|Viva El Peru!|
Hello!! I'm back! Well, I actually arrived back home last tuesday, but I've been processing this A M A Z I N G trip I just went on. Seriously, unbelievable. If you ever have an opportunity to visit Peru, GO! Absolutely gorgeous country with super-friendly people and yummy food.
The Inca Trail was everything I hoped it would be, and more; Hard, challenging, rewarding, meditative, solitary, fun, and adventure-filled. I had a great group (there were five of us, Kristin, Nate, our new friend Rodrigo from Brazil, our amazing tour guide Brian, and myself) and it was a crazy-awesome experience. The altitude tended to kick my butt, especially on day two, on the climb to the summit, but I handled it alright. It was amazing hiking through different climate zones and noting the changes in the atmosphere and flora. Day three on the hike was probably my favorite, as we descended into the cloud forest. Of course, Machu Picchu was downright amazing and breathtaking, especially watch it fade in and out from a distance.
|Magical horse all by him/herself.|
|Nate and I at the top of the Summit!|
|Yes, those are yellow crocs on Kristin's bag, and yes, they did come in handy!|
|I was afraid the Llama was going to kick or spit at me|
Going into the Jungle was quite the time, flying down the mountain on a mountain bike in the pouring rain, with the edge of the cliff a mere few feet away. Despite never really riding a mountain bike in my lifetime, I managed to make it to the place we were staying in one piece (seriously! I thought I was going to die!!) The jungle was super-relaxing (um, well, after the bike ride) and I really enjoyed the hikes and the lodge itself. We saw monkeys, birds, strange pig/squirrelly animals, otter-like animals, frogs and frog's eggs, a snake, and a zillion butterflies. I didn't really get bitten by mosquitos either!
|GORGEOUS landscapes everywhere. I loved this patchwork.|
|This is where we slept in the Amazon Jungle!|
Cusco is such a pretty city. Beautiful parks and markets and friendly people and lots of sunshine. We became pretty addicted to visiting all the different markets and I just LOVE all the beautiful patterns and colors that were everywhere.
|Nate, Kristin, and I being dorks.|
Eating vegan turned out to be pretty easy. The best food of the trip was had on the Incan trail and in the Jungle, actually. Three course meals, seriously! Both tour companies that we went with did a fantastic job making vegan meals for me (Peru Discovery and Inca Trail Reservations), and I would highly recommend both of them. As for restaurants, I enjoyed El Encuentro in Cusco (yummy meal pictured below is from there, fresh mixed fruit juice, homemade chips and guacamole, and a humongo sammich with the best avocado and tangiest olives ever). Both of my travel-mates are omni, so at non-veggie restaurants I was able to get a cheeseless pizza or some rockin' quinoa dish pretty easily. I loved all the fresh juices that were everywhere! The avocados and all the fresh fruits (omg mango) tasted so much better than in the states! Vegan food on the airplane (TACA airlines) was a complete failure on the way there (omelet or french toast, boooo), but they surprised me on the way back with a yummy pasta/veggie dish that didn't actually contain any cheese.
|Holy wow whoa chips and guac|
I have lots and lots and lots more pictures and some more tidbits here:
|We stopped here for a picnic|
|Smiley random dog!|
|Last night in Lima, Peru|