We are off to South America! 13,900 miles in 10 flights, over 400 miles by ship and ferry, countless bus miles and first class train to Machu Picchu through the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Read more
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  • 13days
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  • 14.5kmiles
  • 13.9kmiles
  • 407sea miles
  • 48miles
  • 34miles
  • 0.5sea miles
  • Ready!

    March 5, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

    A commitment is made! Airfare from Miami and from the continent to the Galapagos and local, included!

  • Day 1


    April 11 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 43 °F

    Learning: always purchase all travel, all legs at once if possible. We thought we might lay over in LA to visit the kids… so bought the SEA to LA leg separately. we wound up in the international line due to our destination and they were able to link our trips and send our bags through to Lima. CLEAR was backed up and I hung up at TSA because of my belt an RFID. Also, with an international destination you should plan extra time at the airport to deal with stuff. The Delta app tracks our bags and sends a text message when they are loaded on the plane.Read more

  • Day 1

    Centurion Lounge LAX

    April 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

    Arrived in time between terminals 2&3. It was a zoo to say the least. You can now walk all the way to the TBIT without having to exit security and things got calmer, quieter and less crowded. Finding the Centurion Lounge was a little tricky, but we finally found the down elevator. Nice to have a little breakfast, coffee and hangout. Definitely worth the gyration to have a Pt Amex card, which gets you in. Our last look at fruit!Read more

  • Day 1

    Business Class !

    April 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

    Even better than going to Spain on premium coach. It’s called business class but it’s first class. The seats fully flatten into a bed and they give you a roll of egg crate and a down blanket. You get socks and slippers and a mint! We booked through Delta Airlines, but the international legs are on LATAM Airlines a major South American carrier.Read more

  • Day 2

    Hotel Costa del Sol Wyndham

    April 12 in Peru ⋅ ☁️ 72 °F

    We arrived on time and made it through customs and then baggage claim, and then all of the taxi stands and “curb side porters” who will try to “check you in!” Or tow your bag and then demand a tip, “only $5!” The hotel is pretty nice digs and a nice breakfast buffet. Really, a perfect spot if you have to land and then turn around a fly off the next morning to Cusco (Machu Picchu) or Guayaquil (Galapagos). It’s now clear that this trip will be a lot more moving than we realized! Being right across from the airport terminal (like the Burbank parking garage is across from the Burbank terminal), we hear some traffic noises. The traffic wrangler whistles sound like frog chirps! We will pass through this airport several times as we travel up to Machu Picchu through Cusco and then on to Guayaquil and the Galapagos and then back to our return flight to LAX.Read more

  • Day 2

    Tour of Lima

    April 12 in Peru ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    We tried a Lima tour through the GetYourGuide app. We had a private car pick us up at the hotel. Then it went Wild West. First there are no rules for driving in Peru. None. You can cut over without signaling you can park your cart in the middle of a three lane highway, or let your dog sleep in the middle of the road. The only thing that would give you any pause would be the cost, time, hassle and police bribe that would ensue from a collision. Other than that anything goes. Add cars, vans, tuck tucks , buses filled to the gills with workers, large trucks and construction vehicles, swarms of motorbikes of every kind and temperament, street vendors, pedestrians and the odd cart of junk. Oh and traffic officers that wave a flag while engrossed in their cell phone. Lights do seem to stop most traffic, but there are exceptions. Lines and stripes are completely optional decorations that have no meaning whatsoever . All this combines into impressive traffic jams. I thought Mexico was scary. I would never, ever drive a car in Lima. It took 45 minutes to go 8km to the Plaza San Martin. So I would describe the major plazas in Lima as new world neoEuropean architecture. It was interesting, but as it is much more geographically active, the earthquakes and tsunami have taken their toll. Think of it as a cinder block Baroque rebuild. The tough thing Peruvians have going for them is the long term government corruption and economic chaos of the 1980s an 90s with inflation of 10,000%. Holy carp. They’re lucky to still be here and there’s been heroic progress. But things have a heavy care worn, hard scrabble feel. Anyway, the capitol is sort of on lockdown due to protestors, so walking around squares is cool, but not through them. We toured the Franciscan monestary and their extensive catacombs. Oddly and disappointingly the sanctuary wasn’t even included. But we did get to see an interesting version of The Last Supper: a round table, a demon whispering into Judas’ ear, the Sun and Moon (obvious native symbology) at an equal perspective of the crucifix resplendent. Oh, and Jesus is serving his apostles Cuy (guinea pig), potatos (discovered here) and native peppers. The drinks are not wine, but native beer. Back home through The Wild West part II and a Pisco sour and dinner at the surprisingly good airport Wyndham restaurant called Paprika.Read more

  • Day 3

    Qorikancha/Inca Grill/Cusco

    April 13 in Peru ⋅ ☁️ 64 °F

    We tour the Dominican Monastery built atop the Inca temple of Qorikancha to indicate the dominance of European Catholicism over the animist/naturalist indigenous. This was one of numerous shrines located around the main Inca Plaza. These shrines included other sacred places: rocks, caves, springs, etc. venerated by the population of Cusco. All these places were called wakas. The wakas were connected with each other by imaginary lines that radiated from Qoricancha and were known as seqes. In Quechua, seqe means “line.” Qorikancha was the center from which the seqes spread. Around 16 important wakas were located within its walls or close to it. Among these wakas were buildings, squares, sacred stones and fountains. The most detailed and complete description of the seqes system in contained in the treatise: History of the New World (1653) by the Jesuit Bernabe Cobo. Cobo, in his turn, copied the list of the seqes from another manuscript, now lost, by Juan Polo de Ondegardo. Benabe Cobo lists and describes 328 wakas connected with each other by 41 or 42 seqes. Each seqe line linked from three to fifteen wakas. The seqes were distributed among the four provinces of the Inca Empire. the provinces Chinchaysuyu, Antisuyu and Qollasuyu had nine seqes each, while in the Kuntisuyu province fourteen or fifteen seqes were concentrated. The painting made by the Cusco artist Miguel Araoz Cartagena shows us a scheme of the seqes of Cusco. Qorikanch is the center of the radiating lines. The four background colors mark the four provinces of the Tawantinsuyu Empire: the orange color corresponds to Chinchaysuyu, the yellow color to Antisyuyu the green to Qollasuyu and the red one to Kuntisyuy. The lines represent the 41 seqes. The points on the lines symbolize the 328 wakas situated on the seqes. In the 1970s the anthropologist Tom Zuidema developed a hypothesis according to which the seqe system was closely related to the Inca calendar. The hypothesis suggested that each day of the year corresponded to one of the wakas. On that day cult was rendered to it and offerings were made. Besides, Zuidema presumed that the wakas served as places for astronomic observations. A light lunch with lots of sitting for acclimatization was had a restaurant (Inca Grill) built atop a former temple.

    The deities venerated in Qorikancha were personified celestial bodies and meteorologicl phenomena. In order to understand these beliefs, it is necessary to make reference to Inca astronomy, which is known to us through some brief mentions in colonial chronicles and through the folk astronomy of Quechua communities of today. The painting by the Cusco artist Miguel Araoz Cartagena shows the Milky Way over Cusco, in the months of July and August, when the sky is clear and most of the astronomical phenomena venerated by the Incas can be easily observed. In the Andes, the Milky Way is called “mayu” (celestial river). Unlike the Western constellation composed of groups of starts, the Andean culture distinguishes dark spots against the light background of the Milky Way and identifies them with silhouettes of animals that have come to drink its waters and darken its shining with their shadows. These spots are called “Yama phuyu” (black clouds). On the right hand side of the painting Machaguay, or the big water serpent, appears. In the center, two small figures of Yutu (partridge) and Hamp’atu (toad) can be seen. They are followed by the female llama with two shining eyes corresponding to the stars Alpha and Beta Centuari. Underneath in the upside-down position is her cub, the baby Llama. The llamas are chased by the fox (Atoq) with red eyes e. In some communities, a figure of the shepherd, with his arms extended towards the llamas, is seen in places of the fox. His legs coincide with the rear paws of the fox. The chronicle of Polo de Ondegado dating to 1585, reas: “..They ??? Two other [stars]…called Catuchillay y Unachillay, that pretend to be a sheep [llama] with a lamb…They also adore another star Machacuay, which is in charge of all the Serpents and Snakes, so that they do not do them any evil, and in general, they [the Incas], believed that all the animals and birds had their likeness in the sky, where responsibility was their position and augmentation.” Possibly, when speaking about “stars”, Polo de Ondegado referred to “Yana phuyu”, a concept which is totally strange to Western astronomy and then could not be fully understood by the author of the chronicle.
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