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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#18 Home Sweet Home

What is it about travel the older you get that makes shorter trips preferable and the desire to return to the comforts of home appear much, much sooner?  Or is that only if you feel unsafe in your new location as I did in Lima?

I have to say, my visit to Machu Picchu by far redeamed my entire trip, but for the first week I was counting down the days till I would be travelling home again.

My flight over was amazing, and despite a sprained ankle, I managed to see a tiny bit of LA and enjoy the Summer sun.  I don't know what travel karma was bestowed upon me, but I was upgraded to Business class on the way over - ooh la la!  It was difficult going back, let me tell you!  I'm still sleeping in my Qantas pyjamas.

The arrival into Lima marked the start of my long term anxiety.  Several stories were passed on regarding the dangers of taking a taxi from the airport into Miraflores and they all had me on edge.  It was past midnight as we drove through the almost desserted streets of Callao under the weight of anticipation that I would be kidnapped at any given moment.  Luckily all that came to pass was that an extremely religious taxi driver attempted to suggest that I had many problems and should convert to his religion.  "I don't have any problems!  I'm great!" I exclaimed as I lept from his cab at my destination.

There, I felt like a prisoner.  Single, female travellers it seems, should not venture out of Miraflores.  I did not see Lima.  That still astounds me.  Luckily, I was able to experience some fabulous Peruvian food and hospitality in my neighbourhood, including the Independence Day Parade on my first day there.

The return trip to the airport was taken with extreme trepidation.  This time the driver avoided the eery beach route in the middle of the night, and I arrived safely (and cheaply!) once again, this time on my way to Cuzco.

The flight in Cuzco is simply breath taking.  And actually, literally breath taking.  The altitude sickness took a little while to hit, but only knocked me off my feet for a couple of hours before my tour of the city began.  The following day, the Sacred Valley wowed me, whetting my appetite for the piece de resistance - Machu Picchu.   There are no words to describe this wonder of the world. 

So, here are some photos.

The opening ceremony for the conference I attended had a series of traditional dances and costumes and music.  It was amazing.  I love this photo - the colours are so typical.

I waved my flag proudly at the Independence Day parade. Viva Peru!

Hello Machu Picchu.  Can you believe they built this in 50 short years??  Many hands make light work.

The view from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley.
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