Today is Peru A’s final night in Cusco! Everyone has agreed that it is very bitter sweet. We have had so much fun here! There have been so many places we have gone in such a short amount of time! There have been many late nights and a ton of early mornings! For those picking up your loved one at the airport on Friday morning…prepare for many stories, laughter, tears…or possibly the quietest car ride home due to them being extremely exhausted (zzzzzzzzzzzz)!
Day one of Cusco we had to adjust to the altitude. Some participants were affected by the high altitude, but others breathed in the air as if it were nothing. After everyone crashed into their nice warm beds, everyone was off and out onto the town. Shopping, shopping, and more shopping, has definitely been a theme among Peru A. Markets here, markets there…they have probably hit them all up at one point or another during our stay here. After they were all shopped out for the day, we ventured out past the square and into Chez Maggie! Oh yes, many participants began to step outside of their comfort zone in the food area. We had some alpaca on the list of foods, peruvian pizza, nachos, and so much more! Let’s just say after this tiring day, everyone had a great sleep!
And of course, who could forget day two?! Waking up at2:45am to get ready and be on our way to Machu Picchu after an hour and 45 minute bus ride, another hour and a half train ride, and then a 30 minute bus ride to the top of the mountains! Many of the participants described Machu Picchu as a surreal experience and they still can’t believe they went. After our tour, participants parted ways: some went up to the sun gate, others went to the inka bridge and others travelled back down to the bottom to continue their shopping experience! Alpaca continued to be a common meal during dinner, and we also got to experience some guinea pig…teeth and all!
Finally, that brings us to today. Some participants reunited with Western at the Chocolate Museum and Factory! Mmmmm chocolate…so much chocolate! Chocolate bars, chocolate tea, chocolate spread, chocolate cream, chocolate everything! Oh and who could forget the experience that everyone was so excited for?! HORSEBACK RIDING, of course! Although we had a little drizzle during our ride through the mountains, everyone had a great time AND we got to see a rainbow as we neared the end of our trail ride. We then had the chance to visit Cristo Blanco where we got to see ALPACAS galloping through the fields! This was definitely a highlight and a must see for many participants…cameras whipped out, eyes opened, and jaws dropped! After a long day of excitement, dinner was excellent, followed by a Tres Leche cake to celebrate the Peru A program coming to an end.
Our flight time got changed for tomorrow morning leaving Cusco, therefore we are leaving at 2:40pm…which definitely got everyone super excited! This leaves us with only 12 hours in the airport in Lima tomorrow, and then on our way back to Toronto starting at 4:10am on Friday morning. The participants are excited to see all of their family and friends at home, even though they will miss the family and friends they have created here in Peru. There have been so many adventures, exciting moments, surreal images, laughter, singing, and many unexpected things that have happened during these past two weeks. Everyone has done such an amazing job and we are so proud of every single one of the participants that we have had the opportunity to travel with. Remember, it is not always what you have that matters, but what you decide to do with it!