Our last day of the trip - I felt so sad! Corbin and I flew back to Lima this morning, and took a taxi to the house of Milagros Polo - Adventure Life Peruvian coordinator extraordinaire! After working with Milagros so closely for so many months it was great to meet her and her exuberant son Bruno, who introduced us to their pets and his surfboard!
We had lunch, and then Milagros took us into Lima to see the sites. We visited the main plaza, and took a tour of the church and catacombs of San Francisco. We went to the beach of Miraflores so that I could see the surfers riding the waves right off the coast. We also ambled along the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. We had Pisco sours at the famous restaurant La Rosa Nautica, which is on the end of a pier on the Miraflores beach - it was great! We had a fabulous dinner and talked a lot with Milagros and got to know her better before heading back to the airport for a late night flight home.
My Travel Summaries
1. Travel during the rainy season was great! I was there for over two weeks in the middle of the rainiest time of year, and I had light showers on a couple of afternoons, but I was still able to do everything in the rain. The showers lasted an hour or two usually, and then the sun would come out. It only rained hard during the night a couple of nights I was in Peru. The awesome things about this time of year were that all of Peru was so beautiful and brilliantly green, whereas during most of the rest of the year the hills would be yellow and brown. It was also great because there were far, far fewer tourists, which I really enjoyed. Bring a rain jacket in case of a shower and the right attitude and don't fear the term "rainy season."
2. Hiking the trail was a great experience. It's not for everyone, because it is a really hard hike, but it sure made the experience of arriving at Machu Picchu really seem like an accomplishment and that I had really "earned" my trip there. Hike up as many stairs as you can before the trip, and you will enjoy the experience a lot more.
3. I can't say enough about our guides and staff in Peru - they absolutely made my trip. Before working at Adventure Life, I had always traveled independently and been a little wary of the "tour group thing." Our guides, especially, opened up a whole window on the culture of Peru that I would not have been able to experience on my own. They truly are the best of the best of all the guides in Peru. I hear this countless times from people who come back from their trips, but the guides usually are the best part of the experience for people.
4. Have the right attitude. Travel in Peru is definitely different from in the US - the attitude is more relaxed, things aren't quite as efficient as they are here, and delays and bumps in the road can happen. Remember to come with the right attitude, relax, and enjoy your trip! Travel well!