Long Overdue.
Old Blue Hair
It's been awhile since I actually posted to LJ even though I do stop by on a semi-regular basis to keep tabs on my friends who are much more prolific bloggers than I. I guess that qualifies be as being a lurker, at least when it comes to this site. Those of you who have me as a connection on other social sites like Facebook or Twitter are probably pretty up to speed on what I've been up to since June but for the benefit of those that aren't and for posterity here goes.

This summer saw Erica and I do quite a bit of traveling. We were in Germany with Erica's father for a week and a half in June. It was a good time filled with tasty German beers, Euro Cup soccer matches and visiting with Erica's family. We went to Hannover, Jever, Marienburg Castle, Hamelin and Einbeck. If you're interested you can check out our photosets on Flickr.

In August we took a trip to Peru for my cousin David's wedding. Since this was Erica's first trip to South America and since it had been twenty-one years since the last time I was in Peru we decided we should take the opportunity to do some sightseeing while we were there. We spent the week before the wedding hanging out with my family, including my cousins from Sweden, and seeing the sights around Lima. We had a number of fantastic meals including a huge family dinner at the Club de Regatas and wonderful Peruvian fusion shushi at Osaka and Sentori.

The wedding was held on Saturday evening at a large Catholic Cathedral in San Isidro. Though the service was in Spanish, David had the priest say a few words of thanks in English for Erica and my benefit. Following the service we all headed to a golf club not too far away where they had setup a huge and beautifully decorated tent. When I say huge, I mean that this thing probably could have accommodated a small circus complete with elephants. We dined and partied the night away. Around midnight a group of performers arrived, dancing, walking on stilts and handing out hats to the guests. All in all it was an amazing evening and I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to celebrate with David, Jimena and the rest of my family.

Early the next day Erica and I got up to catch our flight to Mancora, which is a little beach town in Northern Peru. In order to get there we needed to take a short hour and a half flight to a city named Piura and then a three hour cab right to Mancora through some of the most windy mountainous roads you've ever been on. We were staying at a brand new boutique hotel directly on the beach called DCO which had opened only three months before our arrival. It was nothing short of specular and the perfect way to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary.

We returned to Lima in time to meet Erica's parents who joined us for the second half of our trip and our excursion Cuzco and Machu Picchu. We took another domestic flight from Lima to Cuzco, flying over the Andes Mountains and taking us to the city which sits 3200 meters above sea level. We had been warned that adjusting to the thinner air could be pretty taxing but only had a couple of hours to rest before we started our first day of touring. We regretted this later.

Our first day in Cuzco we hit a number of the sights, including Qorikancha, the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa (complete with Black Jesus) and the ruins of Q'enqo and Saqsaywaman. Then it was back to our hotel for a bit of rest before dinner. We ate at a restaurant off the city square and were serenaded by a group of traditional Andean musicians, Grupo Inka Marka, while we dined on Alpaca and Peruvian olives. A full day behind us we retired for the evening.

The next day we awoke to a phone call from Erica's mother informing us that her father had been ill all night and that they were in no shape to continue the tour that day to Ollantaytambo. While Erica and I weren't feeling 100% we decided to soldier on after calling them a doctor, who arrived within 15 minutes and only charged them $100US. We made a short trek to our bus waiting in front of the Museo Sitio del Qoricancha and embarked on our journey to the Sacred Valley of the Inkas and Ollantaytambo.

As the bus ride went on I was feeling progressively more sick. So much so that at one of the stops Erica and I called it quits fifteen minutes into the ninety minute hike to see the whole thing. This might have also had something to do with the narrow paths and huge vertical drops with no safety railings what so ever. By the time we arrived at Ollantaytambo I was feeling wretchedly ill and sat out the entire tour of those ruins while Erica hiked them. From there is was on to our hotel for the night where I stocked up on some medicine to make the evening bearable and hopefully be in decent shape for Machu Picchu the next day.

The next morning we met Erica's parents on the train that would take us the rest of the way to Machu Picchu. In order to actually get to the site we had to take a fifteen minute bus ride up a very steep zig-zagging road that winds up the mountain which put us a five minute walk from the ruins themselves. Once there we spent a good hour and a half on a guided tour of the ruins before returning to town for a bite to eat and to wait around for our return train to Cuzco. By this point Erica's parents were both feeling much better than they had the day before having been prescribed Tylenol and antibiotics. Erica and I  were still suffering the effects of the altitude and perhaps something we ate that didn't agree with us.

By the time we got back to Lima, we weren't feeling like doing much of anything and spent the rest of our time in Peru recuperating. Aside from getting a bit sick at the end of the trip it was a fantastic experience and a great way to spend two and a half weeks. It was wonderful to see all my cousins and family that I hadn't seen in ages. I certainly won't let another twenty-one years go by before I go back to Peru, but next time I'm flying Lan.

You can find photos from our Peruvian adventure on Flickr.


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