This continued in the van back from Ollantaytambo to Cusco and the next day on the plane to Lima. I could not fully explain why. Perhaps it was the sublime scenery encountered during the trip, the let down after a "peak" experience, and sadness at leaving this wonderful place. The return trip was long and tedious (nearly 36 hours), and a bit painful because of Dave's injury, an incipient cold, and loss of a camera. We would pass entire days in the Lima and Newark airports without an opportunity to see the sights, but the journey was well worth the discomfort. Despite this my overall sense was that it was the most exotic and mind-expanding journey I have ever taken. An Indian businessman we met in the airport, who has traveled all over the world, professed there are no other mountains in the world like the Andes, for their sheer verticality, and I'm happy to take his word on that. Travel is not all highs; the valleys make the peaks all the more miraculous.
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