South America Adventure: Take Two

Ten days just isn’t enough. After a short but amazing trip through Peru, I understand why Gill and Leah have decided on a ten-month trip. With every sight seen it leaves a person with a hunger for another adventure. Planes, trains, buses and automobiles took me from one epic adventure to another.

First night in Cusco kicking the trip off with the first Pisco sour, soon to be the first of many

Arriving in Cusco to officially start my vacation left me breathless. Not only did walking out of the airport to have my beautiful girlfriend Leah waiting with a smile take my breath away, but the lack of oxygen due to altitude and constant inclines from a rolling landscape had me gasping. I knew from the moment we jumped in a cab and headed to the first hostel that this trip was going to be one in the record books.

Cusco's central plaza - literally breathtaking partially because of the altitude

From the hustle and bustle of Cusco we headed for the collectivo and were off to what I remember as my favorite town so far, Aguas Calientes, a small town with only accessible by train and surrounded by tall jagged mountains. While walking the streets I felt as if there was no rush to life. Most only come to this city because it is the starting point to what was going to be the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed, Macchu Picchu.

Nothing beats the sound of an alarm clock while you are on vacation. And what makes it even better? It being set for 3:30 in the morning so you can hike up a huge mountain. If you have a sense of adventure and want to make sure you are one of the first four hundred up Machu Picchu so you have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu then you better be prepared for a crisp early morning climb. By the time you arrive at the top you will be all stretched out and ready for a day of walking, climbing and sight-seeing.

Everyone has heard the saying the pictures don’t due Machu Picchu justice but I can’t stress this fact enough, especially after laying eye’s on Machu Picchu’s beauty in person. The camera and Leah’s finger must have been getting tired from all the pictures I had her taking. This is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and should be on everyone’s bucket list. It was on mine, only six more to go.

Sitting on top of the world and enjoying a Machu Picchu sunrise

Chase taking in the sunrise and awesome view

Leah resting her legs before conquering Huayna Picchu

Next stop Huacachina, a beautiful oasis getaway. After a long but comfortable sixteen-hour bus ride with the greatest travel pillow ever (Leah) we arrived at yet another amazing location in Peru. We traveled from lush green landscape near Machu Picchu to pure white sand mountains for as far as the eye can see in just one overnight bus ride. The diverse landscape of Peru will have you feeling as if you’ve been traveling in more than just one country. Everyday it feels like you have traveled to a different part of the world. This was also a very fun stop for me.

I have been known to be a bit of an adrenaline junky and Huacachina has just the fix. A high-speed adventure through the sand mountains with well-trained drivers will blow your hat off. Just ask Leah, or the gentleman sitting behind us who almost caught her hat with his teeth. This is a thrill-seeking ride with an amazing sunset, beautiful sand peaks and a wooden board used as toboggan. This small town also gives you the feeling of relaxation with no need to rush. Unfortunately for Leah I was always rushing trying to get in as much of Peru as possible. Once again, ten days just isn’t long enough to fully slowdown into travel mode.

The Oasis of America, Huacachina is a great place to chill and relax

Chase shredding the sandy white slopes

This was my second trip to South America but definitely not my last. Boarding the plane and leaving my travel partner of ten days was the hardest thing I have had to do but gave me the ambition to want to go again. Traveling is an addiction and I hope to never find the cure. The more of the world I can see the better.

I feel spending time in other countries around the world only helps me to realize who I am as a person and how much I want to see of the world and spend time in all the different cultures and life styles. Leah and Gill are doing something that I always wanted to do. To be apart of it for two short trips in two different locations in South America leaves me with a great feeling of satisfaction.

Leah and Chase enjoying a lovely sunset in Huacachina