On our last day, before we said goodbye to Peru, we once again had some memorable, unexpected experiences. We were stunned to awake to snowy weather, as the day before on Lake Titicaca had been glorious.
Yesterday was supposed to be slow and relaxing. Somehow, it turned out to be quite busy!
We awoke this morning to rain - and even though it was a cold rain, several folks make the trek to MP, only to turn around and return to the hotel.
We left Yucay by bus this morning and headed to the train station where we boarded Peru Rail to the Town of Machu Picchu (MP). The train ride was as interesting and beautiful as the rest of our trip, as the train followed the river and we made our way through various ecosystems, including the lush tropical areas. When we arrived at the train station in MP, we boarded a bus to the MP site and that's where the TRUE wonder and amazement of this trip began.
There was a slight drizzle as we entered at the gates of MP, so we donned our rain jackets while others of us (me included) purchased a $2 poncho. About 10 minutes later, I was no longer wearing the poncho as the rain had stopped and our magical tour of MP began.
Day 4 with the True Blue Peru Crew! Every day in Peru is better than the one before! There is so much to share that I don't know where to begin.
The day started with a jog through the town of Yucay. I'm not sure how large the town is; I can only tell you that it has one traffic light. Running along the road was an adventure, as the drivers did not yield to me at all. I enjoyed seeing the dogs, donkeys, and cows, but was particularly inspired by the farmers who were out in the fields working the land by 6 AM. I returned to the hotel for an awesome breakfast. The contrast between our hotel and the poverty of Yucay is remarkable and has haunted me all day as we drove through other small towns on our way to various sites.
It's Day 3 on the Duke Alumni Association (DAA) "Treasures of Peru" trip to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca and I think we've had about 9 hours of sleep. As was the case with the first DAA trip that I took as the University representative two years ago, the travel logistics have been perfect (knock on wood) and the 24 alums on the trip are fabulous! Everyone is thoroughly enjoying getting introduced to the history and beauty of Peru and to getting to know each other. The classes represented by the alums range form 1959 to 2005, with some folks coming from as close to campus as Chapel Hill and as far away as San Diego, with Trinity, Fuqua and the Medical School represented.