We’re back!!! We had an amazing trip to Ecuador and Peru. When our friends Peter and Susan suggested this trip, we really hesitated – too logistically challenging to interrupt the trip on Motu Iti and also expensive. But it was such a great opportunity to see magnificent places with friends and what’s retirement for anyway? So we went for it. Hurray!!!
Here are Blue-footed Boobies doing their mating dance in the Galapagos, on Espanola Island:
Swimming with sea turtles was awesome – they are huge. This is an actual underwater picture taken by me with my new superduper underwater camera – thanks everyone for such as awesome gift:
This is a giant tortoise on Santa Cruz island:
We also saw sea lions, sting rays, masked boobies, frigatebirds, albatross, pelicans and lots of iguanas. How cute is this baby fur seal:
Here is a Sally Lightfoot crab – different from our Maryland blues:
We visited the beautiful cities of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca in Ecuador and then Lima, Cuzco, Yucay, Aguas Calientes and Pisac in Peru, traveling by train, plane (8 domestic flights), motor coach, taxi and boat. We were very busy – a group tour with schedules and timelines is a bit of a different way to travel for us – but we obviously relaxed and had fun:
Machu Picchu is breath-taking. [Literally – we were altitude-challenged, having lived most of our lives at sea level.] This doesn’t do it justice, but you get the idea.
We hiked to the Sun Gate and were rewarded by stunning vistas; we even got to see a flock of bright green parrots.
And we hiked to the Inca Bridge, formed from tree trunks across a 1,900 foot deep gap in a wall built by the Incas across a sheer cliff face. It was a beautiful walk in the early morning mist – you can see the tree trunk bridge at about shoulder level.
It was just spectacular.
We went to the equator and stood on either side:
We got to dance:
And ride a beautiful Peruvian horse – they do a unique four-beat, lateral gait called the paso llano, which makes for a ride so smooth the rider can carry a full glass of water and not spill a drop.
We saw lots of llamas and alpacas – I bought a ton of yarn. This llama seems a bit baffled by the curious tourists.
And of course I took a bizillion flower pictures – so many interesting and unusual flowers. At the higher elevations (9,000 – 12,000 feet), when I bent over to take a close-up of a flower and then tried to stand back up, I just about passed out. I never really got used to the altitude.
We loved the trip, but we were very happy to arrive back in Annapolis and spend Thanksgiving with Amelia, Grant and our granddog, Crew. We had a great turkey dinner, did a lot of laundry, ran errands, collected needed boat parts, made the photobook of our trip, did our Christmas shopping, enjoyed our time with Amelia and Grant, played with Crew, and tried to recover from lingering gastrointestinal difficulties, sinus congestion, and general trip weariness.
Tomorrow we drive back to Beaufort, SC, and Motu Iti to continue our journey southward.