Here are details and photos of our recent trip to Machu Picchu.
Travel arrangements are similar on each trip (see Tour Diary below), yet every trip is a completely different adventure. Below are just some examples of things I've encountered on this tour:
This old woman is selling coca leaves and other herbs and beans in a village at the base of Machu Picchu. While the coca leaves are commonly chewed for strength in hiking the mountains, they are also brewed into tea and taken to help relieve the symptoms of altitude sickness. The leaves also play a central role in the Spiritual lives of the people. Three perfect leaves are taken (always the best is chosen when sending out your prayers) and spread in a fan like manner with the face of the leaf toward you. Then you whisper your prayers onto the leaves and as you finish gently move out from your face while blowing on the leaves, thus blowing your prayers to the Gods. When you have finished your praying, and you may use a few or many prayer fans as your prayers require, then you either leave your coca leaf fans some place in nature that calls to you, or you might bury them in the ground in your special nature place.
Most of the materials available in the area are truly made from scratch. After the wool is collected from the llamas, it is washed in hot water using a root that has been grated and added to the water. The root shavings lather up nicely and produce a very clean wool, which is then dyed using herbs or the bodies of a special kind of beetle. The red dye in the wool shown is from the beetle (and the dried and powdered bodies is also mixed with water and used for lipstick or blush). That's us tourists sitting on the left.
These children go to a school built by ?. We brought two large sacks of baked bread and gave a few loaves to each child. They were so excited, you'd have thought it was chocolate candy.
As many pixs and captions as you want to describe this tour.
Day 1: We caught the plane in Miami at 8:45 a.m., landed at Lima at 7 p.m. blah blah (to give people an idea of the timing).
Day 10: Left Lima at 6 a.m. and arrived Miami at 7 p.m.
Back at the website, click on the menu at the right to see times, dates and prices of our next scheduled tours!