Tales from Peru

I have decided that writing about people’s travel experiences is something that I’d like to focus on. I don’t know if it’s going to be a regular weekly thing, however for the month of July I am going to be writing a little more about Timor and asking YOU..YES YOU…to send me your travel stories! If you have any please write about why the trip was so significant for you and include pictures. It could just have been a relaxing trip, or it could have been life changing. I don’t care. Just share your story. e-mail me @ eatingjourney@gmail.com ūüôā

Tales From Peru By Jacinta McKinlay

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I`m in Arequipa, Southern Peru.  I`ll be here for a while as I`m volunteering at an orphanage. Arequipa is a beautiful city surrounded by volcanoes and the deepest canyon in the world is not too far away, so I`m gearing up for a great trip out there.

As for¬†the adventures leading up to here in chronological order…

We explored our way down the coast of Peru, enjoying the Inca¬†ruins and lots and lots¬†and lots of sand… oh yes there was a lot¬†of desert.¬† We visited the sites around Trujillo including the amazing Chan Chan fortress, which is from pre Inca.

In Lima we lived and worked with the Beautitude community for a while.  I loved it, they were so welcoming and loving.  I arrived there after a hectic 10 hr bus trip during which I was feeling a sick and it was so wonderful because I was surrounded by all these nuns and home cooked food, ahh felt like a home for a little while.  I had some funny conversations while there because most of them only speak Spanish.

I checked out the Nazca lines from the air… very cool.¬† They are these mysterious lines that¬†form pictures¬†across the desert and can only be properly appreciated from the air. Everyone has a different theory¬†about them including alien communication, fertility cult rituals, astronomical calendars etc.¬†¬†I reckon they are most likely part of the rituals and sacred worship of the ancient people¬†from¬†the area.¬† They really were one of the most incredibly strange things I have ever seen and the plane ride was one of the most¬†scariest I`ve ever taken as the pilot dips the plane severely on both side so everyone gets to look at the formations on the ground. We also¬†went out¬†to the cemetery to check out the¬†mummies… mmm I have some very¬†scary pictures on my¬†camera from that trip.

The Inca Trail and Machu Pichu were simply incredible!!¬† Machu Pichu, the ¬īlost¬īInca City is hailed the most spectacular archaeological site on the continent, it has a mysterious past and is located in a stunning area.¬† The¬†craftmenship is unbelievable.¬† The Inca Trail is in my opinion the only real way to get to Machu Pichu.¬† It`s a 4 day hike alone the ancient trail laid by the Incas that winds its way up, down and around the mountains, snaking over three high passes, the highest being Dead Women`s Pass¬†4200m (I didn`t see any dead women but I kinda felt like one). The views were¬†stupendous and the whole experience was magical, challenging at time but totally¬†unforgettable¬†for me, I think it was some of the best scenery I have ever seen.¬†¬†The group Helene and I¬†went with turned out to be¬†a great bunch of people too.¬† Loved it!

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Casa Hogar Luz Alba (means house home) cares for 20 children aged 0-12. It is run by a charity and has five full time local Peruvian volunteers who are simply angels in my opinion.  They are very loving and progressive in their care for the children`s mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing.  Each and every child there has experienced moral or material abandonment.  They have been orphaned or removed from their biological parents because they are judged at social or physical risk.  Quite a few children`s parents were prostitutes, alcoholics, drug addicts or theives.

Deago`s story. Deago was the name given to him by the Tias (aunties) when he arrived at the orphanage last month.  They don`t know his age but he`s probably about 6 months old.  He was thrown in the arms of a tourist in the main square.  The women handing him over said she was just going to the bathroom. She was never seen again.  Deago has the most gorgeous big smile that takes up all of his face.  If I put him in the cot with one of the others he tries to tackle them.  His story may seem a little sad but I trust that he will grow up knowing that he is loved and will have a lot to give the world.

The orphanage cares for 20 children, all their stories are different but mostly pretty sad.  It`s hard work but I`m enjoying the challenge.  So far I`ve been mainly caring for the 4 babies, lots of poop and they all want cuddles at the same time.

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