For ten days in August 2003 with backpacks, cameras and my eleven year old son in tow I traveled throughout southern Peru.

Beginning in Lima, we first traveled to Cusco “the real Peru”, according to our guide and good friend, Isaias Cardenas. From Cusco, we ventured south through Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Quora, Sicuani and onto the remote highlands village of Phinaya, which at 5000 meters was the highest elevation these Kansas flatlanders had ever ventured.

Returning to Cusco for a “breather”, we set off to Machu Picchu and lastly to Puno and Isla Taquile on Lake Titicaca, the worlds highest navigable lake. After climbing half of the 530 steps from the lake to the village of Taquile, Sam exclaimed, “I’d been happy to go home after Machu Picchu”! At 4,200 meters it was quite the hike up, but our efforts were rewarded by partaking in the islands biggest festival – the pachamama feast day.

We found the Peruvians to be warm and gracious people who opened up their homes and hearts to us.


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