Posts tagged: mysterious

Peru Machu Picchu June, 2013

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MACHU PICCHU   PERU    JUNE 2013

Why Machu Picchu?  The mystery?  It was on my “bucket” list?  Many reasons.   After some fumbling on my part,  OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel…a great company…) ironed out all the wrinkles and I arrived accompanied by my oldest son, Jeff (what mother is lucky enough to have her mature son all to herself for ten whole days?  Besides Barbara Streisand that is…Road Trip.)   There was a unison gulp, when he opened the  door at that first hotel room…I looked at him and he looked at me.

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 At the orientation meeting there was a line on our survey sheet:  “What is the one thing that you would not want to happen on this trip?”  I looked over Jeff’s shoulder:  “Sleep with my mother!” in very bold print.  Not a problem, a room across the street in a different hotel.

Our small group (16) was made up of a young couple in their twenties), old…Charles and me nudging into the 8th decade of our lives,  middle aged couples and single ladies of all ethnic and religious persuasions:  Iranian, Asian, Caucasian.

We ventured out onto the streets of Lima (pronounced Leema by the way)  with Marco, our guide.  Now don’t walk and look at our landmarks, stand still because our streets are...”  Too late.  I was lying flat on the sidewalk face down.  The group gathered…unexpected consequences?  Everyone looked after me for the entire trip.  No harm done except a knot on the forehead and a scraped chin…I’m too old to get embarrassed.

Thus started an adventure that taxed my physical endurance, my hearing (not grand) and my delicate pallet… roasted Guinea pig?  And for those of you who are too delicate to ask,  yes, I did find a bathroom when I needed it. (Thanks to Marco who understood the needs of middle aged and older folks.)

We climbed, and climbed and climbed, rafted, rode death defying buses along narrow, twisty roads where you couldn’t see the valley below (no guard rails, of course).   We saw the mystery of massive stone work creating structures with seams so tight no mortar was needed and no explanation of how they got to the top of the mountain from a quarry six miles away across a river in the valley below.  We saw Indians living as they have forever…dirt floors, no running water, electricity, but very few beggars.  We saw children beautifully dressed and others barefoot running along the railway with hands outstretched.

We stayed in comfortable hotels and the beautiful Urubamba Inn  overshadowed by snow capped mountains, with fog clouds wafting in through rising sun rays touching the large stone gardens colored with daisies, hydrangeas, and many unnamed flowers.  We were introduced to “purple” corn a favorite beverage and many different varieties of potatoes.  Fish and chicken and delicate deserts rounded out our meals.  Marco told us history tales and that Inca was not a tribe but a king…most supreme…The largest ransom ever paid for any person in history (to the Spaniards) who brutalized the people and  killed the captive king.

The most intriguing person was Marco, himself, born one of eight children who slept on a dirt floor with the Guinea pigs (all of the poorer families keep them as a source of food) and remembered being hungry most of his young life.  Today Marco has a college education, traveled to the US worked for OAT for many years and continues to practice his English. Although I found the history of Peru interesting,  I was most inspired by Marco’sJeff Pat Peru 059 personal story.  Opportunities exist around the world for individuals who dream and work hard.  Poverty does not have to be a yoke worn for a lifetime.

The most wonderful part of the trip was sharing it with Jeff who carried my bags and kept me turning in the right direction (I get lost very easily).    My tribute and thanks to  Marco will follow if I can figure out why it comes out all jumbled…Hell, Damn, and spit!    Maybe my next post… Ahhh  cut and paste worked.!

 

 

UPDATE

ODE TO MARCO
BY PAT ENGEBRECHT

THE WINDS OF TIME GATHER US FROM
WORLDLY HOMES BLOWING US TO
MOUNTAIN TOPS.  SIXTEEN SOULS
SEEKING PERSONAL DREAMS.

WE CLUSTER AROUND AN “OLD SOUL”
WHO HEARS OUR CLUCKING, SOOTHES
OUR RUFFLED PSYCHES WITH ANCIENT
TALES OF PAST TRAVELERS JOURNEYING
BEFORE US LEAVING MYSTERIOUS TEMPLES
TO GODS OF YORE.

EACH OF US WITH A SECRET NEED TO KNOW
THE ANSWERS THAT REMAIN LOCKED BETWEEN
SEAMLESS STONES ETCHED WITH POSSIBLE
CLUES TO IMPOSSIBLE FEATS OF CREATION.

WE ARE SHOWERED WITH TASTES AND SIGHTS
OF MOUNTAINS TOWERING NEAR THE SEA
WHERE WAVES EBB AND FLOW ERASING
PAST CLUES OF YESTERDAY’S DESCENDANTS.

LIFE’S TRIVIA IN THIS ANCIENT LAND AWAKEN
US TO OUR PRIVILEGES, EDGING OUR AWARENESS
WITH GUILT OF LUXURY TAKEN FOR GRANTED.

WEAVERS DYE THE BRIGHT COLORS OF THE PAST
INTO TODAY’S TRAPPINGS COVERING THEIR
HUNGER AND COLD WITH DREAMS OF A BETTER LIFE.

DOGS ROAM THE HILLS FORAGING HUMAN
DEBRIS FOR SUSTENANCE–WISE
TO THE DANGERS OF MODERN DAY WHEELS.

CHILDREN, SOME WELL DRESSED, BEAUTIFUL
OVERSHADOWED BY THE HUNGRY EYES
AND OUTSTRETCHED HANDS OF BAREFOOT
SHANTY SOULS CHASING TRAINS,
WHOSE WEALTH ABOUNDS IN FAMILY LOVE.

TOGETHER WE SHARE, REACHING OUT,
ENCOURAGING, PROTECTING AND SHARING
PERSONAL DREAMS AND SECRETS PAST,
A SHARING THAT LIGHTLY WEAVES A GARMENT
OF CONCERN THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME
IN OUR SOULS.

PHOTOS LOCKED IN CAMERAS PROMISE A
FALSE ETERNITY THAT WILL FADE WITH
TIME TO BE DISCARDED BY CHILDREN
OF THE FUTURE, BUT OUR SPIRITS
ARE FOREVER BOUND WITH THE
SHARING OF A MOMENT IN TIME.

THE VILLA URUBAMBA HOTEL, BEAUTIFUL
GARDENS, TERRIFYING ROAD; THE SUNRISE
OVER MACHU PICCHU, A RAFT TRIP
DOWN THE URUBAMBA RIVER, HIGH PLATEAUS,
SNOW CAPPED MOUNTAINS, WINDING ROADS AND
NARROW PATHS WITH STAIRS TO THE HEAVENS.

THE OCEAN WAVES POUND THE SHORE
AS WE GATHER TO SAY “FAREWELL.”
WE’VE SHARED BIRTHDAY CAKES,
ANNIVERSARY TOASTS AND PURPLE CORN.
WE VENTURE FORTH WITH MAE’S VOICE
ECHOING, “NO THANKS” TO ROASTED
GUINEA PIG.

A CHAPTER CLOSES.  WE SMILE, EMBRACE AND WAVE
FAREWELL, STRANGERS NO MORE.  WE GIVE
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR EARTHLY GUIDE.
IMAGES OF ANCIENT VOYAGERS, CHILDREN RUNNING FREE
IN A LAND OF MOUNTAINS AND SEA REMAIN DEEP
WITHIN OUR MEMORIES.  LIKE FIREFLIES ON
A SUMMER NIGHT, WE SHALL RETURN–REMEMBERING.

 

 

 

 

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