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May 1, 2006

I am finally on the plane to Toronto without any problems.  Almost didnít make the flight from Vancouver to Calgary.  What a disaster.  Aeroplan failed to send an e-ticket for our free trip to Peru.  Good thing I checked in early.  Spent an hour at the ticket counter trying to explain the situation to the agent for Air Canada and at the same time on the phone with an Aeroplan agent.  Aeroplan was fairly good while the AC agent didnít help at all.  In fact she was fairly rude.

In the end I used Damonís aeroplan points, paid the taxes($70.00) and traveled in the comfort of business class.

After sending an angry stressed out e-mail to Damon, he of course took care of the matter.  Unfortunately he was in Scotland while I was having trouble in YVR.  Since he is the Super Elite and this was all booked through him there was not a lot they could do for me.

Damon will now be reimbursed for the Vancouver to Calgary points and a full refund to my visa card for the taxes.

Had a wonderful time in Calgary wedding dress shopping with my mom, Allison and Carolyn and even made a purchase!  Canít wait to put it on again it is so beautiful and I am completely happy with my important purchase.  A big thanks to the girls!!

That is all the excitement I need for this trip and I am now on my way (in business class of course) to Toronto to see the love of my life.  Havenít seen him in a while so I am very excited to see him and catch up.

Canít wait to get to Peru!

May 3, 2006

Arrived at the hotel yesterday morning and had a 3 hour nap.  Still felt tired but managed to drag myself to the pool for a little relaxing time.

The hotel we are staying at in Lima is quite the hotel.  Very fancy!  The elevator up to our room is all glass and you get quite a view of the city.

At around 3p.m. our guide Sol came to pick us up and take us for a city tour around Lima.  The van came to take us around can seat 15 people there was just the three of us and a driver.

Our first stop was at a flat top pyramid about 2 blocks from our hotel.

We also went inside the cathedral but it is not very authentic due to a few massive earthquakes although it is still quite impressive to imagine what it would have been like.

Went to the monastery and a very interesting fact about this site is that many years ago people were wrapped in cloth and buried here.  Damon was a little turned off by the sight of all the bones and I donít even think he took a picture.

May 3, 2006

I was very worried about coming to Cuzco due to the altitude.  Not as bad as I thought it would be but noticed my breathing pattern changed.  10 quick breaths and one very deep breath.  Climbing stairs and walking up a hill will take your breath away that is for sure.

The hotel Monasteries that we are staying at is Cuzco is by far the best hotel I have ever stayed in.  I love the old feeling of the hotel and they play chant music through the halls.  The buffet in the morning is to die for and the staff is fantastic.  I am quite enjoying my stay here and will be sad to leave.

This holiday has not been exactly relaxing.  We are always on the go.

We saw a couple churches which were amazing and truly take your breath away (or is it the altitude?)  There have been few restorations so everything is like it would have been many years ago.  You are not allowed to take photographs so it will have to remain in my thoughts.

PS.  Tried the cocoa tea.  Not the best tea I ever had but it is supposed to help you adjust to the altitude so I gulped down two cups.

May 4, 2006

An 8 hour drive through the Sacred Valley was on the agenda today.

The Incaís certainly had their work cut out for them building all these amazing ruins.  I am having a hard enough time walking up all these steps just to see them.  It truly is a spectacular sight and a wonder of the world.

Our last stop today was at Chinchero which was at a higher altitude than Cuzco.  Could barely walk up 20 stairs but after that it was OK.  Even Damon was gasping for air.  What an amazing view so it was totally worth it.

When we arrived back at Cuzco, I wasnít gasping for air as much while walking up the hills so I know I am starting to adjust.  We will spend the night in Machu Picchu tomorrow and back in Cuzco for one more night.  I can hardly wait to take the train to Machu Picchu tomorrow.  This is what I have been looking forward to the most.  Although I am certainly not looking forward to the 4a.m. wake up call!

May 5, 2006

Today was the best day of all!  Had to drink some cocoa tea on the train because I didnít sleep well last night and the altitude at the highest point made my tummy hurt and made me feel a bit nauseous.  Totally helped.

We are staying in a lodge style room tonight and it is quite different than the other places we have been.  It is a little more rustic looking but sill very high end as what I am accustomed to!  There are wonderful grounds at this lodge although even Damon got lost trying to find our room.  I was trying to be calm but thought I was going to pee my pants!  I donít think Damon will be allowed to let me find my own way.  We are joined at the hip while we are here.

The lodge is situated in Machu Picchu village so it is a half an hour bus ride to the ruins.  I like to call this the ďdeath ride.Ē  The roads are very curvy and one lane only.  Watch out because if there is a bus coming the other way the drivers will play chicken.  Thought my life was over and I was going to die an old maid. 

We met our friends from the last couple day tours (Bob & Marsali) for lunch and they are a wonderful couple.  They have been married 43 years and they are great fun.  Mom & Dad would really like them too.  They like to travel and are even going to the Galapagos in a week or so.  They are going to love it.

Our guide Rudy was wonderful.  He had me hanging on every word he said.  The view was amazing.  How the Incas ever managed to construct this is beyond me.   My favourite part of Machu Picchu was the sacred rock.  It is believed the Incas worshipped the Veronica Mountain and made a replica out of stone right in front of the mountain.  Very interesting, I didnít know that.  Another one of my favourite things was the 16 waterfalls that are part of the irrigation system.  They are very beautiful.

Did I mention the view?

Damon and I had a drink with Bob & Marsali, to prepare for the bus ride down the hill, and I opted to have two Pisco Sours.  It certainly helped.

We have made 8p.m. dinner reservations so we are waiting to go for dinner and off to bed for us.  We booked a bird watching tour for 6:30 a.m. tomorrow.  Canít believe I am doing this but the Galapagos changed me.  I guess I do have some of my dadís genes somewhere.

All for now, I am finished my shower, my Caesar and now Iíll get dressed for dinner.

May 6, 2006

Had my bird watching tour first thing in the morning and I loved it!  Damon thought it was quite boring but he got some fantastic photos.  There are a lot of humming birds and they will let you stand quite close once they are used to you.  Dad would have been in heaven.

Took the train back to Cuzco and the view was again fantastic.  The train attendants also did a fashion show to try and sell alpaca shirts.  Wierdest thing I ever saw.  I think the male attendant hated every moment.  I donít blame him.

After the train ride it was back to my favourite hotel, The Monasterio.  They had us in an even better room this time around.  Separate bedroom from sitting room which included a flat screen TV and double sinks in the washroom.  Talk about living the high life!

We were quite tired and not that hungry after our huge buffet lunch so we shared a personal pizza and got an ice cream. 

Unfortunately our night was not that exciting and we were in bed watching Spanish National Geographic by 9:30.

May 7, 2006

Today was a bit of a write off.  The weather in Lima was not cooperating so we were stuck in Cuzco waiting for an airplane.  Talk about boring!  We were waiting there for almost 5 hours.

When we finally got into Lima we were pretty hungry so we went to the restaurant in our hotel.  Damon somehow fakes that he is able to speak Spanish and fools the waiters into thinking we know what they are saying.  They are a little surprised when we ask them for a menu in ďinglais por favor.Ē

May 8, 2006

Walked around Lima today but not a lot to see.  We stopped and used the internet and headed back to the hotel to hang out by the pool.

Damon and I went to a fancy place for dinner right over the ocean.  It was very beautiful but were not impressed with the $10 cover charge.  The food was pretty good although a little expensive.  Took a cab back to the hotel and managed a pretty good conversation with our Spanish speaking driver.

May 9, 2006

Damon was pleased to find out that expensive dinners do not agree with me.  I have vowed to never eat at a fancy restaurant again (which may be why I have that ring on my finger!)

Spent the day sicker than a dog and was dreading the plane ride home.  Needless to say that we spend the day beside the pool and near the washroom.  Canít wait to get home!!!



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