Carolina Reunions
Canopy in the Canopy

Hola, Peru!


Hello, Peru!

For three fabulous weeks in September, Kim and I experienced the wonderland that is the nation of Peru.


Peru south americaFor those of you who are geographically-challenged (I include myself in that category!), Peru is on the west coast of South America.  It is the third largest country in that continent, roughly twice the size of Texas.

Peruvians speak Spanish, and their heritage is a mixture of native Incan blood and the conquering Spaniards.  The country itself is very diverse, ranging from coastal desert to the second-highest mountain range in the world, the Andes, to the rainforests and jungles of the Amazon headwaters.  And the culture is diverse as well...from the modern cities to the mountain people who still live much like their ancestors have for hundreds of years.


Peru topographic (2)When people heard about our travel plans, they always asked "Why did you choose Peru?"

Well, I'll tell you why.

Kim and I enjoy watching the National Geographic channel on TV, and one show a couple of years ago featured the jungles of Manu National Reserve in Peru.  We were both intrigued and decided that one day we'd like to go there.  So I jotted it down in the notebook where I keep such things, and when the opportunity arose we jumped at the chance to make our jungle adventure dream come true.

Thought we'd better do all this crazy adventurous stuff while we're still young...ha ha!

And since we may never pass that way again, while we were in Peru we thought we'd get a good sampling of the rest of the country besides the Amazon jungle.



So after months of planning, we were off on our Peru adventure!



Because it's so close to the equator, days in Peru are 12 hours long year-round.  The sun comes up at about 6 am and sets at 6 pm every day of the year. Even though it wasn't that late, we arrived in Lima airport after dark and spent the first night in the adjoining airport hotel with this view out of our hotel window.



Over those three weeks we logged lots and lots of miles in Peru...6 flights, 2 train rides, 2 bus trips, dozens of vehicle rides, countless boat trips, and who-knows-how-many hiking excursions.  We never rode a horse or a llama...



...nor did we experience the popular motocar that fills Peruvian streets (although it does look like fun!), but we used about every other mode of transportation there.



We discovered the popular Inca Cola (very similar to Mountain Dew)...



...canchita (also known as corn nuts...kinda like large not-so-hard unpopped popcorn kernels)...



...maracuya drink (aka passion fruit...Kim hated the fizz, so being the good wife I drank his for him...)...



...Peruvian bread (lots of it at every meal)...



...coca leaves, which are used to chew or make tea to counteract altitude sickness (or perhaps get mildly high since these same leaves are highly illegal in the US as they are the basis for cocaine)...



...and lucuma ice cream, which tastes like a cross between pumpkin and maple.  The lucuma fruit, which is only native to this part of the world and grows in the Andes Mountains, is considered a "superfood" with lots and lots of health benefits.  Especially when added to ICE CREAM (wink, wink!).



We did not get to try the national delicacy cuy,...


...roasted guinea pig.  Although Kim would've been game (pun intended), we weren't eager to purchase from a street vendor. One of our guides, Rosa, grew up on a guinea pig farm in the mountains and insists cuy is delicious, as long as the skin is crispy. Uh, no.....



Beautiful landscapes...



...and in the mountains literally a waterfall at every turn. And trust me...



...there are lots and lots...



...and LOTS of major curves!












I plan to dedicate the next several days' posts to this extraordinary many photos and stories and experiences to share with you from this amazing country.



Hola, Peru!




Marilyn Witt

Thanks for sharing this with us. Great pictures.

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