Final Thoughts

We were fortunate to have a great group of fellow travelers.  We were among the oldest.  Half of the group were in their 20's or early 30's.  Ten of them climbed one of the two Machu Picchu peaks, which was a monumental feat.  Then, during some free time in Lima, they wound up going hanggliding, even though none had done that before.  It was neat to see the camaraderie that formed among previous strangers and how encouraging everyone was to each other. 

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Our primary guide was great also, introducing us not only to the Peruvian sights but also to the traditions, including corn on the cob as a quick snack for a long bus ride!  We joined him and many others followed in grabbing the treat from the street stall.

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We were lucky enough to be in Peru during a couple celebration days.  One day at the airport we were greeted with treats and dancing because it was the national day of tourism.  More interesting, we heard some commotion and found it to be a parade of sorts which included music and dancing by many differently costumed groups.  We later learned that it was the time of year that student groups celebrate  the coming of Spring.  Spontaneous dance is always more interesting to us than tourist shows!

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Peru is definitely a land of contrasts - from high mountain peaks to desert shorelines, from lush valleys to barren hillsides, from impoverished shanty towns to regal city buildings and from one cultural native group to another.  The history and mystery surrounding so many Inca ruins is fascinating and, thankfully, Peru is doing well at encouraging the rest of the world to come and explore the colorful diversity of this intriguing country.  We raise the national drink, pisco, in celebration of Peru and the Inca!

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