Day 78: Peru

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When I started planning this trip to Peru with some friends, I had no idea how much I was really signing up for; nor did I have any idea what I was about to experience once I crossed that border. The transportation, cultural differences, and currency conversion threw me for a bit of a loop, but Peru grabbed me by the hand and yanked me inside to some of the best little cities I’ve ever seen.

If you haven’t already read my guide for how we got to Peru from Chile, here it is, but for this post, I won’t bore you with all the details. Instead I’ll just tell a few little stories and show you the pics that I promised. Ok? Ok. machu-0746

(Ollantaytambo, Peru) This market was at the base of some Incan ruins that you might be able to see a glimpse of at the top of those stairs.machu-0929

(Machu Picchu)machu-0592

(Cusco, Peru) These ladies were so sweet, and definitely were not alone, as we met so many women wearing traditional Peruvian dress and carrying around baby animals of all varieties. (Yes, of course I did ask to hold that little lamb.)machu-0789

(Ollantaytambo, Peru) The view from the train to Aguas Calientes ended up being one of the sweetest moments in our transportation detail. You cruise by farms and mountains and rivers and you realize that people don’t really “own” land; they join it and are grateful for every season and crop. I think that’s one of the parts about Peru that I admired the most–the heritage and pride of the indigenous people is still so thick that it almost catches you off-guard. Every building and door and piece of clothing have significance woven into them from early languages and tribes. machu-0823

Aguas Calientes–where you can meet people from all over the world in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant.dsc_0772

(Ollantaytambo, Peru)machu-0579-2

(Cusco, Peru) I’m Going to Become a Pro Food Photographer: Part 1

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“Do you think they’ll run away if we get close?”
-“I don’t know, lets find out.”dsc_0039

We stopped to eat the snacks that we’d snuck into Machu Picchu and this little llama guy heard us munching so he ran over to us hoping we’d share. Honestly I didn’t realize how intimidating it can be to have a llama approach you so quickly, but we learned.machu-0579

(Cusco, Peru)machu-0048

Worth every bus ride.machu-0571

(Cusco, Peru) I’m Going to Become a Pro Food Photographer: Part 2

I’m not kidding, this restaurant borderline changed my life. Shoutout to the food artisans at the Coffee Museum because they are wizards in the kitchen.)dsc_0691

(Cusco, Peru) We stopped at a fabric weaving “factory” where this sweet woman taught us how they make all of the different dyes for weaving Peruvian fabrics from alpaca wool. Each bowl contains a different natural dye made from foods, bug juice, or a combo of things. It was a wild process to watch her turn that brown wool into the white threads and then dye them red and orange. The picture below shows the color that comes from dying the threads with the purple corn.dsc_0693dsc_0898

Machu Picchu in the early morning was completely foggy to the point where we could only see a few yards ahead of us, but with each minute, the clouds cleared away and gave us the most perfect day (and the most intense sun burns and bug bites.)machu-0970

Machu Picchu was a dream. We spent the whole day sitting on those cliffs, hiking up to higher spots, and chasing llamas around the ruins. I never imagined I’d be there, learning about what life looked like in this little city and wondering how in the world it was even built. I walked away glad I can check it off my bucket list and glad some things in this world are still so unexplainable. (Also, I really wanted to be able to say that I’ve eaten a peanut butter sandwich at the top of Machu Picchu.)

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