Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sacred Valley of the Incas

Have you ever had a dream that seemed too crazy to come true? That's how we felt about sharing Peru with our kids. Yet they really came, and the entire week passed like a perfect wish come true. Our little group of 12 floated on clouds day after day, sometimes literally! Peru has always held a place in our hearts. Ken served his mission here in 1969-71, and we spent several months here together in 1974. The Sacred Valley of the Incas extends from Cusco to Pisac to Calca, Huayocari, Urubamba, Ollyantaytambo to MachuPicchu and many pueblitos in between. They're filled with beauty, culture, mystique, breathtaking views, awesome people, enchanting ruins and precious memories. Our children finally understand why we've always talked about Perú with love.  This week will forever stand out as our trip of a lifetime!

High above Pisac with its distinctive terraces.

 Lamb or llama?

Still practicing selfies at the Inca agricultural experimental station at Moray

Becca makes her way up the narrow rock steps to Huaynapicchu with the river 1000 feet off the edge.

Ancient Inca salt mines, still producing today

Waiting to get on the Inka Rail

Feeling tired but contented... on the way down from the Pisac ruins

Shannon and Melanie in the clouds

McKay gets a flute lesson high above Pisac.

Linda and Martha rest on an Inca ladder at Moray.

Riding the Inka Rail to we look happy? 

Keresa learns weaving at Chinchero

Everyone loved the textile demonstration at Chinchero.

Two beauties: Kayla & MachuPicchu. 

We spent the week in the clouds, often literally! 

MachuPicchu, McKay, Keresa

Sweetie for the Sweetie, Ollyantaytambo 

I wonder what it was like to be an Inca farmer here in Ollantaytambo. 

Becca & Nick stroll up a cliff-hanging trail in Ollyantaytambo. That's Martha & Linda up ahead. 

Lucky Shannon...he got the chicken foot! 

Chris watches Summer play Samson at Sacsayhuaman, aka "Sexy Woman."

Baby llama 

Resting, almost to the top of Huaynapicchu... MachuPicchu in the background

McKay barely makes it up Huaynapicchu. 

He's just in time to join us at the top for a photo! Actually....he ran ahead to be first up and had time to goof around :)

Martha's pretty baby llama 

 Becca & Nick explore Sacsayhuaman. 

Chris & Summer discovered this delectable dining venue in Cusco.

MachuPicchu with three generations

High above the Sacred Valley

It was a dream trip of a lifetime! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


This is Huarmey where our next open house is scheduled. Guess it's canceled. 

As we stepped out of the airport coming back from Cusco, it became apparent that Trujillo was in disaster mode. People slept on the floor in the waiting room. Sandbags and barriers blocked the airport entrance gate.  We walked out to the street to find a taxi. He tried to take us to our hotel in Huanchaco, but the road was blocked by a raging flooding river. We asked him to take us to President Rios's house, but he already knew the roads were flooded. Finally, after charging an exorbitant fee, he dropped us off at the temple, which was closed for two weeks of maintenance. It was 1:00am. The guard made a few phone calls, woke up the senior missionary at the albergue, and they let us in. Relief at last. President Rios has forbidden us to go back to Virú for at least two weeks. We'd sneak back but the main bridge is down and the Alameda bridge is in danger.
The first morning we ventured out into the muddy streets to buy bread, but couldn't find any. Finally a lady answered our plea by sending us to her home to get bread from her daughter. And she didn't charge us. According to the news, food prices are doubled and quadrupled due to shortages. Yet we had lunch at a small cevicheria that charged a normal price of about $4.00 for us both. People are kind and generous. I frantically phoned missionaries to see how they were doing, but despite food and water shortages, they all expressed their concern for us.
It's hard to feel sorry for ourselves living in the comfort of the temple albergue. We haven't had it this good in almost two years.😂😘

Our corner picaroni stand in Virú, under water

Bailing mud, water and who knows what else...

Between one of the seven times that flood water came down our street

 The river keeps flooding and settling in the lowest part of town, our neighborhood. 

Incredible for a town that rarely sees rain

This is at the Plaza de Armas. 

Sad scene crossing the river to the cemetery 

Zaraque, just upstream from Virú...the white/brown is flood water. 

Our main bridge where the Panamericana Hwy enters Virú 

This cuts off traffic between Lima and Trujillo, as well as Virú and Trujillo.

Here comes a temporary bridge from Lima.
This is our secondary bridge, available only for foot traffic.

 Neighbors going to get clean drinking water

This bus accident scared the Trujillo North Mission. They sent a missionary on this bus, and then they heard everyone died in an accident. The bus stopped for a flood. A line of vehicles soon formed, and then a mudslide came down the mountain. Meanwhile the missionary got out, but couldn't contact the mission. A story on Facebook said a missionary died, so the mission president assumed the worst. Next morning the office received a message from the missionary, and soon he was back in Trujillo safe and sound.