Thursday, June 8, 2017

Best. Trip. Ever.

The title above was the Facebook status I posted as we were leaving Peru. The husband and I were in total agreement that the trip we were finishing was our best trip yet. (I'm excluding our two stays in Vietnam since those were more the living-there variety.) This was also the first trip we'd taken as a guided tour. We had a travel agent help us getting things schedule on our 2014 visit to Australia, but not in a guided tour sense.

We booked our trip through Odysseys Unlimited, a company I chose chiefly because of its insistence on small groups; the Treasures of Peru tour we took was capped at 24 people; it turned out that only 19 showed up. It was a good group. I had thought that I, at 60, might be the youngest in the group, but there was a mother-daughter pair in which the daughter was 50. Besides the mother-daughter pair, there were seven married couples, and three solo travelers. As one might expect, we got to know some people better than others. I will admit that I never really learned everybody's name though I did learn which two people went together as a couple.

Our tour consisted of 11 days in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Lake Titicaca. We and two other couples had also booked an extension of three days in the Amazonian rain forest after the principal tour ended. Most of the folks on the tour were retired; the husband and I may have been the only still-employed ones there. We shared names and other information at the organizational meeting on the morning of the first day (most of us had arrived the evening before). We also met Sheila, our tour director. After the formalities, we visited some vestiges of colonial Lima, beginning with the central plaza.
There were various school groups there, identifiable by their school uniforms. It was not clear what these folks were doing on a side street just off the plaza; your guess is as good as mine.
Down a side street off the plaza, we visited Casa Aliaga, one of the oldest homes in Lima. The land for this house was a gift to the Aliaga family from Francisco Pizarro. It is hard to say how large the house is, as we were only allowed to visit part of it. That part included this courtyard.
There was also an library that was not too well-lit, but still quite impressive.

After Casa Aliaga, we visited the Larco Herrera Museum, which brought back some memories of the Phallological Museum in Reykjavik (described at the very end of this post from 2016). These were not biological specimens, though, but a collection of pre-Columbian ceramics.
Don't you just love the facial expression in the second photo?

While many aspects of Peru (to be covered  in a later post), one thing reminded me instead of Rome. There, it seems as if any excavation to build a new building will uncover some sort of archaeological find. We passed something like that in Lima, set right beside an expressway.
We had the evening free, but taking photos off four cameras (we each carried two) and getting things in line for the next day's flight to Cusco and the Sacred Valley meant no blogging in "real" time, a state that continued throughout the tour.


Va said...

You set it up perfectly. I am salivating for the rest!

cbott said...

Those ceramics are a hoot. The first pair remind me of my girl cat Zoe when one of the "boy" cats (they still believe it, anyway) tries to mount her. The second pair is a scene seen every day these days--they're taking a selfie!