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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Adios to Peru, Part 2

Standing at the top of Huayna Picchu

Continuing from yesterday . . . The final ten minutes of the climb were exhilarating. I could see how close I was to the peak. Also, people heading back down the mountain would tell us how close we were. At the very top, there was a Machu Picchu guide you could hand your phone to take pictures while you stand on the peak. He snapped some great ones. It was such an exhilarating view, and felt very peaceful up there. I was up there for maybe 30-45 seconds, but it felt like I could bathe in that moment for an hour.

Before starting the descent, I decided to plop down in a spot where I would be out of the way. I was still right near the peak and decided to have a quick lunch (fruit and snacks) and do some journaling. It felt so amazing up there, I was in no hurry to head back down. While eating lunch and journaling, I was definitely counting my blessings and expressing gratitude for the opportunity to take the trip to Peru. I was grateful for a positive experience at Hummingbird Healing Center outside of Iquitos, and my week in Cusco, with a two-day excursion to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Great experiences. Great weather. Great people. Great food. Just overall, a great trip.

Lunch break and journal session at the top of Huayna Picchu

The descent down Huayna Picchu was much easier, to no surprise. I felt amazing. I felt like I had just had a beautiful bonding experience with Mother Nature, in all her glory. It really felt that way this whole week, especailly on my tours outside of Cusco. I saw so much beauty in the mountains, fields, rivers, and sky, all providing wonder and amazement for me. Especially for those of us who live in the Midwest, we don't get mountains. They helped this 6'3" guy feel very small.

Heading back down the mountain

The line to get back to Aguas Calientes seemed longer than the line to get to Machu Picchu. Thnakfully, they had a great system where the busses were loading up people non-stop, and it was only a 20 minute wait. The guy behind me thought he was going to miss his train because the line looked so long. I agreed with him when he said, in about a month, we would probably be glad to stand in line again, over what we happen to be doing at the time. Those last 20 minutes at Machu Picchu. I took it all in, and it was beautiful.

When I got back into Aguas Calientes, I had a couple hours to spend in town. I decided to have lunch and opted for the filet mignon, which was huge, and half the price of what you would pay for one in the US. Yet another amazing meal that was almost the capstone of my trip to Machu Picchu. I spent the rest of the time strolling through the town and did end up having another cup of amazing coffee, with a huge chocolate croissant. I feel like I was spoiling myself at this point, but I wanted to finish the trip off in style, which apparently meant indulging my sweet tooth.

Filet Mignon

The croissant was as big as my hand!

The train ride back to Cusco was pleasant. I sat across from a couple who barely spoke English, but the woman offered me an Oreo. I was full from the croissant, so I was good. 😁 But again, just the friendliness and warmth of the people I interacted with over the two weeks I was in Peru. All of the positive interactions I had was the highlight, right up there with the beautiful views, the rich culture and history, followed by the amazing food. I'm sure I could have had a better experience, but I was more than satisfied with what I encountered over my two weeks in Peru. I believe it was the people that made it the most satisfying for me. It gave me hope. It made me feel like we are all doing this thing called life together, and we can treat it as such, by connecting with others and sharing our experiences.

Puts the Metra stations to shame 😄

View from train back to Cusco

I spent my final night in Cusco just wandering around the city, and taking in the nightlife. I decided to stop in a Peruvian Sports bar to grab a late dinner. I thought it was fitting that they seated me below a picture of Michael Jordan, my hero growing up. And, now I was about to head back to the Chicago area to continue the integration process. I was feeling great in the moment. I was ready to go home, but I wanted to enjoy every last minute in Cusco.

My last day in Cusco, I still had about 5-6 hours to enjoy the city. There was a festival going on, so I got to hear some live Peruvian music, with local dancers. And the weather was beautiful. I spent some time just sitting in the central plaza smoking a cigar. I took it all in. It was blissful. I had my last meal of quinoa with chicken and chicha morada, overlooking the street below, that I walked up and down all week. So delicious. So satisfying. I was able to reflect on my time in Cusco, and in Peru overall. Again, feeling blessed and greateful for the journey I had just been on. Now it was time to go home.

Taking in my last hour in Cusco

She had a beautiful voice

I was so grateful to make in home in one piece, with no nagging issues. As I stated previously, this trip made me want to travel more, outside of the US. I would also go back to Cusco in a heartbeat. I know there is so much I did not experience, and so many more restaurants to try. 😁 I plan on sharing more pictures, but there are so many to choose from. Until the next post, I will simply say, I had the most amazing time in Peru, and I'm happy you could follow along. Thank you for sharing this experience with me


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