Peru is a fascinating mix of very old and modern.
Sometime in a lifetime of travel, there is a trip that is permantly burned in your memory, never ever to be forgotten. This is my trip to Peru. Come with me as we take this journey.
We landed in Lima from Miami about 2 AM and were taken to the most beautiful hotel I had ever stayed in. We were given 2 hours to shower and meet in the lobby as we had to begin our journey right then. In 3 days there was to be a nationwide strike of all transportation and we had to get to Machu Picchu before it happened.
We flew to Arequipa for 2 nights. Lunch was at the Santa Catalina Covenant and city tours. Now we fly to Cuzco at 12, 000 ft. above sea level. Now we start drinking coca tea. It is easy to get altitude sickness here.
The next day we board the train to Machu-Picchu with our 3 night stay at the Machu-Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Because we are with a tour company who has an office in Lima, we have been taken care of with 3 nights at this hotel. We were only scheduled for 1 night. We saw people sleeping on the ground, in the train station and everywhere. They had booked their trip with a company who did not have this inside knowledge. We were thankful to have great accommodations.
The next day, September 11, 2001, as we are eating breakfast, a guest of the hotel came by and told us about a small plane crash in NY City. We didn’t have TV or radio at our hotel and no one paid much attention to him.
Off we go to see the sunrise at the runions of Machu-Picchu. Very spectacular at 10,000 ft. above sea level. There is 1 hotel at the Sanctuary and we were to have lunch there. After eating, our guide told us about the planes crashing into the twin towers. The hotel gave us the only room with a TV and we all crowded in to watch the news. It was almost like a Disney movie. We had 2 girls from NY in our group and they freaked out. It was all so unreal. Our guide said since we were so far away, she decided we would finish our tour for what we came to see and then she told us. We couldn’t fly out anyway.
By now, the strike was over and we were able to begin making our way down from the mountains. We had many stops on the way down ending in Cuzco.
Every place we stopped, the Peruvian people were so gracious and kind telling us how sorry they were for what had happened. We were still trying to take it all in.
I was on the first American Airline flight from Lima to Miami and it was filled with airline personnel who were very shook up. Then my 2 connections on home were empty planes. The airports were empty and it seemed the world had died and I was left behind.
Peru was beautiful and the countryside with the llamas, vicunas and other animals was very serene. To have the knowledge of a professional travel agent is priceless.