It has been four weeks since I returned home from my travels to Peru. I’m not sure why it has taken me this long to blog and post pictures about an experience that has altered what I’ve come to claim as my subterranean landscape. I guess part of the answer for the delay lies in that I’m still processing it. Well, I don’t guess. I know. But, alas, it’s time to post something… at least a general take. To that I say: I was overwhelmed with complete humility at the discovery that, though Peru is astonishingly poor, the landscape and people are beautiful in heart and soul. The first moment this realization struck me square on was during the second day of the tour while bike riding down toward the Sacred Inca Valley. As we rode through villages and along the countryside, we passed people going about the everyday business of their simple lives (manual farming, waiting for a ride or passing time chatting with a neighbor). All smiled or waved in greeting to the whoops and hollers of joy that issued forth from our group as we sped by. And that was what it was, joy. But a peculiar kind. It made my breath catch, my heart ache and my eyes fill. The kind that made me sad and happy and appreciative of my life all at once — and want to embrace these strangers who seemed so gentle in spirit despite their apparent downtroddeness. I have to wonder if living with the backdrop of the Andes has anything to do with them taking it all in stride.
More thoughts are to come, but, in the meantime, maybe the Faces of Peru and Machu Picchu Revealed galleries will begin to give you an inkling of this — the richness of Peru — for to fully experience what I felt, you must witness this country’s contrasts. It is worth the trip.