Looking Back on Peru: A Feast for the Senses
The squeak of tourists' sneakers on the stone floors of the ancient Temple of the Sun in Cusco . Folkloric music played on whistles, flutes and seashells. Heavy breathing as we all adjusted to the high altitude.
The lemongrass soap from the Casa Andina . I'm obsessed!
The incredibly soft skeins of vicuna wool that I held during a fascinating weaving demo at the Sol & Luna Lodge in the Sacred Valley .
Apart from sampling guinea pig, I'll remember the sweet things most: Inca Cola, Chicha Morada -- a fruit drink made from purple corn -- and the sweet potato and pumpkin donuts at Cusco's Libertador Hotel . So sinful I went back for thirds.
It's all about Machu Picchu . I needed to write these words in my notebook while there to help take it in: I AM HERE RIGHT NOW. It's not just about what you see or learn when you're there. It's about what you feel. It's like nowhere else on earth.
Before going, I worried that getting there would be arduous. Trains and buses and high altitudes and what have you. But it's more do-able than I expected -- the Peruvians really seem to want you there -- and the journey's half the fun.
My thanks to the members of IGLTA for including me, to LAN Airlines for getting me there and to the wonderful guides and staff at Lima Tours for making it all go off without a hitch. I can't wait to return.