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Peru Adventures: The Sacred Valley and More

This is our crazy story about how we ended up in Machu Picchu…engaged!

Note before we begin: Lots of the photos I use in this post were taken by the adventurous photographer/videographer Aidan Haley. He has become a good friend and an inspiration for us to live life abundant!

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It was almost a year ago exactly that Berty gave me a call…he had won a contest!! He was going to Peru for an adventure in Machu Picchu and he could pick one other person to come along…glad he chose me. 😉 From that moment on, the whole summer was about preparing for the trip of a lifetime. Seeing Machu Picchu had been a dream of Berty’s since he was a kid, so this was a pretty big deal to him!

Fast forward to the end of the summer and here we are, on our way. IMG_1443
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Lima, Peru: Our first stop was Lima, Peru. We had a night here and would officially begin our trip on the next morning’s flight to Cuzco. In the meantime, we had plans to meet up with the Peru 2015 Krochet Kids Intl. interns in Miraflores. It was such a fun night of exchanging stories and hearing about the impact that this company makes on the lives of women in Peru. Berty and I loved every minute of that evening!

 

 

 

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Cusco, Peru: First of all, these mountains were INSANE. The plane was practically empty so Berty went from seat to seat finding the best view. Later, we flew into the city and landed at ELEVEN-THOUSAND FEET! When we got off the plane, we were shocked to discover that it was hard to catch our breath…downhill. After settling into our hotel, we decided to take a nice sloowwww walk around the city center to acclimate ourselves to the elevation. Cusco is such a unique place – beautiful, historic, and full of character! This was our first time in South America so we were soaking up all the city had to offer. Later that evening we took a tour of the Archeological Park just outside the city. There are a lot of ruins surrounding the city and it was awesome to hear those stories as well!

 

 

 

 

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Ollantaytambo: Before I begin, there are two ways (that I know of) to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco. By train, and by car. We went by car. I am glad we did, because we got to soak up the culture along the way and learn a lot about Machu Picchu before we even arrived there! Going at this slower place allowed us to really appreciate all of the history and life in Peru. We stopped in this town, Ollataytambo on our long journey. It was oozing history at ever street corner and Berty and I were like giddy school children on a field trip. Our favorite part of this town was visiting the Inca archeological site The Sun Temple. We arrived before the sun rose, and got to watch it rise from this special place in the temple…just amazing.

 

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En route to Aquas Calientes: We had the privilege of seeing many different landscapes during this leg of the journey. For example, the Malaga Pass on one side was dry and arid, and the other side was lush and green. We also took some pretty sketch jungle roads, which I don’t have pictures of because I was closing my eye most of the time! Afterwards, Berty and I caught a train into Machu Picchu which trailed the Willkanuta River. The train had windows on the roof and we could catch glimpses of Machu Picchu mountain! After a long days journey, we finally reached our destination. Later, As we walked around Aguas Calientes, Berty found a game of pickup soccer. It was nice to stretch our legs and get some exercise!

Next day’s agenda? Machu Picchu!

 

 

Thanks for reading!! Seeing as I have a zillion pictures of these Inca ruins, I’ve decided to make a separate post of our big day so you can give your scrolling muscles a break. Stay tuned and I will get that up ASAP!

Update: Read the second part of this post here

Love,

The Mandagies

 

Notes:
Photos: Berty Mandagie, Aidan Haley

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