Machu Picchu

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Are there adequate words to describe a place as breathtaking as Machu Picchu?  If there are, I can’t seem to find them, even now, several years later.  We arrived just before the sun rose, and spent most of the day wandering around the ruins in quiet disbelief that this was real, that we were there.

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Islas Ballestas

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One of the more beautiful places we visited were the Islas Ballestas outside of Paracas on the southern coast of Peru.  We cruised around in a little boat, seeing geoglyphs carved in the mountain side before heading further out to where the rocky islands rose out of the sea.  There were penguins, pelicans, sea lions, and seals on the rocks, and a dozen species of birds swirling around in the air.  Afterwards, we drove around the desert, where the sand was so full of iron that, when the sand met the sea, it was all turned a dark and rusty red, though sadly my camera battery died just before we got there.  We spent an hour collecting sea glass and spotted a huge flock of flamingos in the distance, and today we have a little jar with all of that Peruvian sea glass and one pink feather, a gift carried over on a breeze from that distant flamingo flock.

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Arequipa

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Arequipa, in southern Peru, is a lovely city, but my heart only really remembers the Monasterio de Santa Catalina.  Built nearly 450 years ago, the monastery was built as a cloister for upper-class nuns, and it is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever been.  Even now, when I try to find a quiet place in my mind, I travel back there, and I sincerely hope I’ll get to visit again someday.

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Lake Titicaca

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We spent a few days in and around Lake Titicaca, sleeping on its shores in Puno, floating around on Uros, beautiful islands entirely constructed of reeds, and having a lovely lunch on Taquile, where I bought a beautiful woven bracelet that I still wear every day.

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Wanderings: Peru

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Winter seems to be extending her icy hand into March, and since we’re still a week away from longer days, I thought it might be fun to share a few photos from greener days.  Several years ago we spent a couple of weeks traveling around Peru.  It was an absolutely magical adventure, spanning emerald mountains, golden deserts, massive lakes, and wild rocky coasts, forcing us to stretch the limits of our abilities in Spanish, brave foreign cross-country bus trips, and cope with headaches and aching lungs while hiking at high altitudes.  They were a couple of the best weeks of my life.

Here are few photos taken around Cuzco and Lima.

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