Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Highlights of 42 Days of Travel: Peru

Forty two days of travel makes for a LOT of special travel memories!! And pictures, to the tune of more than 2700! I’ll post each country and state separately rather than trying to condense everything into one huge blog post.

Are we there yet? (Notice how little baby belly I had. Boy did THAT change by trip’s end!!) 

We began with an early morning flight to La Paz and then Cusco, Peru, the land of Machu Picchu! After a very long hike on a muddy cobblestone path, we found our hotel for the NEXT night to leave our two suitcases, then hike back down and find a bus to take us to the little pueblo of Ollantaytambo.

This was our hostel for the (cold) night. Across the river are more Inca ruins that we didn't have time to explore. The area is FULL of them!

Jake won’t like me saying this, but I would have been happy just hanging out in Ollanta even more than doing Machu Picchu! It was a neat little place of steep mountains, a rushing river, green foliage, a great bakery, and narrow pedestrian paths that seemed ancient.

The next morning we took the train and a bus and arrived at the famous Inca ruins! I never imagined I would make the trek but Jake has wanted to visit for years and was so excited to finally be here. The history of the place is fascinating. At least, what little we know. The visit raised more questions than answers, answers lost with the Incas themselves hundreds of years ago. Otherwise, the best part of the day was watching Jake’s enthusiasm, particularly at the rocks themselves. :)

Yes, there were many tourists (probably 1,000 at the ruins?), and yes it was a pricey trip, but Jake says that YES it is worth it!!

A view off the mountain on our hike to the Inca Bridge. 

The whole day was a piece of cake for Jake physically but I was wiped out by the end with all the hiking and steps. (At least the elevation was a tad less than Cochabamba’s at 8000 feet.) After our big day we took a bus, a train, another bus (due to impassable tracks), a taxi, and then hiked up to our room way above the city for a quick night’s sleep before heading to Arequipa, Peru, the next morning. I had my first pregnancy leg and foot cramps that night and they were pretty bad. Jake saved me with his salt pills, the first of many times on the trip!

For the next portion of our Peru trip, we stayed with Jake’s former pastor’s family, now missionaries at a girl’s home in Arequipa. It was nice for me to finally be able to meet more of the Hargroves! (Some of you will recall the other bearded man at our Cochabamba wedding. That’s Scott Hargrove, who came over from Peru to be Jake’s best man.)

We had a great time in their home, seeing the area (a first just for me as Jake has been several times), and visiting with the girls and a team from Washington at the hogar. Somehow, neither one of us took any pictures! Well, just this one, of Volcano Misti in the distance from the Hargrove's apartment:

Next post: our two days in New York City and Long Island!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Walking to dinner on our first night back in Cochabamba, Jake said he felt like a "reset" button had been pushed in his life. I know what he means, because every time I go on a trip, I come back to Bolivia and Casa de Amor with fresh enthusiasm and a new perspective. Stepping away for a bit and coming back clarifies so many things! 

I told Jake on that walk that I’d decided right before leaving the states to start another blog when back, an idea I’d already toyed with ever since my life changed so much this past year. When I lived in the Baby Home and my life revolved 24/7 around Casa de Amor, the general blog of the homes (here) worked for even personal musings, but now it’s time for a change!

So, here I will record some of the big events of our growing family. After this whirlwind year, it will be neat to have a journal of sorts to read later!

The next blog post will be about our wonderful six weeks of travel. I'll try to decide on just a few highlights and pictures!

Hasta Pronto,