?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Andes to the Amazon.

I think that, perhaps, the most amazing thing about travel is perspective. When you spend so much time in one place, especially when that place is part of a very steadfast routine, it is easy for your world to become a very small place. Even when you flit in and out of it, the walls become very defined, finite. When you travel somewhere so far out of your comfort zone, your realm of experience, your ability to imagine, it can't help but leave a mark.

Going to Peru was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It's a place I've been drawn to for years, something that has become a recurring theme in my life which has just become stronger as time goes by. When things fell into place and allowed us to go, I was thrilled. I really didn't know what to expect so I left without real expectations and just surrendered myself to the experience that presented itself. I'm beyond glad that I did.

I have heard people (ones that have traveled the world for much of their lives) tell me that if you could pick one destination and no other, to go to Peru. The country has just about everything - from deserts to snow-capped mountains, huge metropolises to the most remote areas in the world, complete with uncontacted native tribes. Cities, culture, rainforest, wildlife, history, architecture, cuisine. Everything with its very own unique flavor.

It is impossible to really do my trip any justice by trying to describe it. Mbala took almost 2000 photos and I will post a bit of a narrated visual blog once we've sorted through those, but for the most part I don't have a lot to say about my trip except that it was incredible and I'm really glad that I went. A lot of it, for me, was about taking a leap of faith, letting go, and learning to relax. To open your mind and self to life and everything that it means, including it's extremes. Pushing yourself to the limits and enjoying the ride.

We spent a week traveling in Manu; a part of the reserve area of the world's most pristine tract of rainforest where less than a thousand visitors a year pass through. I had the intense privilege of seeing a mating pair of wild jaguars. We walked through the jungle at night and saw scorpions, tarantulas, birds, bugs, monkeys, and all sorts of amazing creatures. We watched giant otters circle their lake and make unearthly, mournful cries. I found wild tagua and was able to drink from the ripening plant.

We did what seemed like a million other things, and culminated our journey hiking the four days from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu. It was a grueling hike, with thin mountain air 14,000 feet up, past tiny villages living on the edge and the bones of people who had died on the trek. The journey itself was even more powerful than the spectacular ending - entering the 'lost city' via the Sun Gate and getting to sprawl in the grass at the incredible ruins.

I am back home now, thankful for the experience and the changes it brought into my life. Slowly getting myself back into a normal work schedule, less stressed and more determined.

Pictures soon, I promise. :)

Comments

redstorm
May. 5th, 2010 05:42 am (UTC)
Wow. Peru has been on my list for a long time too. I only hope I can get the funds together sometime to go. Did you o it all on your own, or did you have a guide/tour planner etc?
foxfeather
May. 6th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
We did something kind of in between - we went with a Peruvian travel agency based in Cuzco and planned the trip through them. They made sure travel (flights in the country, taxis, busses, etc.) were on schedule and secure, made everything come together flawlessly, and coordinated most of our trip, but we saved a ton of money vs. going with a U.S. based/general touristy company.
After crunching numbers this ended up being the smartest thing to do - if we had done it ourselves completely we would have actually had to pay more since much of the fee we paid to the travel agency was for permits (national parks, inca trail, etc.) or travel cost (planes, boats, etc.) and they got us a very discounted rates on hotels/lodges they had deals with. They also covered a lot of the meals and made the entire trip totally stress free. I would highly recommend them (SAS travel Peru). :)

Latest Month

November 2014
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Links

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner