Peru / by Emily Kaplan

First stop...Lima, Peru...llama or alpaca?

We arrived in the early evening and headed directly to a museum for a quick little tour and a wonderful first dinner. People were still getting to know each other, but I think it was my Peruvian dance moves demonstration that set the tone for the rest of the trip. Someone said afterwards that Dancing with the Stars had called for me. This is a great group…even if at times I feel like I have crashed a retirement camp :o)

The next morning we had breakfast at after breakfast we boarded a bus and headed back to the airport for a short flight to Cusco. On the way there I learned that after the discos closes around 5am the thing to do is to head to a restaurant for some chicken soup…apparently this helps them find their way home…no Taco Bell or I-Hop for these Peruvians. One woman thought they were very religious because they were walking the streets all dressed up on Sunday morning…when actually they had just left the clubs.

There are also a lot of casinos in Lima…the translation for slot machine in Peru is coin swallower…man they got that right. So we make it to the airport and are heading through their tight security…nothing gets my them…not even a machine gun…if I knew how to post a photo from my iPhone I’d show you the photo of the big clear box of weapons they have collected from passengers…ok…the gun may have been a fake…but it was pretty funny since they had us worried about even bringing a pencil on board.

We arrive in Cusco really early and head straight to a ruin site (sounds like sexy woman) that overlooks the city. There were several Peruvians selling their crafts and dressed up for photos…this was the first time I have ever tipped someone for a photograph…really takes away from the candidness of it all when they're expecting to be paid for each photo. The city itself was nice…I wish we would have had more time to explore the streets of Cusco, but since I really enjoyed visiting Machu Picchu I might have another chance someday. We stayed at an old Monastery…the food here was incredibly good…especially the alpaca...yes alpaca.

On the second day we took a 3 hour train ride down to Machu Picchu. Not knowing what I was getting myself into I decided to hike the Sun Gate trail with a couple of friends from the trip…we had spectacular views and luckily missing the rain. Hopefully you will get somewhat of an idea from the photos…I’ll have to point out which mountain it was that we climbed. Next stop Easter Island.