Peru: The Sacred Valley

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On the first day of our tour, we visited the valleys of the Andes. This fertile land of the Incas stretches between Cusco all the way to Machu Picchu and is filled with many archaeological sites in between.

Our first stop of the day was at the statue of Cristo Blanco (White Christ) standing tall on the hillside, overlooking the city of Cusco. From this vantage point, you can view the entire expanse of the city. The locals believe that the city was built in the shape of a puma, a sacred animal for the Incas. If you squint your eyes (and have an active imagination) you can actually see the shape of the animal forming with the Plaza de Armas being the heart and the hills where we stood being the head. Adjacent to the statue is the archaeological site called Saqsaywaman (pronounced sexay-woman) a name that means satisfied falcon. Continue reading

Peru: Layover in Lima

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View of the ocean from Larcomar

Over the years we’ve talked about going to South America; even booked a flight, but some how things always came up and the plan was postponed.  Of all the places in South America, we dreamed about going to Machu Picchu like many other travelers before us, and after a year and a half of planning, we finally made it to Peru. First stop, Lima.

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California: Yosemite National Park

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View of half dome from Glacier Point

A few weeks ago, while we were on the West Coast, we decided to rent a car and drive to Yosemite. It’s been awhile since we did a road trip in North America. We used to drive all the time to Canada, but due to the time constraints and cheap airfares, we end up flying for the most part now. I love road trips because I get to be the navigator. It’s very satisfying when you can figure out how to get from point A to point B. Mind you, it’s not too hard to do that here, but in a foreign country without a GPS, it’s a lot more fun.

Yosemite different from any park I’ve been to. For one thing, it’s massive, driving from one gate to another can take up to two hours. The scenery is breathtaking, from the majestic redwoods to the sheer cliffs at Taft’s point. Everywhere we looked, we were reminded that nature is magnificent and beautiful and we are a small speck in the grand scheme of things.

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