Sunday, April 22, 2012

From Cusco to Aguas Calientas!

To get from Cusco to Aguas Calientas, we first took a Combi van (only a little sketchy...) to Ollantaytambo. 

We had the best views!

Including Savannah sleeping...

At Ollantaytambo!

It was SO pretty!  So fresh and clean smelling!

We got drinks while we waited for the train to Aguas Calientas.

I may have had a thing for cool lamps... :o)

And rustic decor...

 Our train! 

So exciting!

Turns out, it wasn't our train... so still waiting...

Outside a Japanese shop

Okay, this is our train, for real!

Welcome signs to Machu Picchu!

So so so blue!

And so green!

The train followed a river!

Fancy/ delicious snacks on the train ride!  I apparently bought the fancy tickets with food included...

Besties!  With fancy train treats!

View from the train window- with cool train reflection!

Our Peruvian high school (or middle school?) boyfriends.  They were hilarious!

The moon!

Plaza de Armas in Aquas Calientas!

Posing with hot Peruvian statues!

Ooo la la!

Fun times with the Bestie!

Fancy dinner with fancy drinks!

Being weird with a spoon (i.e. not good at sexy pictures... :o)

Cool decorations!

Again with the lamp obsession... can I just take them home?!!

Delicious dinner!

Unique wall hanging thing... love it!

Next stop- Machu Picchu!!

Savannah arrives! + Cusco, Peru

I've never been SO excited to see a familiar face!  Yay for Savannah!

Us at the Lima, Peru airport.  Waiting and waiting and waiting for our flight (it was so late!)

Made it to our cute hostel!  We could totally tell that I woman ran this one... much cleaner.  Savannah enjoying her Coca tea (made from Coca leaves to help with altitude sickness, don't judge :o)

My cup!  It was nice to drink something warm- we didn't realize how cold Cusco would be!!

The view!

The restaurant recommended to us by the kind Lima, Peru hostel owners.  Chi cha!  Totally the best place we ate at in Cusco!

Delicious bread

Fancy drink made with Chicha morada (purple corn)

Our delicious dinners!  Savannah totally won the entry selection with a pumpkin ravioli thing. It was life changing, really!

Cusco at night- there was a huge party with the 100 year anniversary since Machu Picchu was discovered.

Architecture stuff for my daddy.  The city was built with stone blocks cut and sanded perfectly to fit together without mortar.  As you can see, you can't fit a card between the blocks!

Me with my cool new hat scarf thing.  We may have went shopping for gloves, scarves, hats, etc.  Anything to help us stay warm!  

Cusco at night- the view from our hostel.

The party fireworks!  We could hear the party all night!

My second cup of Coca tea- I was starting to feel sick from the altitude.  I was told by the nice hostel people that it's more effective without sugar.  So, second cup it is, sin azucar!

While reading my scriptures... don't judge :o)

Lunch time!  Savannah is eating the hardest bread in the world...

We did find the best hot cocoa ever!  So yummy!


My dear Savannah- you're the best travel buddy!  I had so much fun with you on this trip!  Thanks for visiting me in Austin last week- it was so much fun to show you around!  Loves!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lima, Peru- solita!

So, I had a day in Peru before Savannah arrived- just enough time to explore a little and go to the Lima, Peru temple!

Pathway to the beach.

So green! So pretty!

The path I took to get to the beach. It was a little steep on the way back up...

The ocean! Such high waves!

And of course, the surfers! They were really quite amazing!

The skyline in Miraflores (the area in Lima I was staying at). Lima was SO cloudy! I was told that it's only sunny in Lima in the summer...

Then on to the temple! It looked a bit like the Las Vegas, NV temple.


My new little friend and I outside the temple. I asked his mother to take a picture of me in front of the picture. He was super shy, but he had his mom ask if I would take a picture of just him in front of the temple and then take one with him. So cute!

On another fun note, everyone at the temple thought I was crazy walking around not wearing a coat (note: I'm holding my coat. It was misting, but only 75 degrees! Totally not cold enough for a jacket :o) Also, a lot of people stopped me to make sure I had a safe taxi (I got that the mission home uses) and a place to stay (I was at a safe hostel in Miraflores. Note, I did not say nice, but safe. It was definitely run by males... and a little stinky... but the workers and the other patrons were super kind and helpful. Never felt not safe. :o)

For me, Lima was a very different experience. It was a HUGE, strange city with lots of dangers. I've been to large cities before, but none with the great safety risks of being an American (thank you Taken for putting such fears into my heart... :o). It took a lot of courage for me to go around Lima by myself, even with the precautions I took to be safe. I prayed a lot, took a lot of deep breaths, and kept moving forward. It was only 24 hours by myself, but I changed a lot during that time. Sometimes I wish I was braver, but it's good to know I can keep moving even when the fear threatens to overcome my faith.