Picture Perfect Peru

Part of the reason I love my work so much is that I get to travel to places I never thought I would get to; last year that was Korea, and this year it was magnificent Peru. I went to Peru in September and stayed for about two weeks. The first week was spent in Lima, and the rest was spent travelling to Cusco and Aguas Calientes/Machupicchu Pueblo. These are snapshots of my experience there.

Pisco Sour, a traditional drink in Peru. I was a little scared to try a drink with raw egg white in it, but it was delicious. Though it comes in different flavours, like passion fruit, the original was my favourite.

 

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Though I spent a week in Lima, I only got to explore it on one day, while the rest was spent at the hotel preparing for the Summit. That one day was perfect though. Perfect weather, great company, and a truly relaxing experience. The best part of Lima was Mirafloris, an affluent area of Lima overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For me, it was characterised by paragliders dotting the sky with colour.

 

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Exploring Parque del Amor (Park of Love) in Mirafloris. Was so great to be by the Ocean again.

 

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Adding to my collection of headstand photos around the world.

 

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A take on one of the traditional Peruvian dishes, Carapulcra. It’s a stew of pork and dehydrated potatoes, with peanuts, aji panca, garlic, and other spices. It is a modern adaptation of a traditional Andean dish. This version had chocolate in the stew as well.

 

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After seeing all the paragliders in the sky, I had to try it out myself. It was much more relaxing but not as exhilarating as skydiving. A pleasant way to see Lima from above. Video to follow.

 

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Paragliding station.

 

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Flying over the Pacific.

 

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One last view of the ocean.

 

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Another dish I tried in Lima: Quinoa risotto, with grilled chicken. Was absolutely creamy and delicious.

 

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And then it was off to Cusco. This town really surprised me. I didn’t expect it to be as comfortable or pleasant as it was. It’s definitely a tourist town, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. It was a comfortable stopover, easy to walk around and explore, with lots to see. This photo of perfectly blue skies was snapped after about 15 minutes of heavy pouring rain.

 

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View of Cusco’s rooftops from our hostel room.

 

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San Pedro Market, a famous market in Cusco. Fun to walk around, but slightly claustrophobic. Don’t think they had the best prices in town for souvenirs or trinkets, but still worth some exploration time.

 

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A church just off the city centre. There were so many big churches around for such a small town.

 

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One of the many steep stair paths we had to climb to get to our hostel. Pretty alleyway at night though. This was snapped at 4am as we left to catch our car to the train station to head to Aguas Calientes.

 

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Beautiful sights on the train journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.

 

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We arrived in Aguas Calientes at 8 am. After a very brief stop at our hostel, we were off on what turned out to be a very long trek. There’s Natasha and our guide, Carmen, as we walk to begin our trek up Putucusi mountain.

 

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Putucusi mountain. About half a dozen of these stairs and then just steep rocks to climb. We did not finish the climb…

 

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Instead of Putucusi mountain, we ended up trekking to a waterfall. It took about 5 hours there and back. We walked by train tracks for most of the way.

 

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Engulfed in trees, it truly felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, the silence pierced only by the sound of the river and the forest.

 

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Rock stacks, or cairns, by the waterfall. These are usually built as landmarks, but there are a variety of reasons people build them.

 

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My very own stack.

 

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Greta oto, or the glass-winged butterfly. So beautiful. I had seen one on Pinterest once, and couldn’t believe it was real or that I was seeing it fluttering in front of me.

 

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Finally, it was time for Machu Picchu. We were in the first bus to arrive at the site, at 6 am. The anticipation was killing me, and seeing the place covered in mist only added to the mystery and glory of the place.

 

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Just before the mist settled in on the site. It was absolutely spectacular and did not disappoint. I still can’t adequately describe the feeling of seeing this place after years of dreaming about it. Still awestruck.

 

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Different angle of the citadel.

 

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The mist covered the site completely for about 30 minutes. Though it was difficult to get pictures, it added to the majesty of the place and the realisation we were so high up in the mountains.

 

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One of the many llamas on site. They’re so adorable.

 

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And such posers.

 

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Another view of the citadel, with the battle training ground visible.

 

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The very first selfie I’ve ever taken. I blame Machu Picchu.

 

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Hands down, the best lunch view I’ve ever had.

 

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Goofing around.

 

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One more for the collection.

 

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After Machu Picchu, it was time to explore the colourful markets…and restrain myself from buying everything. I did go home with a pretty pink baby alpaca scarf.

 

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My final taste of lomo saltado, Peru’s national dish (or one of them). It is a stir fry that typically combines marinated strips of sirloin, or other beef steak, with onions and tomatoes, and is typically served with fries/chips and rice. The dish originated as part of the Chinese cuisine of Peru, though its increased popularity has now made it mainstream.

 

I took hundreds of photos in Peru, but I think this selection adequately summarises my few days there. It was a perfect trip at a perfect time. I know I only got a very small taste of Peru and hope to one day go back and see more of this wonderful country.

For now, adiós Peru.


7 thoughts on “Picture Perfect Peru

  1. nk Wathinja says:

    Have enjoyed the photos. Quite professional and educative.visit Kenya next dear

  2. Great photos, thanks for sharing! Peru is such a beautiful country.

    1. Reine Gammoh says:

      Glad you liked the photos. Peru is definitely a beautiful and very interesting place. I can’t wait to go back and see more of it.

  3. Peru is such an amazing country! Thanks for sharing the photos!

    1. Reine Gammoh says:

      It is! Glad you liked the photos 🙂

  4. Dan says:

    Did you use a tour company or just book everything independent? Great photos and article 🙂 tks

    1. Reine Gammoh says:

      I used a tour company for the Machu Picchu part of the trip. They organised the transfer from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and back, as well as the bus up to the site and a 2 hour guided tour. A bit of advice though: Some tour companies there try to scam you, as this one did and I’ve heard stories of others. The package on their site and on their brochures clearly stated what we were paying for (like the transfers, bus ticket, guide, dinner…etc) and yet when we got to Aguas Calientes and went to get the tickets to Machu Picchu, they told us that the bus ticket was no longer included (which meant an extra $20 each) and because they didn’t buy our tickets in advance, the mountain we wanted to climb was sold out. Also, the guide they provided, while absolutely wonderful and nice, was not very knowledgeable, which meant that we didn’t get a lot of the information that would have made the visit a lot richer. It’s pretty easy to organise it on your own, or if going with a tour company, make sure you ask them every little detail and make sure they stick to their word.

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