Peru (9/9/2011-9/18/2011)

Gowri sent me on a dream trip to Peru for my 40th Birthday. It would be the first time I traveled for fun without Gowri and Aditya who was almost 3 years old. I ended up missing them immensely. The trip turned out to be amazing and centered around visiting Machu Pichu and then traveling along the Manu Road from the Cloud Forests of the Andes to the Tropical Lowlands of the Amazon Rainforest. Photography was also a focus of the trip. Since I was on my own, I could take my heavy 500 mm lens for bird and animal photography. My parents also got me an EOS 7D Digital SLR camera as a birthday present. It is great in low light and I was looking forward to trying it out in the often dark rainforest.

Day 1: Cuzco

I first flew from the US to Lima and then Cuzco where I started my trip. Cuzco was the former capital of the Inca empire in the 13th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's elevation is at an amazing 11,000 ft and can be cold despite its proximity to the equator. I stayed in the historical district in Cuzco and the famous Plaza de Armas (seen above) was just a five minute walk from my hotel. Cuzco also has many amazing restaurants that Gowri painstakingly mapped out for my short stay. The Hotel Prisma where I stayed had wireless internet so I could Skype and talk to Gowri and Aditya. It was great to be able to talk to them and see them. It was a relief to hear they were both doing fine. Apparently, Aditya was planning to go search for me in Albuquerque. He had decided that is where I must have gone (to him I guess Albuquerque meant a very far off place). The next morning I was off on the train that would take me to Machu Pichu.

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