My Inner Worlds
The Lost City of the Incas, which really wasn’t so lost back when it was “found” in 1911, is the reason we planned our trip to Peru. By the time we got there, I was still excited to visit the site, but our upcoming shamanic retreat held my attention. More to come on that in a separate post.
While Matt's altitude sickness went away at Machu Picchu's elevation of 7,970 feet above sea level, mine only took a partial rest. My heart palpitations almost knocked my sunglasses off my chest in the pose on the left. Also, I'm pretty sure it was my overworked heart that caused me to lose my balance and almost tip over a stone stair (not my incredibly heavy backpack and innate clumsiness). Thankfully, Matt and our guide Paul were ahead of me and didn't notice the danger. I'd rather keep my dignity than have a helping hand or a chastising husband to remind me to watch my footing.
I have a plethora of pictures that all seem to show the same lush and terraced mountain, but from slightly different angles. In an effort to spare you from my photo album, I’ve narrowed my selection down to 23, and further into sections that contain Matt and me (for family who care to see us in epic poses) and into shots that are just gorgeous scenery that can never be found in North Carolina.
The Incan cosmology is one of duality. Here is my experience of that concept at the sacred site of Machu Picchu.
One final shot showing the clouds that moved in at the end of our time on this awe-inspiring mountain. We experienced a light sprinkling of raindrops and incredible thunder that shook our eardrums.
Machu Picchu has been on my travel to-do list for many years. Last August I knew I needed to go by June, 2019. Matt and I then began planning a ten-day trip, from which we returned yesterday.
This first of three posts chronicles the days we spent in Cusco acclimating to the high elevation. Matt’s reaction to being almost 12,000 feet above sea level is to not breathe while sleeping. Thus he stayed awake for three nights. I had a headache the first day and experienced heart palpitations during physical exertion, like slowly walking up the hotel stairs. Unlike Matt's symptoms, mine lasted the entire trip.
We spent five nights at the Palacio del Inka next to the Temple of the Sun. Our room truly was palatial, and the staff were amazing. A street artist named Valentine seemed to live outside our hotel and showed us his wares every time we left sanctuary. Matt wound up buying several canvases to go in his new office, and honestly, they're pretty good.
On our third day in Cusco, we traveled next door to Coricancha—the Temple of the Sun. We then toured each of the four sacred sites in Cusco. My favorite was Saqsaywaman. I love stonework and fondly remembered my eighth-grade fantasy of growing up to be an archaeologist.
The next post in this three-part series will share our amazing adventure at Machu Picchu.