Thursday, May 22, 2008
Machu Piccu *yawn* Peru parte finalemente
I know I know- a 7th wonder of the world. Amazing lost civilization. Stunningly preserved remains of a lost city we know nothing about. Was it a city for just women? A lost Inca royal palace? A small village where they cultivated coca leaves and crops? I don't know!!! why are you asking me these things?!!
My dear friend EC said "What?! You didn't like Machu Picchu?! That's like not liking Jennifer Aniston!!! Oh wait. You don't like Jennifer Aniston either. ok" And that about sums it up. Machu Piccu was like Jennifer Aniston- it was nice. Good shape and form, pleasant enough to behold- but nothing that inspired me or lifted me up. It's no Cate Blanchett. : )
I will say that the Andes surrounding Machu Picchu are stunning as my pictures will hopefully show.
And to be fair, I was actually quite sick when I did this part of the trip, so my fever and delirium could have been contributing to my lack of excitement. (truth be told, after the obligatory 2 hour tour at the beginning and my two bites of lunch, I actually found a grassy knoll in the middle of a 'garden' or 'front yard' or 'we-don't-know-what-this-is-and-isn't-it-still-oh-so-amazing-patch-of-land" and ... fell asleep. Yes I did. People all about me were swarming taking pictures of this historic site, touching the rocks irrelevantly, and hiking their little hearts out... and I took a nap.)
By way of explanation, MP was a trip on the heels of an overnight bus ride where I first took sick and nearly threw up for 7 hours as we careened down this mountain at 220km/hour, then landed in Cusco where I stumbled about taking more photos and drinking fresh orange juice, and getting up at 5am to catch an ice cold temperatures below freezing train ride to get to Machu Picchu in the first place. I just wasn't in the mood.
Heading back to Cusco, I got on the train thinking I had four hours to go until our arrival... when 2 hours in, the train stops and everyone gets off. I get off as well and wander into the darkness of the parking lots, dimly lit, while scrutinizing my ticket- look at the train ticket saying it would return me to Cusco. I put my poor Spanish to use with a security guard who doesn't know anymore than I why the train has chosen to stop halfway... when a guy comes up to our group (there was 4 of us) with a sign saying "Sara Kostek"
Well close enough- let's go. (I wasn't entirely stupid- there were six other people/tourists already waiting in his traveling bus type van). I made it home and the next day asked my tour operator about it and he said "oh yes that's what they do. They get off half way and take buses, it's faster." I asked why this is something that they wouldn't have communicated to me so I wasn't taken by surprise. He shrugged like 'what's the big deal? you made it home" And indeed I was almost there... home that is. Only one more night of sleeping on a moving vehicle (this time courtesy of Air Canada) before I made it home- and I swear to you- I was the FIRST person I know of- that was actually LOOKING FORWARD to going back to work.
(Although I did enjoy my last day in Cusco as my buddies Stephanie and Elaine from Huancayo met up with me and we had lunch- which was awesome). Here is a picture taken wandering around the town.
Overall it was an interesting trip. I enjoyed many parts of it, and met some really great people that I hope to stay in touch with.
I feel blessed to have had the experience of working with the kids in the orphanage and Ladirella, and know that they gave me so much more than I was able to give them.
I brushed up on my Spanish, so I can whisper sweet Spanish nothings to my boyfriend (such as "pass me the potatoes" and "is there hot water?"). It was not relaxing, but nor was it an experience I would trade. Who knows- I might darken the doors of Huancayo yet again.