My Lima interlude led me to discover a panorama of busy neighborhoods and colorful city squares, to partake in incredible food and drinks and seal it all with the kiss.
Deep in the Amazon jungle, upriver of the town of Iquitos, Peru, a team of visiting and local doctors steam up the Amazon and its tributaries on the riverboat Nenita.
I just returned from my first trip to Peru. I was most taken by how much the people and the culture are still influenced by the spirit of the Incas, and how relevant the messages of that heritage are for us today.
Everything we learned on our visit to this bucket list favorite, at more than 8,000 feet above sea level.
Jose and I set out as well, though in a fashion more comfortable than Bingham. We take the Inca Rail, which spirals into the valley like the shell of a nautilus.
Locals drink coca tea and chew coca leaves to cure soroche (altitude sickness) but the coca leaf is also held sacred and used in spiritual rites.
Peru's Christian faith is a spoil of war, but no less genuine for being coerced. Likewise, the Incan culture is mourned despite being obviously extant.
I have just returned from Peru and there is so much to share about my two weeks in this incredibly beautiful country. However, what I really want to write about is a bit of what I learned about their cosmologies.
As a designer, exploring the world is vital. The people who color their world in beautiful clothing and ornaments, who live simple farmers' lives and never stop smiling, offer a dose of clarity to such a clouded westernized conscience.
Peru has its fair share of awe-inspiring sights, but most visitors skip right over them and head for the grand finale.
My only chance to visit Machu Picchu for free entailed working among the Peruvian porters who carry the heavy luggage of the tourists.
I moved to the final room. There, in the center of a glass case was Juanita, her hands folded and her knees bent towards her chest.
Far from the mainstream tourism circuit, dozens of islands handmade from native totoro reeds float off the Peruvian shores of Lake Titicaca.
Whether you reach Machu Picchu on foot, via the iconic Inca Trail trek or by bus from the gateway town town of Aguas Calientes, it will capture your heart.