Monday, August 24, 2015

Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco

The monumental stonework at Sacsayhuaman forms massive zigzagged defensive walls of three tiers. Some granite blocks, which fit together seamlessly without mortar, weigh as much as 300 tons. The Incas were masters of architecture. I just stood in awe, admiration, and wonderment at how these blocks could be moved.

Traditional Home

Death in Peruvian culture is not a morbid subject but an accepted part of life. We got first glimpse of a traditional home in Ollantaytambo where a skull of a long, deceased grandparent sits in a respected, honorable altar, where guinea pigs roam freely in the home, and where privacy is not the norm.

Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo

The locals call it lovely Ollanta, and it is indeed lovely. It is home to a formidable temple-fortress and an old town, built by the Incas, that's a perfect grid of streets. It is the only such layout remaining in Peru. The cobblestone streets are lined with canals carrying rushing water from the mountains. One of the highlights of my trip.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


I wouldn't be a teacher if my trip didn't involve a visit to a school. We were welcomed with a shower of confetti and a song and dance of a plague that wipes out an entire village. It wasn't a happy story, but the kids were happy enough to be singing and dancing.


The preferred mode of transportation in Peru-bumpy, noisy, and fun!


The fibers of South America, particularly those of alpacas, are an enormous importance to Peru's textile industry. You would be amazed to know that nature contributes to its colors with ground up bugs, leaves, and, and beans.


The lack of GMO and pesticides adds to the produce being more vibrant and fresh in Peru, and sometimes abnormally large!


If the pisco sour is the national drink of Peru, then the ceviche has to be the signature dish! A tantalizing plate of raw fish and shellfish marinated in lime or lemon juice and chili peppers.