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Back from Peru

With only a few non-European countries hosting me on my traveling itineraries to date, I feel a bit of a pretender calling myself a “world traveler”. While I expect to always remain a Europhile, I am certainly looking to expand my coverage of other continents. A just-concluded trip was the first one focused entirely on a South American country, namely, Peru.

In the space of ten days I explored Lima, Arequipa, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, and, of course, Machu Picchu. Other destinations of interest could not fit into this allotment of time, but as always, I recognize the impossibility of embracing the immensity. I focused on doing justice to the several places I could comfortably fit into only ten days in the country.

The actual arrangements of tours, transfers, flights, etc., were outsourced to a specialist agency, PeruForLess. They did an admirable job building a custom itinerary according to my wishes, and then – a couple of easily remedied tiny hiccups aside – followed through on the details. I spent decidedly more time in airports and on planes than I ever had on a single-country trip before, but I suspect I would be worse off in terms of time idly lost if I were to default to my usual approach of self-driving and self-directing. To say nothing of the fact that you need to be positively loco to attempt to drive in Lima or Cuzco.

So I walked around the cities, visited historic sites, stepped into museums – did all the things that I like to do on my own but also mixed that up with guided tours (both private and in a group) aided by dedicated drivers. Along the way, I ate a lot of amazing food, downed quite a few of pisco-based cocktails, and practiced my admittedly limited Spanish wherever I could (and got a few completely undeserved compliments in that respect).

Of course, the itinerary was built around World Heritage billing, so I added five more sites to my roster. Several thousand pictures remain to be sifted through and will undoubtedly produce a number of retrospectives in due time.

For a teaser, I had to pick a Machu Picchu view.
Machu Picchu
I am sure you have seen this perspective online or in the books elsewhere, but probably not in rain and fog.

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