Birthday Trip 2020 – Peru

This year for my birthday we crossed another trip off the bucket list and visited Machu Picchu in Peru. We traveled with Expedition Trips and everything was setup from the moment we entered the country until we left. The first real day of our trip we visited Sacsayhuaman, an Incan fortress above the city of Cusco. Our guide who was with us for the whole trip educated us about the stone work and history. My favorite part of this site was the view of Cusco where I was able to get some nice panoramas.

We next visited an Amaru community where they demonstrated how they sheared the sheep, washed and dyed the wool and spun it into thread and then how they weave their textiles.

Afterward we had a nice Peruvian lunch and then arrived at the beautiful Sol y Luna Hotel. We were upgraded to a nicer casita which had 2 fireplaces and a private outdoor hot tub. The grounds were stunning with a lot of beautiful plants and flowers and lots of hummingbirds. Breakfast was amazing with fresh fruit juices, pastries, and more.

Throughout Peru, you can frequently see a pair of bulls on top of the roofs of most houses. It’s believed by the locals that they keep the house safe with a blessing to the “Apus” (the Inca mountain gods) and ensure health, wealth, and unity for the occupants of the house.

The next morning we visited one of the most interesting places of our trip which were the Salt pans of Maras. A salt water river flows out of the ground and is then channeled to a series of pits where it can be evaporated and the salt collected.

Next stop was the Incan agricultural testing grounds of Moray. These are some of the best preserved terraces that the Incans used to vary temperatures for their crops to breed different varieties of potatoes and corn.

Next stop was a field where we participated in an offering ceremony to “Pacha Mama”, Mother Earth. It must have worked because we had pretty nice weather even though we visited in the rainy season.

After another great night at Sol y Luna, we headed to Ollantaytambo. We walked around the city first seeing some of the traditional architecture. We also went inside a Peruvian house and saw the floor covered with guinea pigs. We then explored the ruins above the city before getting ready to board the Belmond Hiram Bingham train to Aguas Calientes.

Page 2 On to Machu Picchu and then return to Cusco