Ah Paris, mon amour! (cue in my poor imitation of French accent)
Almost everyone loves Paris. See, be it on random photos in social media bearing the words “travel goals”, or “dream destination” or how-to articles, one can see the adoration of many for the French capital . People adore the Eiffel tower, Louvre, or just simply the idea of anything that is considered Parisienne.
Even I had that childhood dream, especially after watching the TV series , Madeline. I wanted to live in France, befriend a girl named Madeline and later on become a nun like Miss Clavel. Apart from Italy, France was a place that I greatly admired, mostly for the food and culture. Documentaries and books only served to fuel that dream that even later on, this girl is still attached to the idea of European living.
The combination of the blue sky and a white plain sounds unappealing in contrast to cities or beaches. The monotony of blue and white in addition to the barren desert which surrounds it, may look dull if you compare it to colorful and rustic towns. While travelling, I have met people who decided to bypass Salar de Uyuni in their plans. They mentioned that there were not much to see and it is not worth the long bus ride. Honestly, I had second thoughts and had considered what they said. In the end, I pushed on with my plan.
Was it worth it?
Surely, Machu Picchu is on the list of almost every visitor who comes to Peru. I’m no exemption as I have been looking forward to this trip the moment I booked the flights! After a few days in Cusco, it was finally time to see the glorious Incan symbol.
The charm of Peru does not end in Machu Picchu or Sacred Valley, I learned more about how a Peruvian spend her daily life the longer I stay in the country. The countryside of Cusco reminded me a lot of Philippines, from the people down to the sceneries. I met friends that even though we had some language barrier, never hesitated to befriend me and help me around as I explore Peru. One of those memorable times happened when I visited Moray and Maras.
The demonstration of making textiles for handicrafts was the highlight of our visit in Chinchero, a small town in Sacred Valley. Unfortunately, I lost most of the photos and all the videos I took when my memory card got left behind in France. Here is some information that I could remember. Sadly, these are merely vague tidbits and I would appreciate it if someone gives me additional information.
After lunch, our next destination was Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is an important transportation hub and also where travelers usually catch the train going up to Aguas Calientes. However, the town has archaeological sites that are also wonderful to visit.
Machu Picchu is just one of the many Incan ruins that can be found in Peru. Many remnants of the former empire can also be seen in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Sacred Valley is comprised of the villages near the Urubamba River or Willkamayu, a Quechua term which means sacred river. Think of sprawling hills, lush greeneries and majestic mountains, I felt at ease and connected with nature.
We went to a tour group traveling to Sacred Valley. Although there were few shortcomings, I think the tour went great and the guide was knowledgeable. There are lots of tour groups in Cusco but stay away from Plaza de Armas if you are looking for cheaper prices.