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Trip Report Still Going Places: The Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Cusco & Lima

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PRELUDE

Yes, the heart will always go one step too far...

There was a song that kept running through my mind in the last day before our Peru trip began, and for the first few days after our arrival. It’s a song called “Go Places” by the New Pornographers, with lyrics by Carl Newman and Neko Case.

And now, as I search my memories to pick through the pieces to place together in our trip report, I’m reminded of that song once again.

...Come the morning and the four corners I see
What the moral of the back story could be
Come with me,
Go places...


After more than a quarter-century of marriage, through the challenges of two full-time careers and a daughter in college, our shared love of world travel is one of the sparks that helps keep ms_go and myself alight. We have a great deal of passion for seeing the world, and for each other...and those two things tend to go hand in hand, through the years. Come with me, go places.

Let me begin by saying there are hundreds of very good reasons to visit this corner of the world. There are a ton of good reasons to visit just Cusco and the Sacred Valley alone. And it needs to be said, hiking the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has been at or near the very top of our shared “bucket list” for a very long time... so clearly, there was no shortage of good reasons for us to live this experience as well.

But if, like us, you are on the north side of 50 years old and have never done something like this before, one of those reasons has to be to prove to yourself (and to each other) that you can still do it. Assuming you ever could in the first place.

In general, we knew it was going to be a challenge. We had no idea how either one of us would react to the high altitude. To say nothing of the steep uphill climbs leading to steep descents, neither of which are to be easily found in our native Illinois. Or the rocky, uneven terrain. With fully loaded packs on our backs. Sometimes in the rain. Sleeping in tents, in the thin and frosty cold air. For days at a time.

So, let’s be perfectly honest for just a moment. The unspoken question of “are we really up to this challenge?” was lingering in the air when we started. At least, in my mind it was.

The short answer to that question is yes.

The long answer is the rest of this trip report. We invite you to take the journey with us.

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