01.09.2010 – 01.15.2010
Ruins, Machu Picchu, Maras and Moray
Machu Picchu, as one of the “7 New Wonders of the World”, is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Peru. It is a rainy season when I visit with NJ, who I have grown up with in a small town in New Jersey.
Before we climb up Machu Picchu Mountain, we need to sign our names in a book at the entrance to record our name, in case we have an accident. It is not an easy hike, very slippery, especially during the rainy season. I have to lower down to stable myself, as most of the rocks are not stable. Climbing to the top of the mountain at 10,000 feet, it is nice to feel as though I am standing on top of the world. But it is a bit too foggy to see a clear view from the mountain. The return trip is the scariest and for a few times, I think to myself whether I am going to die in Peru. I am grateful that NJ is very supportive through difficulties.
Machu Picchu is picturesque, the so-called “City of the Sky” with a strong Incan influence. The mountain stands up into the sky with clouds around the peaks, making it look an angel wearing a feather crown on her head. However, it is not as impressive as I expected.
The other ruins that we visit are in fact more impressive: Maras, Moray and the Salt Mine (which is a field with layers of circles). It is so stunning that I sit on the top layer to experience its beauty.
We buy an Inca chess set from the Pisac market and NJ teaches me how to play. I win the first game by a mile. He is super shocked and agrees to pay for the loss.
Insane Peruvian Drivers
The drivers in Peru are insane, driving 70km per hour with a crappy three-wheel vehicle with no reverse mirror, seat belt, or roll-up windows. They are confident navigating through the winding mountains with acceleration. We are terrified, gripping the handle and grateful to have survived.
Best Food of the World
Peru offers me the best culinary experience ever. All are delicious: the chicken rice, Lomo saltado (sautéed beef stew with potatoes and tomatoes), or chica drink (a purple drink that is only sold in Peru). Peruvian food is a good fusion of South American and Asian food.
Cusco and Lima
Cusco is an extremely romantic, artistic and peaceful town, with the feel of Prague: fountain, cathedral, and high altitude. I love it a lot and play a few pieces of piano music in our boutique hotel. However, Lima is not my favorite, messy, dirty and crowded. It is interesting to watch the changing of the guards in front of the Palacio del Gobierno at 12 pm.