So, I did get some beautiful pictures, but Sam was not in them.
6. Get Alpaca wool. Try to get it in an open market. Also, if you can, hug an Alpaca. – Countess McReaderstein
While I have not been able to buy alpaca wool yet, I have been able to hug one. These cute alpacas are parked right outside our hotel room every day. The Quechan women charge a few soles to take pictures with them and their alpacas