Look! A Monkey!

The last big event of our 11-month round-the-world tour was to view the Nazca lines in western Peru. We took an overnight bus to descend the mountains surrounding Cusco to the small coastal town that flanks the mysterious formations. The bus is notorious for inducing nausea so four of the Six took dramamine as we…

Putting a Price on Wonder

We made it to Machu Picchu! We pulled out of Cusco at 7:00 am and an hour and a half later were deep in the Sacred Valley at the town of Ollantaytambo, boarding point for our train to Machu Picchu. The roads were oddly quiet, populated only by the occasional cow or goat. Nowhere were…

Gateway to Ancient Glory

Our bus ride to Cusco from Puno was yet another lesson in Latin American politics for our family. While at the time we viewed the hassles as a travel novelty, we later realized how lucky we were to make the journey unscathed. The strikers did not turn violent against us personally but we learned that…

Titicaca or Bust

We breathed a collective sigh of relief as we crossed the border into Peru, hoping that our final country would offer relief from the problems that had plagued us in Senor Morales’ socialist mountain dominion. For the first few days we lived in idyllic ignorance and soaked up the flavors of Puno, the gritty city…

Escaping Bolivia or Busses, Busses, Busses

Our escape plan consisted of us getting a bus to Chile from Ururu, then getting another to Arica, Chile, hopping on another to Tacna, Peru, then yet another to Arequipa, Peru, then another to Puno, Peru, and finally ending this terrible journey in Cusco, Peru…. We had heard Chile had some of the world’s best buses, this bus was more like a Greyhound from the 50’s that had at one time or another been abandoned in the middle of the desert only to be found again, and put back into service. Fortunately we managed to sleep through the majority of this bus ride and awoke to the sight of the Arica bus station in front of us. From here we attempted to find a ticket to Tacna, which we found a difficult task…. This was one of the oddest border crossings we encountered, it involved being dropped off by a taxi on one side, waiting in a long line and then getting stamped out of Chile, getting back in the taxi and waiting in another line until we got stamped into Peru.

Machu Picchu Accomplished

Fortunately we booked our Machu Picchu tickets for the weekend, during which the strikers took a brief reprieve from their mayhem-making. (Our visit was amazing and we’ll document it in full within the next week.) We exited our train in Ollantaytambo this morning only to be greeted by a small legion of riot police. Apparently…

We are just about there….

This is just a quick realtime update. We are minutes away from Machu Picchu. We passed piles of rocks and broken glass on the road but arrived problem free. We still might get stuck here, but I can think of worse places to be stuck.