A Travellerspoint blog

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1. On The Road Again

B4 is staying home...

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Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Thursday, December 15, 2016

I supposed that my exotic solo journeys had come to an end with the gift that is B4. I have, over the years, visited 119 countries and I would guess that I journeyed to the vast majority of those alone. From Mauritius to Martinique and from Bahrain to Belgium, I've roamed alone. Now my dearest fiancé/spouse, B4 is almost always by my adoring side. This time, however, she is not. I am—temporarily—alone again.

Her amazing son Edward is having a bit of surgery to which a not-short recovery is attached. Mother B4 instantly and correctly determined that she would be by his side during every moment of that time. Due to the small size of his Maryland domicile, there was no room at the inn for yours truly. Even First Class Lady B4 will be sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. Unneeded (and probably unwanted there given the circumstance) I needed to find something to occupy me for ten days.

I considered Europe but thought it too cold this time of year. I considered Myanmar, a Caribbean cruise or even spending the entire time at our Vero Beach place, albeit alone.

None of those seemed right to me. Checking my mental bucket list, one destination beckoned loudest and seemed most achievable: Machu Picchu.

Arrangements were easy and inexpensive using miles from American Express and American Airlines and points from Marriott supplemented by just a tad of cash. I booked everything on line in a couple of hours a week ahead of time.

Today’s Thursday afternoon routing is from Kansas City’s gate 87 (26˚ and cloudy) to Charlotte: (36˚ and windy): Seat 10A, American Airlines 2052 (3:50p-6:58p) 1:40 flying time. It’s a full Airbus 319 with 120 coach passengers behind eight up front in first class. Twenty-four names were on the first-class upgrade list with seven more standing by for any seat at all. It’s ten days until Christmas; I suppose there is a confluence of that one final business trip coupled with those making an early start on the holiday break. To my knowledge, of the eight standing by only two scored seats. Woe to the six encouraged, I suppose, by the fact that there are two more non-stop flights tonight, one at 6:32 and the final one at 7:59.

In any event, we’re full with those in dreaded boarding group four forced to check their carry-on bags due to full overhead bins. Winter travel is always more crowded because we passengers have more things to bring along. There are heavy coats, hats and gloves, bigger bags to hold sweaters and flannel shirts left home in the summer. Next week the dreaded gifts will start to appear. Even the people themselves seem more massive. Some are bulked up by fleece and down filled coats while others seem to have laid on an extra layer of winter fat before their upcoming hibernation.

I am partially immune, however, because I am seated in "Main Cabin Extra" where we are six across but awarded extra inches for our knees. My “Platinum” status (earned by flying well over 3 million miles on American Airlines over the past thirty years) got me this perk free of charge. Captain Buchannan says we are on time and said we would pick up a few minutes in the air resulting in an early arrival in Charlotte, North Carolina. There would be turbulence on departure, he added, so he is asking the flight attendants to remain seated longer than they normally would. The air quickly smooths out and the young lady sharing my armrest promptly falls deep asleep, emitting mid-range snores that I consider nudging her about but decide not to. She reads nothing from her #1 New York Times Bestseller, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi. Indeed, most of her breaths become audible air to all in nearby rows save those few attempting to out-snore her.

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Thursday, December 15, 2016

There is just a bit over an hour to spend on arrival in Charlotte where the airport—like most all U.S. airports—puts Kansas City's Mid-Continent International facility to shame. I am only going from gate B-6 to gate B-16 so my visit is an abbreviated one. But, instead of a cramped Kansas City seating area in a crowded boarding area so tiny there is not even room to add a TSA Pre-Check lane, where there is but one tiny concession stand, a line at the minimal bathroom space and where compressed quarters put both airline employees and airline customers on edge, Charlotte offers a spacious multi-concourse design with 88 American Airline gates surrounded by multiple opportunities for food and drink, reading material and gifts, no-waiting toilets galore and airline premium lounges for those of us with the "special" affinity credit card in our pocket. The walk from the inbound aircraft to the outbound aircraft may—as in my case—be short or it may be longer than it would be in Kansas City but, for those remaining here, baggage is father away and the walk to the car at the curb is longer to be sure. Rental cars and long term parking treks are the same.

The boarding lounge area at Charlotte also features another unfamiliar sight. Scattered among the gates were several folding tables upon which sat piles of various snacks free for the taking. There were muffins (cellophane wrapped), various sorts of chips and pretzels, granola bars and cold soft drinks and juice in cans. Take whatever you want. I was impressed.

From Charlotte onward to Miami (76˚ and clear) it is exit row seat 10C, American Airlines 1702 (8:01p-9:59p). This is a larger Airbus A321 which seats 165 in coach and 16 in first. Four rows of coach seats sit behind the first-class/coach cabin divider and then there is an entire row “missing” to accommodate two large exit doors, one to port and one to starboard. The row following that void is row 10 where I sit. The upside to this spot is, literally, five feet of leg room. The downside is no tray-table to fold down from the seatback in front. Instead, there is a tray-table in the armrest. That’s fine except that it reduces the seat width by a few inches. I like the extra feet of legroom as a trade.

Like the earlier Kansas City to Charlotte leg, the television monitor at the gate tells us that this flight has 17 people waiting for upgrades to first class from coach. None were accommodated. It has 14 more people standing by. I don’t know if any of them were able to board but I suspect that some did based on overheard snippets of conversations among the last few people to walk aft after I had settled in. We waited a bit for late arriving bags to be stowed in the belly and then we were off about ten minutes late.
Out the port side window I spotted a strange sight. At the next gate, B18, a 737 was parked. Nothing unusual about that. The remarkable thing was that it was painted in replica TWA livery sporting the two tapered red stripes starting at the nose and working their way down the white fuselage to the tail which was festooned with the large red background with the white “T-W-A” letters reversed out in white.

American Airlines acquired TWA back in 2001 and it soon was absorbed. Lots of flights in Kansas City were cut and lots of jobs were lost. The overhaul base was downsized. It was tough on my city.

The only other TWA logoed aircraft of which I am aware are both in Kansas City. One is an MD80 painted in “reversed” colors which sits at the downtown Wheeler Airport in Kansas City at the north end of the Broadway Bridge. On this aircraft, what was red on the TWA fleet is white and what was white is red. I believe it to be the plane that in 1994 TWA employees chipped in and bought as a gift for the airline. Imagine that. The other is a Constellation from the 1940’s which sits in a hanger on the other side of the field. They both can fly but this Airbus is the real deal running a regular schedule. Just for fun, I’d love to fly it someday. I flew a couple of million miles on the old TWA and once sat next to the Chairman, Richard Pearson, on a flight to St. Louis. We had a nice chat. He seemed to me to be a good man. That’s a long time ago.

Once on the aircraft, drinks were offered in flight but there were no pretzels to be had. I should have raided the table back in the boarding lounge for those. This leg is short lasting only one hour and twenty-seven minutes. People chatter all around me but the explanation of her job coming from the drug saleswoman and the Indian tourist describing his experiences in America all blend together into a cacophony overdubbed by engine noise and a crying infant. The man in the middle seat on my left reads his USAToday and munches on a sandwich he brought on board while the woman at the window to his right sleeps.

Captain Trent told us that we would be on time into Miami and we were. Almost.

Miami, Florida, United States
Thursday, December 15, 2016

I have three hours to wait before I board LATAM Peru Airlines for my overnight non-stop to Lima, Peru. LATAM Peru is a code-share flight with American Airlines. I can't wait to see how that goes.

Since the boarding pass I printed on line was rejected by TSA officials at Miami International Airport in Terminal J, I had to go back to the ticket counter to have a new one printed locally. That was a lucky break for me because the ticket agent offered me an "Invitation to The Lounge." I am unsure about what I did to warrant that but I am not one to turn down a lounge.

Arriving at about 10:30 I have time to kill before we board for my 1:00am flight from Miami to Lima, Peru. The airport is a ghost town from Terminal B on the walk to Terminal J. Nobody is home, no concessions are open and the only people stirring about are cleaners or police officers.

By the time I get to Terminal J I see just a bit of life but not much. Simply put, there don't appear to be too many flights leaving here at 1:00 in the morning. large_0c402ef0-3019-11ea-90a9-d767f4cb4d07.jpg

The lounge offers finger sandwiches, beverages of all types, lots of TV sets and what I wanted most: a soft seat near to electric outlets. Here I recharge my laptop and my phone and write these first three boring housekeeping entries in this travel blog.

I promise that it will get more interesting starting tomorrow.

Posted by paulej4 16:04 Archived in USA Comments (1)

2. Not a flatbed seat, that's for sure

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Lima, Peru
Friday, December 16, 2016

At a bit after midnight it is time to leave the LATAM Lounge and head to gate J16 for American Airlines Codeshare Flight 2511 from Miami International to Lima, Peru. The flight is operated by LATAM Peru Airlines and leaves at 1:00am, scheduled to arrive in Lima at 6:40am. Lima and Miami are both on Eastern Standard Time.

I have an exit row seat again but this time it is not a good thing. This exit--the first I have ever seen this way--is on a bulkhead. While there are a couple of extra inches at my knees there is no place "under the seat in front of you" for my feet. I will not be able to stretch my legs out and this is a long overnight flight. I erred in the seat selection process.

This is a wide body 767-300 configured to seat 203 in coach and 18 in the front--they call it business class. It is full.

No matter. I pop in my headphones, start up my podcast app and settle in. The first podcast is a Planet Money episode #592 entitled: Bell Wars. It is short--twenty minutes--and listed as "A special holiday episode about the epic, decades-long feud between the two companies that make just about every handbell in the world. My son Cianán, my daughter Megan and my ex Debi all once played in handbell choirs so I forward the link to them.

Soon, a pasta dish and a cup of water make their way to seat 24C and not long after that, as podcasts sequence one and then another, I sleep fitfully and then more soundly until I hear the captain announce that we are on final approach.

The Peruvian landscape below is shrouded in fog with only mountaintops visible. A bit further the outline of the city and then its detail emerge. The most remarkable thing I notice is the scant number of trees that I see.

Deplaning, clearing immigration, clearing customs and making my way to the domestic terminal is, in Lima, the same as it is elsewhere in the world with the one exception that several hundred people are on hand to greet family and friends as I clear the secured area. I've seen this process before but never before in such numbers. There is nobody to greet me and that makes me the exception.

I already have a boarding pass for my next flight--the fourth of this trip--so I bypass the ticket counter lines and head for security. Computer out, belt and watch off but keep your liquids in your bag and no need to remove your shoes. I'm through without a beep.

A cup of coffee, $2.00 U.S. with the change in Peruvian coins dropped in the tip jar and I settle in at the boarding lounge at 7:15ish to wait for my flight to be assigned a gate. LATAM flight 2123 to Cusco appears to continue on to Juliaca. There are but four gates at the end of the concourse where I wait, watching the monitor to see if i should, in fact, be waiting here or somewhere else.

My Spanish is spotty but the monitor is easy to understand. The first column is Hora for departure time. The second column is CIA which seems to indicate the airline name. Next is Vuelo which is the flight number. Then Destine for destination. Flights are headed for Pias, Piura, Trujillo, Nvo Mundo, Tarapoto, Pucallpa, Ayacucho and more. The next column is H EST which is estimated actual departure time. After that it is PTA which is the Gate. That's the one I am waiting to populate. The final column is Observacion which tells me Demorado, Fin Embarq, Llamada, Ul lambda and fin embark. I think that is Call, Last Call, Delayed, Closed, etc.

Finally, at 8:00, 2123 pops up as being slotted for gate 13. That's not where I am.

A short walk brings me to Gate 13. I join a capacity crowd and take one of the last open seats. Spanish is spoken all around me but there is a good mix of Asians here as well speaking--I think--Japanese. I seem to recall a Peruvian President--a woman I think--of Japanese descent, maybe Fujimoroa? I need to look that up. In any event, the final leg of my journey has, after much anticipation, finally presented itself.

One continent to the north, B4 and Edward are just about to have their surgery experience. My thoughts are with them. The surgery is routine even though the recovery isn't. Still, my heart is there while the rest of me is here.

I am interested in the advertising panel in the gate area for "Sorojchi Pills: The Solution For High Altitude Sickness." It dominates the boarding area and makes its pitch in six languages. At last, they call the flight. I am Preferente due to my American Airlines status so I get to board early and easily find a spot for my carry on. Settling into my seat on this Airbus a320-200, the first thing I notice is that I don't fit. Sitting in 4C, my knees are wedged tightly into the back of 3C. This is the tightest pitch I’ve ever experienced. This flight is full as have been all the others but there are 177 seats here. At least there is something to eat and drink. large_cfb25cf0-3019-11ea-a811-2f5309009da5.jpglarge_cfb14b80-3019-11ea-a39a-bfe72fa1d1cd.jpglarge_cfa9aa60-3019-11ea-837f-b3e1d50cc264.jpglarge_cfb235e0-3019-11ea-beda-a9b806d6f5ce.jpglarge_cfb3bc80-3019-11ea-8d77-0fc685607c1f.jpglarge_cfac1b60-3019-11ea-b2fc-b529a1682fac.jpglarge_cf9beec0-3019-11ea-aa16-118116f1eeb4.jpglarge_cf9c15d0-3019-11ea-a98c-2ded9bdc33fb.jpglarge_cefe9d50-3019-11ea-90a9-d767f4cb4d07.jpglarge_cf3a94e0-3019-11ea-90a9-d767f4cb4d07.jpglarge_ceff87b0-3019-11ea-a4bb-43bfff0645d4.jpglarge_ce9ddfb0-3019-11ea-90a9-d767f4cb4d07.jpg

For some reason, we are delayed on the tarmac. There is much Spanish spoken but little English so I don’t know why it took 45 minutes for us to make our takeoff roll and get airborne. We leave Lima which is, for all practical purposes, at sea level and head for Cusco at 11,000 feet. I am ready for my flying to be over.

My seatmates, a Spanish speaking couple dressed to the nines repeatedly cross themselves as we begin to taxi, as we begin our takeoff roll and as we become airborne.

Posted by paulej4 16:12 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

3. It Was Albert Fujimori

Cusco where the air is very thin

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Cusco, Peru
Friday, December 16, 2016
I got a chance to check the web: The Asian President of Peru that I was remembering was Alberto Fujimori, 1990-2000. And, now reminded, I remember why I remember him. He was arrested and tried for corruption. He fled the country to return to his native Japan and they refused to extradite him back to Peru to face the charges. It's a long story; if you're interested, Google him.

I didn't notice anything regarding the altitude when I stepped off our aircraft. I can breathe easily and I am having no symptoms of Altitude Sickness. Here is a bit of quick AS research information:

WebMD says about Altitude Sickness: “occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This causes symptoms such as headache, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping. It happens most often when people who are not used to high altitudes go quickly from lower altitudes to 8000 feet or higher.” Other sources cite more symptoms including nausea, shortness of breath, inability to exercise, vomiting and reduced coordination.I live in Kansas City, MO, where the altitude is 910 feet above sea level. I spend a good bit of time in Vero Beach, FL, where the altitude is officially listed as 13 feet above sea level. On this day, I flew from Kansas City (910 feet) to Charlotte, NC (751 feet) to Miami, FL, (6 feet) to Lima, Peru (5,080 feet) to Cusco, Peru, (10,800 feet). And, yes, of course, the flights themselves were at altitudes over 35,000 feet. But, inside the aircraft I was in a pressurized environment where airlines-generally--adjust pressurization gradually from the altitude of the airport of origin to no more than the equivalent of 6,000 feet and then back down to the airport of destination.

All of that said, the thing to remember is this: when you land at Cusco, Peru, at the end of a very long day and night of continuous flying, the average in-flight aircraft pressure of 6,000 feet above sea level is “thick” compared to what you feel when they open the door at 10,800 feet here. There is a pronounced lack of oxygen in the air and many, if not most, people will experience altitude sickness. I do not want to overstate the situation here: mountaineers don’t consider themselves to be in “very high altitude” until they ascend to 11,500 feet. But, still; 10,800 feet is high. I’ve been this high before many times, often when skiing at the summit of Vail Mountain in Colorado which is 11,570 feet. But, in that situation, I ascended very gradually in an automobile through Denver (5,280 feet) to Vail town (8,120 feet), stopping along the way.

For this reason, many travel guides recommend that tourists break their journey in Lima to acclimate. Or, from Lima, to bypass Cusco and travel directly to Machu Picchu where the elevation is 7,972 feet above sea level. I decide to ignore that advice. I fly on LAN Chile Airlines from Miami to Lima and LAN Peru Airlines from Lima to Cusco. I stay at the Cusco JW Marriott Hotel where “Guests can request additional oxygen in their rooms or suites to counter Cusco's very high altitude.” The fine folks from Adios Travel (I booked my ground arrangements through them) are right on hand to greet me as I leave the baggage claim area at Cusco Airport. I am ushered into a tiny Toyota Success Taxi Cab and am whisked to my hotel. I say whisked but that is a bit of an exaggeration. This is a third world city and traffic is intense. It takes twenty minutes or so to get to the JWM. large_527fc690-301a-11ea-a811-2f5309009da5.jpglarge_527147a0-301a-11ea-a39a-bfe72fa1d1cd.jpglarge_526c8cb0-301a-11ea-beda-a9b806d6f5ce.jpglarge_52518aa0-301a-11ea-8d77-0fc685607c1f.jpg

The hotel is not what I expected. It is quite nice but it is a low rise and the structure is old with some history to tell. I am invited to attend the 16:00 hotel tour which lasts about a half-hour. Sounds like a good idea.

But first, I need a shower. My room (on Marriott points) is great; more on that later. I want to clean up, get a bite to eat, and see a bit of the historic old town of Cusco, Peru, right now.

Posted by paulej4 16:17 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

4. Vanquished Into Thin Air

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Cusco, Peru
Friday, December 16, 2016

Leaving the JW Marriott, I asked the man at the door which way I should walk. He graciously answered, "Go two blocks up that hill and turn left." I walked those two blocks up that hill and realized what this elevation does to your lungs. I am in great walking shape but not here. This air is thin and you feel it right away.

I have no sign of altitude sickness, that's for certain. I am just short of breath when I do the things I normally do. My solution was to just slow down. That worked fine.

There are colorful local people here and there are colorless local people here. It is the colorful ones that draw the eye. Mostly ladies, their attire is showy to say the least. Subtlety does not appeal to them. They are all flash.

I strolled the Plaza de Armas, a very large square flanked by the Inglesia de la Compania de Jesus (The Church of the Society of Jesus) and The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin, usually just called the Cusco Cathedral. People gather here, fountains flow and today's sun beat down intensely. Missing are the outdoor cafes that would surround the place were we in Europe instead of Peru. In all my strolling, I found not a one. I'll keep looking.

I grabbed a bite at Paddy's Irish Pub which, at 11,156 feet above sea level, is billed as "The Highest 100% Irish owned Pub on the Planet." I enjoyed a couple of the local beers: Cusquena. Pretty good.

Back at the hotel, exhausted from a combination of the thin air and a lack of sleep, I opted for a nap. The hotel attempted to deliver a fruit plate and a couple of bottles of beer to my room but I had placed the "Do Not Disturb" sign out. So, they called the room phone and woke me up. I answered the door, took the tray from the bellman and dropped one of the bottles of beer which promptly shattered on the floor. Nap over.

I rinsed out my beer soaked socks and they are now hanging up to dry which I hope they do overnight. I'm being picked up tomorrow morning at 8:30 to continue my Peruvian adventure. More details to come.

Oh; if these entries are bugging you just ping me back and I'll gladly remove you from the mailing list.

Posted by paulej4 16:21 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

5. AS arrived, forgotten in the Sacred Valley

Not the best night's sleep

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Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru
Saturday, December 17, 2016

Oh, that wasn't the best night.

After my schedule difficulty with the hotel folks (they delivered my "Welcome Gift" to the room when my "Do Not Disturb" sign was out while I napped so they thought it would be a good idea to call me and ask if it was OK to knock on the door even though the sign said not to; a call which jolted me awake) recurred when they decided to call my room again after I had retired for the night to see how I was doing jolting me awake once more. I did turn in early but really, you don't need to call me dear innkeepers.

There was a party going on in the JW Marriott courtyard and my room isn't far from there. Fortunately, I travel with ear plugs. The throbbing of the music's base line was disturbing. The real issue for me was the unwelcome arrival of mild altitude sickness symptoms. My head began to ache and my sleep was interrupted by that. One throbbing replaced by another. This morning, I lost my first cup of coffee but the second one compromised and stayed put. I am happy to be heading to a lower altitude today; very happy.

B4 and I are texting frequently and that is very nice. She texted me this early this morning to let me know that through this blog many of our friends who were unaware of Edward's surgery reached out directly to her. She appreciates hearing from everyone and wants you all to know that Edward is doing well. Nursing, she says, will not be her next career move however.

My Adios Adventure Travel private guide Juan and van driver Victor fetched me at 8:30 this morning. Off on a tour of the Sacred Valley, we began with a stop at Chinchero Weaver's village for a live demonstration of Incan weaving techniques and, coincidentally, an opportunity for me to buy some souvenirs. I learned but did not buy.

Chinchero translates as "Rainbow's Birthplace." It is, to my dismay, higher than Cusco at 12,200 feet above sea level. The ride in the van, however, seemed to be just what the doctor ordered and even though my body went to a higher altitude, so too did my spirits. I'm fine. Go figure.

The Weaver's Village was fun and the gal that did the demo spoke beautiful English and knew her stuff. I had fun.

Next we were off to Moray greenhouse ruins where it became more clear how resourceful the Incans were as they plied their agricultural efforts on this difficult terrain. If you do nothing else after reading this, go to Google.maps (googleEarth if you have it is better) and check out the satellite view of this place. It will blow you away--from space--just as it did me from earth. Each of the three concentric circle "amphitheaters" is its own microclimate and the Inca grew different crops on different tiers at different altitudes in different microclimates. Amazing. And, the acoustics rival Helzberg Hall; you can hear people speaking on the far side if you hush up and listen.

We took a detour through De Maras Town.

After that it was the Maras salt terraces, white fields where salt has pooled over the land; below there is an actively flowing underground stream. The minimal flow of saltwater that springs up from deep in the earth (from a Pacific Ocean source I think) spreads out over acres and acres of man-made entrepreneurial small pools trickling down from one to another and from one tributary to another. The salt settles. The water above evaporates. The salt is harvested. It is a mind blowing place.

By now it was 1:30 or so and we were all hungry. We stopped at "Inka's House" a restaurant touristic in Urubamba. There proprietor Juan Jose Pine Quispe ushered us to a table where Victor, Juan and I sampled from their "Buffet Novoandino" before the other tourists arrived. I had a great conversation with Juan and Victor who will graduate to guide as soon as his license arrives. He has already taken and passed the test. I ate too much.

Finally we arrived at Ollantaytambo and the amazing ruins that exist here. The Inca were into terraces which only makes sense because Peru is mountainous. There are terraces everywhere but none more imposing, more well put together or more impossibly constructed than what I saw here. From a mile away on a neighboring peak, these ruins closely resemble the outline of an llama with a pack on its back. My guess is that the creators of Mt. Rushmore must have gotten a bit of inspiration from this place. It is quite a climb but then all Inca ruins are. These folks thrived on going up and down in the thinnest of air.large_34228830-301b-11ea-ae52-bd1109936b38.jpglarge_34248400-301b-11ea-837f-b3e1d50cc264.jpglarge_341a98f0-301b-11ea-913b-8d4e2eab4d0f.jpglarge_34254750-301b-11ea-a811-2f5309009da5.jpglarge_341800e0-301b-11ea-a4bb-43bfff0645d4.jpglarge_33ed9580-301b-11ea-a39a-bfe72fa1d1cd.jpglarge_33caf250-301b-11ea-a4bb-43bfff0645d4.jpglarge_33b74340-301b-11ea-913b-8d4e2eab4d0f.jpglarge_339c6840-301b-11ea-ae52-bd1109936b38.jpglarge_337dbcb0-301b-11ea-913b-8d4e2eab4d0f.jpglarge_33a78bd0-301b-11ea-a39a-bfe72fa1d1cd.jpglarge_339d2b90-301b-11ea-837f-b3e1d50cc264.jpglarge_33278660-301b-11ea-913b-8d4e2eab4d0f.jpglarge_3330fc40-301b-11ea-ae52-bd1109936b38.jpglarge_33278660-301b-11ea-837f-b3e1d50cc264.jpglarge_32f92360-301b-11ea-a4bb-43bfff0645d4.jpglarge_33273840-301b-11ea-a39a-bfe72fa1d1cd.jpglarge_327eea50-301b-11ea-a4bb-43bfff0645d4.jpglarge_32732a80-301b-11ea-a39a-bfe72fa1d1cd.jpglarge_32730370-301b-11ea-837f-b3e1d50cc264.jpglarge_32704450-301b-11ea-beda-a9b806d6f5ce.jpglarge_32717cd0-301b-11ea-a811-2f5309009da5.jpglarge_3171e720-301b-11ea-a811-2f5309009da5.jpglarge_316b3060-301b-11ea-beda-a9b806d6f5ce.jpglarge_31a02310-301b-11ea-beda-a9b806d6f5ce.jpglarge_3119dc10-301b-11ea-beda-a9b806d6f5ce.jpglarge_527fc690-301a-11ea-a811-2f5309009da5.jpg

Next we were off to the Peru Rail office to change my ticket for tomorrow morning to the 8:00am train so I can have an extra hour or so at Machu Picchu, the real inspiration for my journey here. That done, Victor and Juan dropped me off at my hotel the spartan but clean and convenient Tunupa Lodge.

I head off into Ollantaytambo town to buy some sunscreen for tomorrow and an extra bottle of water before returning to write this entry and upload some photos from the day...after I use WhatsApp to phone B4 to check up on her and Edward. They seem to be doing well cooking filet mignon omelets for lunch and preparing a chicken pot pie in the crock pot for tonight. Edward is operational on the Xbox that Warren Buffet sent him to keep his mind off his surgery recovery.

I hear the weather in Kansas City is horrendous. Here it is warmer than i expected and there has been not one drop of rain even though all the forecasts said it would be 60% or better for my entire stay.

Getting past a terrible start what with a throbbing head and vomiting I would have to say that this day is the largest and most spectacular turnaround I've ever experienced. All is well in Ollantaytambo and I can truly say that "You wish you were here."

Posted by paulej4 16:24 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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