Travel Journal

The Journey Ends

The first thing we did upon arriving at our hotel in Lima was to have a HOT shower (not available in the jungle!). Then, appreciating the cool sheets and air-conditioned room (but actually missing the constant drone of jungle insects), we passed our last night in South America in blissful slumber. We had spent the night in Lima a few weeks before enroute to Cusco, but did not get a chance to explore. So with the whole day to spend before our midnight flight, and wanting to get a good overview of the city in our limited time, we planned our own walking tour of the neighbourhood in the morning and booked into an afternoon city tour.

Our hotel was in the Miraflores district, an upscale area with modern highrises and highend shopping opportunities. We walked to park-like square filled with beautiful gardens and bordered by impressive churches, then wandered to and along the Malecon above the beach, equally as beautiful and modern. Normally we don’t like to participate in organized bus tours. You feel like one of a flock of sheep as you are herded around to the most touristy of sights. We felt exactly that as we loaded onto a shuttle van and then a tour bus with about 30 others. However, the positive side of doing the tour is that took us to parts of the Old City that we would not have had time to visit in one day. We saw some beautiful colonial architecture, a well-organized museum, a beautiful main square, massive churches and some interesting catacombs. We reluctantly admit we were glad to have done the tour and that we got a glimpse of what the city offers: a fusion of modern and traditional cultures, architecture and lifestyles. We finished our day in an Italian/Peruvian “Trattoria” with a delightful meal and some Chilean wine. We had a marathon of travel ahead and we hoped to be sufficiently relaxed!

And we were…in fact, everything went relatively smoothly (other than a slight delay on the tarmac in Seattle), all flights connected and we arrived in Vancouver as scheduled with our luggage!

Reflecting back now on our trip, it strikes me that we really covered a lot of ground and enjoyed a myriad of experiences in 2 countries in one month. So many moments stand out — the hike up Huayna Picchu to look down on Machu Picchu, hiking to Punamarca ruins in the Sacred Valley, the Pisac “dinner show”, dancing with the locals on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca, and drifting in a canoe in the Amazon in the dark, listening to the symphony of jungle sounds. It was always exciting to wake up each morning not really knowing what to expect in the day ahead. We learned to go-with-the-flow, opening up our senses and letting the culture engulf us. As I write this I feel somewhat melancholy…and realize that I miss the anticipation of facing the uncertainty of new surroundings and experiences that come with travel. While it is good to be home with familiar things, life evolves into something magical when you travel. So I’m already planning our next trip… 


"We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”  (anonymous)