Off the Beaten Path Machu Picchu



Sacred & Abundant, Machu Picchu

High in the Andes Mountains, in the sacred valley of the Incas, lies the ancient city of Machu Picchu. The Incas favored this beautiful landscape as the peaceful resting place. The natural beauty and architectural attraction is a favored destination in its own right. Lima, is a baroque masterpiece architecturally and a shadow, mirroring the Incas glorious past. Cusco is a modern metropolitan city of Lima. It’s also a Spanish colonial city, with a 400-year-old monastery for local ancient worship. The nightlife, magically lights up with the colors, scents and local music that’s perfect to dance to. My earrings shimmered with the beat of the Peruvian notes.


As the plane descends to land in the city of Cusco, we are met with guides on the tarmac, offering coca tea to help us adjust to the soaring altitude. I merrily walked towards customs, noticing other fellow travelers move in such slow motion- it really looked like a new dance! Quickly, we were ushered to a van and taken to our hotel, where once again, we were offered the traditional tea and sent to our rooms for a short nap.


Peru, is a lush and landscaped garden oasis, surrounding each visitor with her legends of abundance and renewal. The Incas stone walls & local pottery tell their story, carved in the ancient rock formations amongst these fantastic ruins. The Incas citadel, is surrounded by steep peaks and emerald terraces, jetting out the ridges. This site, immediately triggered my imagination to new heights, capturing the beauty that has withheld many earthquakes, foreign invasions and still standing tall and proud. As I walked amongst the ruins through the stone temples, I marveled at the grand scale of the ancient Machu Picchu hills. Playfully, I ducked behind the stone facades, hiding amongst the shadows of the Incas’ magical origin. I somehow felt peaceful, familiar and at home. As I continue to explore this vast terrain, I somehow knew where the elders sat, cooked and prayed. And yes, as I explored, I felt somehow I had been there before. Peru, is a true pilgrimage with countless ancient roads. The Incas remain a favorite destination, and yet despite the ceremonial courtyards & decorative rooms, Machu Picchu resonates with resilience. A civilization, that disappeared and has left us a footprint for others to discovery and yet, still eludes us where these ancient dwellers once lived.


What to Wear Where- Lima, a city filled with scents, color, and fusion cuisine offers a unique blend of African, Asian, and yes Japanese. A drink that’s a treat and so delish is “Pisco Sours”- a must-try! I dashed from the hotel to board the tourist bus, wearing a hat, t-shirt, long shorts, donning my bracelet and necklace, I was ready for a grand adventure. The first stop, was the ancient city of Cusco. The streets are filled with cobblestones, grand churches and women walking their llamas on leashes. I was so enchanted to see this colorful and exotic terrain. A highlight, is Lima’s infamous museums. The Inca stone walls, local pottery and breathtaking textile patterns, restore a sense of history made centuries ago. In the Museo de Matinal Antropologia and Museo Nacional de Arqueología, many of the decorative arts looked like the current Ralph Lauren motifs!


Leaving Peru is still an adventure! As the plane cradles me in her “vast arms” and moving forward, the plane lights dim as the engines roar, lifting off as we return to the states. Through the plane’s window, I see tucked in the clouds, outlines of the infamous Nazca Lines. The mysteries, that have surrounded this ancient site are still an enigma to numerous archeologists, scientists & explorers. I recall the vivid beauty I experienced with all the mystery seeped into this phantom site. Peru, is a manquet for peace and perfect for today’s modern living-- a guiding light to us, hidden within the hills of past civilizations to explore. I salute-- Gems & Jewels to the Goddess who wears her.


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