Getting to know the people of Peru
I just finished a wonderful 10 days in Peru. Lima is a cool city, it is modern and hectic but there is plenty of ancient history. Even though the city is surrounded by desert, it is cloudy most of the year and a light mist could fall at any time. I really enjoyed getting out into the countryside and visiting small towns and villages. We flew from Lima 90 minutes to Cusco, which is at 11,000 feet. We immediately went down to the Sacred Valley, which is only at about 8,000 feet. Walking around I could feel the altitude but it wasn’t a problem there. We did several sides trips including our day at Machu Picchu, which is a special place (see blog post).
We spent four days in Cusco, which has nearly 1 million people, but it still felt like a small town. Everywhere I walked somebody was trying to sell me something and most of the stuff looked the same. At one large Inca ruin we came across a man who was an old friend of Fernando. The man had a long gray beard and wonderful smile. He spoke perfect English and as we talked he spoke about how we spend too much time worrying about the past and the future and not enough time on the present. Being present is something I forgot to do a lot, being a photographer helps because I use my camera to capture the present and when I’m making photos my mind hopefully is focused on where I am and what I’m doing right now.
There was a lot to see in Peru and we met many great people, including some of the last true Inca descendants. We chatted with people on the street, including three guys who we thrilled that I bought a grilled guinea pig for them. People are proud of their heritage and many have a special connection with nature and the earth.