It is truly inspiring and humbling to be able to travel as much as I can. I never take it for granted - especially when I see such amazing sites and meet the most remarkable people. There isn't anything quite like Peru! Its history is so rich and is so often overlooked!
Every time I visit Peru there is always so much to see - we met more hat artisans, stayed in family guesthouses in tiny villages, ate with their families, and we walked on the ancient Inca Trail seeing the Milky Way galaxy at night. Spending the day in my happy place and "home away from home" in Ollantaytambo, Peru visiting some of our Andeana Hats weaving artisan partners in Huilloc Baja was such a joy and the memories there never fail to bring a smile to my face. It was a perfect weather day, driving through the Sacred Valley, eating lunch with the women, and trying AGAIN to learn how to weave, realizing just how insanely talented ALL of these women are and how I should just stick to photography!
I'm still SO obsessed with all of the hat styles I am seeing here in the Andes! The deeper we go, the more embroidered and beautiful they become. Can't forget the incredible hike at Mauk'allaqta, Coporaque, Espinar! The ruins there are from 1200 AD and also cave drawings that were from 5,000 years before Common Era! No one was there as we walked through ancient temples and stone houses so we really got to take our time and absorb the weight of history.
The Apus, or mountains, here are so majestic! I can understand why the Inca believe they are each gods. It was an epic three-day road trip through the Andes from Cusco to Sucuytambo, through the Three Canyons to Maukallaqta then to Espinar, Sicuani, and finally Waqrapukara - the pre-Incan fortress up at 14,000 feet! This ancient fortress was definitely one of the "pinnacles" of our trip through the Andes of Peru. Wakqrapukara's meaning is "horned fortress" and is an unreal feat of construction. I have NO idea how they carried, carved, and placed all of these rocks this high up - plus they also built irrigation, which was a marvel to see so beautifully laid out!
My friends and I also got to witness the last Inca bridge - Q’eswachaka. This bridge is over 500 years old and it's made from braided dried grass. It's insane to me how grass can be that strong to support people! The women who live in the village fix and maintain this bridge once a year and we were so lucky to be able to cross over a true piece of ancient history.
Honestly such a big thanks to Pleiades Peru Tours for some incredible sights and expert guides!